The end is so close … just another month before purgatory ends.
Today, I was asked … “What have you done during lockdown?”
It stymied me. I didn’t know how to answer. Because in all honesty, I wasn’t sure how to.
So much of my life had been dulled and blunted by the seemingly endless lockdowns, that I am sure my socialising skills were also rusty.
There is just that sort of sense, that I am not as funny, not as witty, not as sharp as I used to be. My usual acerbic wit now tripping over itself and I have truly rusted away slightly in the lockdown.
I can just tell these things, because I can feel myself not really engaging in conversations the right sort of way. My mind now stumbles out of the gate, instead of being in its’ normal zen-empty state.
It is truly annoying how badly the lockdowns have affected my own personal growth and development. I’ve gained a kilogram of weight, my dieting has suffered, my mental capacity is now struggling to put words to paper and my tennis skills have degraded.
To simply put, losing 2 years to inefficient state governance is not something I take very lightly.
Lockdowns have been their own type of purgatory, which, for the Abrahamic followers out there, is where you go before you are sent to heaven or hell.
I’ve always hated the concept of purgatory. That half-state before life or death, that in-between place that isn’t defined by any binary. It seemed like its’ own type of hell to me.
Lockdowns have definitely proven that, it really is my own personal hell. I hate the idea that I’ve become rusty, after I put so much work into myself. If there is one thing I despise the most, it’s the fact that nothingness led to my personal digression.
I can understand self-destructive habits, positive mentalities, addictions and healthy habits …. but I can’t fathom the state of limbo hurting me. I don’t want to either. That’s the pathway to nihilistic thinking.
Instead, what I’m planning on doing is making a list right now … a list of things I truly desire once the lockdowns have ended. It will be long, exhaustive and aimed at one thing … recapturing the spark of life that I am missing, currently.
- Go-Karting – The reason is simple … the entire point of me dieting and exercising so hard, is to get lighter, so that my lap-times drop. I want to go Karting because I want to feel the thrill of racing at the limits and seeing my lap times improve with weight loss. I’ve also made promises to my mates I would go with them. I just want to race again.
- Fancy Dinners – I’ve never made any pretense that I enjoy the high-life. Eating at expensive places, once a week, is both a coping mechanism in a long-distance relationship (reminder of fonder times with the beloved) and an important mental indulgence after the strains of work. Melbourne is home to many a brilliant restaurateurs and it is only fair that after such a painful, extended lockdown, I do my part to get the local businesses up and running back to normal again.
- Live Jazz – When was the last time I heard some live music? I miss the jazz bars of Melbourne so much, and to relax with a drink, some snacks, mood lighting and be well-dressed would be a night worth soothing the pains of lockdown.
- URBEX – God, it has been so long since I last stepped foot in the Melbourne CBD, and like an scorned lover, begging for the touch of reunion, I miss my darling city so much. I just want to walk her streets again, and fall in love with my home-town, after the besmirching it has received in the press of late. I want to soothe her and let her know that she is still my favourite woman, and that she will never be ugly in my eyes.
- Bookstore Browsing – As a bookworm, I miss the smell, atmosphere and vibe of bookstores. I want to be amongst books and booklovers once again and just soak in that unique vibe.
- Cocktails – Who doesn’t miss the sensations of great drinks, great vibes and great bars? I want to enjoy my rum cocktails at a bar and be amongst people, watching them all have a great time and hear snippets of interesting conversations.
- Suiting Up – I won’t beat about the bush, and pretend that I am some type of fashionista, but I do take my own sense of style seriously. Going to nice dinners, bars and jazz venues give me that outlet to experiment and really push my own wardrobe in terms of pairing items together. I enjoy looking exceptional and taking pride in my own clothes, instead of the usual tennis-wear I sport daily.
- Badminton Sessions – One of the best things to come out of last year lockdowns, I miss playing Badminton with my friends and catching up with them weekly. It was a great way to socialise with them, keep loneliness at bay and just see them. I wonder how rusty I am with that sport now … regardless I miss it dearly and would love to just bring it back. Maintaining relationships take a lot of work, and a weekly sporting activity and dinner is such a lovely way to do it.
- Cinema – I’ve not stepped foot back in a cinema is a very long time. It is time I rekindled that magic, when the curtains pull back, the lights dim and the anticipation of movie captures your imagination. I can’t keep reviewing films on my PC screen all the time, because one day I might fall out of love with film. Cinemas exist to light that spark of film romance again.
- Tennis – Whilst a wall is great for practice, I miss my sessions with my tennis partner. I miss that thrill of competition, of dealing with loss, triumphs and everything in between. I miss the sensation of hardcourts beneath my feet and the mad dash for balls that are always just out of reach.
- Golf – I’ve recently taken up a passing interest in golf to help my father get out of his depressive funk and found that it was a lot more fun than I originally anticipated. I would like to … get into the swing of things and really improve my game. It’s relaxing, it’s addicting and I can’t be an arrogant, bourgeoisie snob without at least being able to find out my handicap.
- Events – Festivals … when are they coming back? I’ve missed them so much. I won’t complain about being over-charged for meals ever again, as long as I’ve surrounded by thousands of other happy idiots, smiling, having a good time and enjoying themselves at an event. This is the industry I want to make my legacy and career in … I want events to be a thing again, regardless of COVID.
- Formula 1 – 2022 better feature a return of Albert Park. I’ve adored, idolised and hyped back Formula 1 as an event to everyone, remotely interested, and I crave the soundscape that can only come from motorsport at its’ most pure and raw. I want to be a marshal at this event, and to not have the most sophisticated, engineering global circus visit for a third year would break my heart.
- Birthdays – So many of my friends’ birthdays have come and gone, without a mention. I miss shopping for gifts for them and seeing their delight upon seeing their present. It also gives me a handy excuse to continue to spread the good work and word of Made in Japan, my favourite kitchenware store in Melbourne.
- Beaches & St. Kilda – I miss my favourite town in Melbourne. St Kilda is such a vibrant, exciting and energetic place to be at, at any given time of the day or night. I still crave walking along its’ beaches and laughing at the crazy antics the locals would get up. I miss that strange, unique, St Kilda bohemian vibe.
- Extravagant Lunches – There is nothing more Melburnian than going half an hour out of your way, to find a great lunch. With COVID-19 lockdowns, the current craze is all about sandwiches and I can’t get enough of them. From Banh Mi to Tacos, lunch options are now supremely interesting, tasty and delicious. I want to venture back into Richmond, Fitzroy and Brunswick for these amazing options.
- Baked Goods – Is there any better feeling than biting into a hot, soft, crunchy toasted bread? I want my damn Apricot Danishes, my Vanillla slices, my Lune Croissants and the desserts from Brunetti. I just want to enjoy baked sweets again.
- Ice-Cream – Whilst I have little complaints about the local Ben & Jerry in my 5km radius, what I am truly missing is Gelato Messina … my mouth is literally watering at the idea of going back into that iconic Melbourne establishment and getting a double-scoop for their amazing gelato.
- Tourists – One of the biggest disappointments, is that my cousin was meant to come down and experience Melbourne the way how I recommended. I made so many plans for him, but alas lockdowns occurred. I want tourists to come back, marvel at the culture and sophistication of my city and populate the streets again. Nothing is more depressing than seeing empty streets on a Friday night.
- Public Transport – Experiencing a train ride again, is something I’ve actually missed. I used to take the sensation for granted, but now I miss it. There is something relaxing about the whole experience, compared to the stress of driving. Even just hopping on my local tram is an sensation I miss.
- Browsing & Shopping – While I hardly consider myself a serial shopper, I do miss the act of shopping, and browsing in stores. It saddens me when I see so many places shut down, so many unique items that could be marvelled over, gone forever simply because the business couldn’t stay afloat. Seeing so many empty shop fronts is always strange and surreal, and I would like to see my home town regain some of its unique shops and flavour once again.
- Attractive Women – This is a weird one, and is directly related to the fact that I often like people watching and being the quiet one amongst crowds. I’ve always loved how Melbourne women seem so effortlessly attractive in their style and poise and I’ve missed seeing attractive people everywhere, instead of my dull mirrored reflection. There are so many beautiful women out there, that make me double-take and catch my breath … I think it’s important for me to just admire the time I’m living in, and be grateful that there are just so many attractive people out there. Too often people proclaim they wished they live in another era, myself included, but when I behold some of the women out there, I find myself being grateful that people can be more insanely alluring than ever before in history and that I’m here to see it.
- Work – I miss going to work on a regular schedule and being able to be a good manager and organise things for my team. I desperately want the routine back and get paid to write on this blog during the duller times. I liked having regular sleeping habits, daily routines and some order in my life. It felt like the weeks, days and minutes went by quicker and I was earning my weekly rewards. Without work, time is a blur and nothing is more tragic than having days blend into each other. I like having purpose …
- Opera & Plays – Another fancy item, I do miss looking forwards to big Operas and their performances. I would also like to brush up on my Shakespeare and attend more plays to see how people interpret these timeless stories. Anything to just inject some culture and art into my system is always a boon.
- National Gallery of Victoria – One of the biggest shames of this entire lockdown, is that I missed the French Impressionism gallery that was on display. One of my all-time favourite art movements and I couldn’t see it with my own two eyes. I do dearly miss that experience of whiling away time, looking at art and finding out what is to my taste and what isn’t. The NGV is a world-class gallery and I miss walking its’ halls.
- Haircut – Probably my biggest pet peeve at the moment, is staring at the mirror and being bitterly disappointment with my unruly, unfashionably long hair that doesn’t seem to possess any angle that is remotely attractive. I’m going to relish the opportunity to cut & shave all of this mess of and get a sense of weightlessness on my scalp again. Long hair has never suited my functional nature and the idea of getting used to flicking my hair away is tiresome.
- The Girlfriend Experience – What I miss the most though, is spending time with my girlfriend and enjoying the city with her. A lot of things aren’t the same without her, and lockdowns have prevented a lot of trips that I wanted to make to see her and vice versa. Whilst things are OK between us, I do miss her terribly.
I could add a lot more, but for now … those are the key ones that I really want to do after these blasted lockdowns have ended.
It’s been ages since I last saw my friends, ages since I last enjoyed life outside the confines of my home and ages since I felt properly switched on.
The irony here of course, that within 3 months of doing all of those things, I shall probably be back on here, complaining about how stilted my life is.
But that’s a normal problem to have … unlike being stuck in purgatory for 2 years long.
And right now … I just want some normalcy back.