When the lockdown was announced after the outbreak of deadly covid-19 all over the world, I was relieved by the fact that we’re living in the age of social media–because even during these tough times of social distancing, we can still stay ‘in touch’.
That was until my social media feed became full of motivational posts about achieving things now that we have time. People have been boasting about learning a new language, being able to come up with the perfect glass of dalgona coffee, creating fresh content for followers, finally getting into a workout regime, and even enrolling for online courses from renowned universities.
I, on the other hand, am grappling with anxiety
It wasn’t just the pandemic and the consequential lockdown that was freaking me out. It was also this question: do I have to worry about coronavirus AND learn a whole new skill, all at the same time?
Initially, I felt like I was clearly doing something wrong or just wasn’t motivated enough like most people who were a part of my network. It boiled down to the fact that I felt immensely guilty for not having the drive to learn ‘something new’ while many of my friends were clearly going to come out of this lockdown as more accomplished people. All these updates from my enterprising friends only made me more anxious.
Add to this social media frenzy around the ‘hustle’ culture that dictates one should never stop working because somehow, working hard each day of the week without a single break will miraculously remove all hurdles of life to deliver success to you.
The effort to acquire new skills while also holding down to a full-time job is a phenomenon we threw ourselves into much before coronavirus hit our civilization.
So I am using this time to introspect
I’ve used this ‘spare’ time bestowed on us by the lockdown to not learn another skill but to introspect. When the future of the entire humanity is under threat, it is high time that we derive value out of merely existing rather than what we can and cannot do in a society that attaches utmost value to what labour one can perform and for how much.
We’re more than the sum of all the knowledge that we can make money out of. We’re more than our profession or the speaker of the language we know. We’re more than the statistic we’ve been taught to believe we are.
For all those who can come out of this pandemic with the knowledge of something new, it is admirable and for those who can’t, it is absolutely alright. You’re free to worry about where the world is going and the ambiguity that the future holds instead of the promise. We’re all different and it is about time we acknowledge the beauty of it.
Till this ends, make yourself a cup of coffee and sit down with yourself instead of thinking how to make yourself more useful to a capitalist world in the middle of a pandemic. Needless to say, there are a whole lot of life lessons we’ve learned and will be learning while we come out of this pandemic. It’s all about surviving this.