Alice Catherine Alice Catherine

As things slowly start to open and crowds of people begin to gather in public places once more, my anxiety shouts loudly that I should remain at home. It’s hard to know what’s right or even what’s real these days, and just because we can, doesn’t always mean we should

I’ve found myself at a bit of a crossroads, my head heavy with the weight of the question so where do we go from here?

Will a new normal ensue? What’s my participation in the new normal? Does going to a cafe, or a bar, or my local cinema mean that I’m doing something good or something bad? My head feels dizzy with the most basic of decisions. I’ve found myself withdrawing from the roles that I had once found so familiar – suddenly unsure of how to be a daughter, a  friend, a sister, and a girlfriend. These roles seem to have become jaded as the months have slowly slogged on by. Human contact being the basic missing ingredient. 

All I know is that I miss embracing those that I love most. I crave human connection and I look forward to the day when I can enjoy it without a side of guilt served up right beside it. I look forward to hugging my friends and family again, and I look forward to that hot holiday air – the first step back into the sea, the warm waves crashing around my ankles once more. I look forward to chatting my way around a supermarket again – filling my basket with new recipes to test out and finding the simple joy in strolling around the isles without a looming time limit.

I look forward to being face mask free – to stuffing them away in a memory box out of sight. To breathing in air as I walk past strangers, and exhaling without an anxious after thought. I look forward to walking through a park and sitting on a bench without worrying about who’s around me or who might have sat on this bench mere moments before me.

Most of all, I look forward to feeling like myself again. I feel as though so many of us have disconnected from ourselves in order to survive this period in time. Our personalities somewhat diluted, replaced by ‘Zoom call’ versions of ourselves, addicted to our news feeds – exhausted eyes and heavy hearts.  

I look forward to that feeling when the sun shines on your face and you feel care free for a moment. I look forward to writing plans in my paper diary again. I look forward to the vibrancy of life being restored, but for now I remain cautious. People matter more than my plans – one small step at a time. 

Photographs taken by Catherine Booty 

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  1. aaishah says:

    Beautifully written, Alice!
    I feel the same. It’s weird seeing people go back to normal on my social media feed, back to the hairdressers, on staycations and trips, back to work..

    1. alicecatherine says:

      Thank you! I agree, it’s so strange but I guess it had to happen sooner or later. I’ve ventured for a haircut but that’s as far as I’ve been. Still not sure how I feel about going to a restaurant but I definitely miss cinema trips most of all! xx

  2. Sydney Russo says:

    Hi Alice 🙂 I could not agree more with these sentiments. Here in Toronto, life is slowly resuming a normal pace and yet I can’t bring myself to venture far out of my home. After four months of quarantine, and with an escalating situation south of the border, it just doesn’t feel right to go to a restaurant or a cafe no matter how safe it is purported to be. I see friends and family relaxing lockdown measures and having non socially distanced get togethers, and part of me feels like it’s all happening to quickly – like people are loosening up too much, although I know I can only focus on my own actions (that has been my mantra lately!). I know things have to go back to normal at some point and, like you, I made a trip to the hairdressers last week (plus the local bookstore, and although I was wearing a mask, I felt more normal than I have in a long time). I’m so looking forward to the time when all of this is behind us and we don’t have to constantly second guess our decisions. I’ve found even the smallest decisions excruciating lately, I think because it seems like any action could have monumental consequences. Wishing you all the best – I so enjoy reading your blog!

    Sydney Russo |

    1. alicecatherine says:

      Thank you so much! So glad it resonated in some way – I’ve found it pretty difficult to see everything ‘going back to normal’ when people are still suffering in a huge way. I totally agree with you, it seems like even just ‘going for a coffee’ is the biggest decision we can make at the moment and it’s something that used to be spontaneous and second nature. It’s really hard to know where to draw the line as things ease but I just think we have to be mindful of others and only do what feels right for us as individuals dealing with individual circumstances. I’m still staying home as much as possible and just wearing my mask when I need to nip in and out of town – wearing a mask makes me feel quite anxious too and its frustrating when others around you aren’t taking the same precautions/keeping their distance. We just have to stay as safe and as mindful as we can – that’s all I keep repeating to myself ha 🙂 xx

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