When corona hit the ski town I was working at, I lost my job and my home in a matter of days. Most of the other international workers packed up their bags, slammed a few final shots at the bar, and got on a plane home.
I called my mum.
“Don’t come back here,” she warned me. The UK at this time was seeing a serious boom in cases of COVID.
“Aw Mum, you don’t have to worry about me!” I said, touched that although she wished I had a ‘real job’, ‘financial security’, and other extravagant traits, she was still concerned for my health and wellbeing. Mums are the best, aren’t they?
“That’s not what I meant. You’ll get bored within days if you come home, and then you’ll just annoy me.”
(P.S. Since I published this blog a few days ago, my mum’s response to the home tagline was “You could never let me down!
Actually that’s not true.”)
So, I decided to stay in Canada. It made more sense anyway. My visa was still good, I could stay in the mountains, and my friends were generous enough to put me up for as long as the world needed to get back to normal. Plus there was still plenty of snow around, so we could keep snowboarding for weeks. It was a no-brainer.
A couple of my other friends had a similar idea, and 6 of us ended up cramming into a tiny 2-bedroom apartment.
This was fun for about 3 hours.
I don’t want to get into the specifics of those next few weeks, for fear that I might be triggered into some PTSD-type relapse, but I will say this: it wasn’t pretty. Imagine your entire extended family squished into one small room that is locked with no food. You can’t get out. You can’t eat. Knives protrude from the walls. Suddenly lava starts seeping in from the ceiling. Everyone is screaming as they burn.
That was basically it.
Thankfully, the lava-and-knife era didn’t last forever, and now it’s just me, Seb, and Greg holed up in a little apartment in the mountains of British Columbia. I’ve accepted that I’m probably going to be here for a while.
I wake up in the morning to sunlight streaming through the window onto my face and the birds on my windowsill chirping to me. I get out of my comfy warm bed, stretch, and smile because it’s a new day in paradise. Little woodland creatures dance around and clothe me in a long, flowing dress. They’ve made me a lei of wildflowers (a tiara if you will), which I wear with pride. I go outside to skip around the mountains, singing songs and playing the flute in the long grass. I laugh. There’s no corona up here, there’s no traffic horns, no imbecilic world leaders or social inequality. It’s just me and my family of forest friends living a wonderful life under the sun.
OKAY okay, that’s not what my life is like.
There are also unicorns.
There are some parts of my life that aren’t that great. I had never planned to be in Canada this summer, and I’m learning that it can be stressful when your plans and ambitions are forced to change. I’m spending a pandemic away from home, away from my (occasionally loving) family and friends that I haven’t seen for years. There are definitely moments that I feel lost and rocked by the world right now.
I know that I’m lucky compared to a lot of people and I’m truly thankful for the opportunities and privileged life that I lead.
But I’m trying to remember that, no matter who you are or where you’re from, your feelings are always valid. You’re allowed to be struggling, even if other people might be struggling more. Whether it be because you’ve been affected by the latest news, or because you’ve been living back home with your parents for 4 months, or even because you can’t find a matching pair of socks, you are allowed to have bad days.
Anyway, gotta go, there’s a family of deer at the door ready to accompany me on a picnic.