I deactivated my Facebook account for a good two months last year or so I think. Unsure of how many months but I really did. This was when the onset of a stricter lockdown in the metro was happening. The consumption of news via television and my mobile phone have dawned in me three months into the community quarantine. With me just staying at home and not being able to go outside took a toll on my mental health. Honestly, until today, I get anxious and experience some nervous feeling whenever I would go out and take on with my alternate work duty.
Sometimes, I would feel palpitations and it is like I can hear my heart beat. To self comfort, I calmly find my core and focus in my breathing. Breathing in deeply. Exhaling slowly. Taking silent counts to at least five before breathing in next.
I often daydream at the moment of having the freedom to breathe outside without my mask on. But I know exactly where I can do it. Back in my home province.
I took this photo after attending the Sunday mass with my mother and brothers. It was my first time to visit Manila Cathedral after a few years of staying in the city. Never has it come up to me to go and experience its grandeur and rich history.
Two days before Sunday I suggested to my brothers that we should bring Mama to Manila Cathedral because aside that I too want to go there, she is also wanting to see and visit the church.
As I step a little bit farther to frame this shot, I took some good minutes to appreciate the structure, design, style and even trying to recreate in my mind how this church endured the times. The history wonder in me is so just into it.
Two weeks ago, I was holed up in my apartment. My skeleton workforce duty was extended to two weeks and I was not assigned any work from home tasks so I was only using my time for my online foreign language course and some readings for the upcoming audit of our office.
I felt like a slug just easing slowly and unproductive, work wise. I kept thinking on managing my time with email management and process approvals for consular work. On a bright side, I just thought that it is somehow good not having been assigned with work from home tasks because I was also able to focus on my readings and do my online foreign language course homework on time.
Come this week where I return for onsite work, it was quite a hectic work week because it was audit season, as I put it. I am part of my agency’s Internal Quality Auditors and I am also a Quality Management System representative of my unit’s core team. So I wear both hats as an auditor and an auditee.
At this point, all this I am sharing is boring and oh so my apologies. Chronicling the end of my work week made me realize some things. These realizations effect were positive in all sense. What I am saying was, yes it was a hectic work week but I was able to go outside of my apartment. It was just this week that has sank in me. I realized from my transfer of transit that my body aches for this experience. My mind, my heart and entire muscle are missing this constant mobility. This work week was not perfect. But manageable enough to make things work for me productively.
My commute experience was the highlight. I challenged myself to take at least one photo a day of my five-day work week. This is an opportunity I accepted and pursued because queueing is an understatement while I took my commute daily. A total of 3 transfer transits were my thing. I spent an average of 40 minutes waiting in line before I can get on a mini bus. The trains were more efficient but still long lines await you towards the end of the week. Around Thursday or Friday during the after-work rush you will be caught in a doom, long lines of passengers eager to go home. Waiting. Standing. Aching feet. Uncomfortable humid platform environment. Just there waiting.
Last July, after three whole months of not seeing my office and work station I was finally given a work schedule. We are on a skeletal work duty. We are divided into two teams to report on site and observe minimum health protocols.
Wear your face masks.
Wear your face shields.
Observe social and physical distancing.
Practice coughing and sneezing etiquette.
Wash your hands regularly and avoid touching unnecessary surfaces.
It was a surreal feeling. Seeing familiar faces of my colleagues and yet it feels foreign as if it seemed like we were just working a day before.
Smile were painted on our faces but not visible, just our eyes were telling, squinting because masks were covering our faces.
Under the new normal – a tagline I overhear churning from news, social media and even at the office. New processes and procedures are at the helm – for continuity of life and trying to getting back to normal pre-pandemic.
Days feel long and uncertain. While I get back to going outside, a lot has really changed and still changing. Still adjusting. This pandemic has affected many in magnanimous proportions.
The world has stopped. At a point. And regaining mobility will take an army, will take time, will take an overhaul of what things should be prioritized, should be done in anticipation. One cannot simply be prepared. I realized at this time that we can only prepare so much but for the love of life and everything important around us, giving in and cultivating our faith is a start.
The year is 2020 and days, weeks and months are pushing towards end of the year, almost. The month is July. I am sitting in my bunk bed. Spotify ringing in my ear enveloping this well of emotions turn into words transcending from my mind down to my fingertips. Pressing these keys with letters feels like a race. As if I am harnessing my flow of thoughts and capturing it in time and motion through words as I let go of each keys and let it form.
It has been a while being able to see myself expressing in this blog. Music has always been my refuge when things does not go well around me. This is the reason it somehow tickled my flow and wrap around my head. Telling me to write and see it until the end.
I am emotional. The state I am in, I think, is never different from anyone else out there. We all have been going through this. All of us have been bringing ourselves out there, making each day, telling each day, sleeping each day, eating each day, working from home each day, and all that round about each day. The corners of home is the bubble. A bubble that is safe but that can burst too.
Connectivity in all sense became demanding in a level, at a point. Connectivity that is limited to electronic screens, small and boxed. That punch hole lens feeding on the images of ourselves and then mirroring it to any part of the world.
Life goes on. The corners of my apartment has been my refuge. I am wallowing in this niche. Feeling good, feeling better, feeling best. Feeling like in a deep end when my mind wanders to thinking those uncertainties. I have this fear. I have this anger. I am upset. I am frustrated. I am helpless. And it sucks. While I try to look for motivation and bring myself some positivity, I learn to accept. I go back to listening inside me.
I am human, after all. I am breathing. Still breathing.