Quarantine made the whole concept of time really hard to follow… The end of this quarantine period was really hard for me as I missed friends and family deeply, more than I thought I would. This led to an increase of depression and sleepiness while my body somatized the whole period. I really hope we won’t have to live through such a strange time again.

On the side, working remotely helped me to gain an helpful distanciation with some work related stress and tensions and helped me to discuss things and projects in a clearer way, away from a lot of office politics and behaviors. While work has some down side, I’m lucky to work for a company that stayed strong during the quarantine and let us work the best we could. I was astonished of some of the progress we were able to make and how I was able to still connect with colleagues even remotely.

I really hope we well all take a lot of learnings from this period and evolve toward a better work-life balance through the help of remote work. Which will also mark the end of some kind of “surveillance manager”.

End of May was also the time to move out to a new flat with my companion. I couldn’t handle the neighborhood we were living in before, feeling unsafe, constantly in noise and frankly quite dirty. We were able to find a new flat in a really nice neighborhood where for the first time in my life I think I might be able to actually appreciate the Parisian life (look ma’, I’ll become a baguette influencer !).

It was also the time to see some friends back and I think I was this close to burst in tears when I saw my first friend after so many months. For someone who believed I would be able to live with not much social contacts, I was so wrong.

Seeing everyone trying to cope with this traumatizing period, I don’t think we’ll see a “new world” emerge. We’re all deeply traumatized, missing a lot of relationships, activities we loved, … This isn’t the time for global consciousness awakening, but more a time to heal our wounds and find back how much we crave human relationships.

This quarantine was quite a time to realize how a lot of people around me were living in a real bubble, thinking the whole world was suddenly gaining an eco-consciousness and becoming anti-growth. Most of the people don’t have a single thought about this neither do they grasp the whole growth concept. They miss their friends, sharing drinks, going out, going to the theater, buying something that sparks a little of pleasure.

This time made me realize how online platforms were riddled by activists living in their bubble thinking the whole world was acting as they do. The time after quarantine might prove to be quite hard for those people.

My learnings for this month were quite important :

  • Cherish my friends and family as they bring me so much joy and energy
  • Learn to let go of some relationships that don’t bring anything anymore and are riddled with tensions
  • Be thankful for the work I have, the chance I have to be able to work remotely and in a good environment
  • Take some distance from social networks and their biased views of the world
  • Reach out to people that seems interesting and propose to meet them in real life, create new connections
  • Create a bubble of calm in a noisy world

Simon Vandereecken

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