Life is anything but easy. This is one truth we learn only when we leave our home, and step into the world to earn our place. Before this time comes—and it does come for everyone—our parents and guardians protect us from every danger out there. From their love and care, they create a small world for us where our every wish comes true. Meanwhile, parents prepare their children for the worst as well. They know life is unpredictable after all. But how unpredictable, other than time, no one can tell.
Unfortunately, you can’t prepare for something you can’t foresee, like the pandemic, and the consequential lockdown. They turned bad into worse, and worse into impossible. The lockdown was tough for everyone but even tougher for people living alone. Especially for a 20-something woman like me who was so used to the comfort of her home, getting stranded in a different city seemed like a death sentence.
Initially, the lockdown did seem like a death sentence. There was no one to ask for help. But after a few months, I realised it wasn’t so bad. In fact, the lockdown turned out to be an experience that helped me grow up and see the world in a new light. Here’s how.
I found order and balance
For the best part of my life, my parents were the ones who took care of bringing balance to my daily routines. Like a soldier, I followed their orders, and everything was perfect. I used to wake up early, eat on time, and manage to find time for studies and sports too. After the lockdown, when I was all alone, I had no choice but to take the reins of my life in my own hands. I cooked my meals, did my laundry, completed my work, and found enough time to relax as well. It was tough in the beginning. But when you don’t have any other choice but to keep pushing yourself, life becomes rewarding.
In the end, I realised, it’s all about managing your time well. That’s how you bring balance and order to your life.
I became more compassionate
Growing up I took a lot of things for granted. I was a pampered child who had her parents to look after her. I hardly cared about the world, the environment, or the life I was living.
During the lockdown, I started noticing the world around me. I saw how strangers helped each other to stay comfortable and safe. I saw how the environment began to heal on its own. Even animals roamed fearlessly. This was an eye-opener for me, and I thought to myself, “Now is the time to make a difference”. I took it upon myself to make sure I help anyone in need, humans, and animals alike.
I learnt the meaning of responsibility
For the first twenty years, life seems like a comfortable journey—as if it runs on autopilot, only later we realise it was our parents sitting in the cockpit. But sooner or later, you need to take charge of your life. This means, taking responsibility for your actions and decisions. I learned this lesson the hard way when the lockdown didn’t leave me any choice but to become responsible.
There was no cook to prepare food or a maid to clean my room. Neither there were any roommates to ask favour from nor any partner to share chores with. The only option I had was to start taking care of everything, one task at a time. I set a timetable for every chore and task. I used reminders and alarm to stay on track. Initially, it took me some time to become my own cook, my own maid, and my own support to fall back on. But then I get the hang of it.
The yoke was in my hands, and I was enjoying every moment of it.
I stopped taking things for granted
If there is anything the pandemic taught me, it is that life is precious, but also delicate and uncertain. What you have today can cease to exist tomorrow. The sooner you realises this truth, the better your chances of survival in this world. It’s not Darwinian, it’s simply how life works. I am grateful this awareness came to me early in life rather than much later, or never.
Before the lockdown, I had the freedom to go anywhere I want, meet my friends even during the late hours. When the lockdown was implemented, this very freedom vanished into thin air. Staying at home was the only option. But it also gave me time to introspect about every little thing I took for granted. A cup of tea with a friend, a walk in a park, movie nights with the besties—these experiences make our lives colourful. But seldom we feel fortunate or express our gratitude for such memories. I didn’t before, but now I do. So in retrospect, I don’t see the lockdown as the end of my adventurous life, but an experience that helped me grow up.