I have asked you on Instagram some time ago to send in any questions and curiosities you may have because I haven’t done a Q&A in quite a while now. While I answered some of the questions there, I kept those more serious and requiring a longer answer for this blog post. As most of them were related to this year, the pandemic, and life in general, I decided to post them together with some of my favourite photos I took this year as some sort of a wrap-up.
The last walk before lockdown (March).
How did the pandemic affect you mental health wise?
I consider myself lucky; I haven’t lost anyone to the virus and those who were affected fully recovered. However, I cannot deny that the pandemic and isolation increased my anxiety throughout the past months. I found myself feeling stressed and constantly worried about my loved ones and, if I’m honest, at times I even found myself excessively checking for symptoms in others. I have been dealing with mental health issues, including anxiety, for quite a while now, but, to my surprise, this ongoing situation hasn’t affected me as much as I thought it would. Although for many people the pandemic either sparked or amplified mental health problems, it seems that the emotional impact is rarely discussed.
You now live in one of the biggest cities in Romania, what do you miss about living by the countryside?
Nature! Regardless of how many parks and trees and green spaces there are I cannot feel as good and as at peace as I feel when I’m in the countryside. I miss birds chirping late in the evening and early in the morning, fresh air, the sound of the wind whispering through the forest near my house. I miss my dogs, cats, the roosters crowing and the sound of crickets at night. Although I love the convenience of the city (and there is more to city life than convenience), I can never imagine myself not living by the countryside. Hence, I am constantly nostalgic, swiping through photos that are “loaded” with meaning.
What are some benefits (if any) of the pandemic?
Decreasing carbon footprint is definitely one of them! Thanks to the pandemic (I am aware it sounds weird) there is tangible improvement in the environment; with most parts of the world in lockdown, the levels of nitrogen dioxide have decreased. On a personal level, I finally had time to do the things I always complained I don’t have time for. For instance, I read 70 books that otherwise I wouldn’t have had time to read, I finished writing my thesis 2 months earlier and I wrote tens of poems. It is difficult to find a positive side of the pandemic that has been wreaking havoc around the world, but, if we look ahead, there is potential good that could come out of this difficult situation.
What have you accomplished this year and are really proud of?
Despite all the difficulties and challenges, I graduated and I successfully enrolled in a Master’s degree program.
What helps you go through each day? What is your driving force?
Imaginative skills I use to cope with everything going on. When I was a child most of the time you would have found me up in the tree, daydreaming. My ability to imagine things and fantasize is my driving force and has always been my refuge. I also find myself often contemplating about what life actually is and how can I add value to both my life and others.
What do you think makes a huge difference in someone’s life?
Kindness, compassion, celebrating beauty in others and in nature, accepting responsibility, creativity and encouraging creativity in others, curiosity, gratitude and many more.
If humans can adapt to almost any change, why is it so difficult to do it? Why do we feel triggered when a small change in an unexpected way occurs?
I believe we find changes difficult because we are attached to our habits and because of our drive for consistency. Besides the wide range of feelings from excitement to anxiety, change always brings a certain amount of uncertainty and, as we love our comfort zone, we feel startled. However, we must not forget that we face many changes in difficult situations that sometimes can have an unexpectedly pleasing outcome.
What is your dream job?
I don’t think I have a dream job, but I would like to work remotely so I can spend more time in nature and less in the traditional office environment. I also dream about writing and publishing books, I have always wanted to be a successful author and I am trying to make it happen one way or another.
What feeling do you hate with a passion?
The fear of losing my loved ones. Regardless of being aware that death is an inevitable part of life, I cannot even fathom a life without the people I love.
What is something you are looking forward to in 2021?
Regaining the sense of normality and doing more of what I love.
Thank you for your questions, I hope you will enjoy reading the answers just as much as I enjoyed writing them. Down below you will find some of my favourite photos of 2020. Without further ado, I want to thank you for being here, reading my blog posts and offering feedback. Your support and kind words have made a difference.