Thursday, August 20, 2020

Being cooped up at home is no joke.

I have never considered myself to be an extrovert. Ever since I was a child, I liked hiding in a corner during parties away from the crowd. At school, I built shabby forts in nearby forests or cemeteries that I could retreat to during break times. At home, you'd find me somewhere quiet reading a book or playing video games on my Gameboy. And yes, I preferred my Gameboy over the PlayStation because it gave me more me-time. I also had private conversations with my stuffed toys and - more often than I'd like to admit - with myself.

I was the weird girl at school. The loner. The outcast. The different one. I preferred reading a book while listening to rock music on my Discman in an empty gym or even a bathroom stall over gossiping with other girls over lunch. (Yes, I hung out in bathroom stalls sometimes because it was the only place I could get some privacy when I became a little "popular" in high school because of my dad's esteemed position at work.) And although it might not seem like it, I am still like that today.

People think I'm outgoing because I go out a lot and drink and socialize. The truth is: I don't like the socializing part. I give everybody who tries to talk to anyone at my table the evil eye, and I absolutely HATE it when I don't get informed about people who will be part of our nights out. The fun in the socializing part only happens after I've had too much to drink. See, tipsy Anj is veeeeeery different compared to sober Anj.

Sober Anj still very much likes hiding in her room, reading a book in a nook, playing video games in the dark, and talking to herself to sleep. So, when the quarantine was first announced, I thought it would be easy peasy living for me. But boy, was I wrong!

While it is true that I have had far more time to read books now and have read more books in the past five months than I have in the past five years, and I have finished video games I otherwise never would've finished if there wasn't any quarantine... I have to admit that quarantine is complete hell.

There is no me-time in quarantine. In quarantine, I am stuck in a small house with my noisy and irritable family 24/7. A house where, the moment I wake up, someone is breathing down my neck because deliveries woke then up, something needs lifting, someone posted something funny on TikTok, or the dog took a shit somewhere he shouldn't have.

There is no escape in quarantine. While I could escape the outside world and retreat to my room pre-quarantine, there is no way to escape the inside world of the house during quarantine. As much as I want to leave and find some peace and quiet at a nearby coffee shop, I can't. It isn't safe. And let's not forget that most of my favorite coffee shops are closed now, having not survived the economic repercussions of the pandemic.

There is no peace in quarantine. I've been immersing myself in work throughout the past five months - mostly because I want to feel like I'm doing something productive with my life. Something important. But no matter how many auditions I do, how many books I read, how many languages I learn, how many articles I produce, how many videos I shoot, how many people I interview, or how many small businesses I help out; it never feels like I'm doing enough.

Granted, I may be doing that thing where I'm working myself to the bone and turning work into my boyfriend again, but I can't be bothered to find love right now, either. I have lost complete interest in practically anything that doesn't involve work or productivity, and that isn't necessarily a good thing.

Quarantine has definitely taken a toll on me - physically, mentally, and emotionally. I don't go anywhere, but I'm always exhausted. I'm always exhausted, but I can never fall asleep when I need to. I can never fall asleep when I need to, so I tire my eyes out until they shut on their own. It's definitely not the situation I had originally imagined it would be.

I am finding myself unexpectedly missing all of the things that I used to take for granted before all of this happened. The sleepless, crazily busy out-of-town trips for work; the quick coffee catch-ups with friends I hardly see anymore, the spontaneous "where are you"s in the middle of the night when I'm getting ready for bed, and the "two botts lang" lies that all served to be much-needed mental and emotional breaks. Breaks that I now have no idea where to get from.

Some people have been telling me... nay, reminding me... that "other people have it worse". I'm sure some people have said the same to you at least once during quarantine, too. Well, I'm here to tell you not to listen to them.

Just because your problems may seem less important than other people's problems doesn't make them invalid. It doesn't make you ungrateful or insensitive. No matter how small or petty some people might think your problems are, a struggle is still a struggle. If it bothers you, it bothers you. If it makes you feel bad, then it makes you feel bad. Don't beat yourself up for feeling sad about anything you might be feeling bad about.

No one can really know what your mental situation is like, how you feel, or how badly something is eating you up; so fuck what people say. In fact, let me start by saying: I fucking miss the beach. I miss putting on a women bikini and lying under the sun. To an outsider, that may sound like such a "privileged statement". But if you know about my mental struggles and my family situation, then you'll understand why I need to get away.

Stay home. Stay safe. Wear your masks. Wear your shields. Help end this, so we can all live semi-normally again.


  1. Thank you for sharing. No problem is too little. Hang in there. Pandemic ends. Stay safe.

  2. You look amazing. Stay Safe.