During the initial stages of lockdown, I vowed to myself that I would rest. I said to myself that I would try and not be productive during this “unusual period”. I even wrote an article about my feelings around this and echoed the numerous people who were also writing their think pieces about using this time to relax and more importantly, survive.
Sure enough within the next few days, I began recording covers for my social media page. I re-organised my whole bedroom. I started learning the guitar (I’m not that good at that yet). I started being productive. Which is exactly what I said I wouldn’t be doing. I’m a hypocrite.
But why did I suddenly start being productive when I vehemently said I wouldn’t?
First of all, I started getting scared. Even though we are locked-down, capitalism still loves to rear it’s backside. People were being way more active on social media and I felt the need to get my online presence together. I wasn’t even preparing to release a major music project - I guess I wanted to make sure that people don’t forget about me.
It does feel a bit silly trying to get certain things done in lockdown. Every other day, the fear creeps back. I want to be near my family but it’s not feasible at the moment to leave London. So I’m living by myself, without much of a support network, avoiding social media (because it can be a frightening place when you’re bombarded with numerous stories about death and the threat of things to come) and trying to survive. Maybe it’s the one ‘normal’ thing I have going on right now?
I’m also looking at the creative industry now and it’s looking bleak too. For example, well known local venues are being threatened with closure which is where artists like myself rely for small performances. What will the industry look like when things begin to equalise? What will my career now look like considering the live music industry is going to most likely change forever? I don’t know but what I do know is that we are all working with a lot of unknowns. So I decided to work with what I do know - music.
I love music. Singing is almost second nature to me. I started when I was 12 years old and every week, I would have a singing lesson with my teacher, Lisa. Almost a decade later, I still have them, although they’re now through Skype. When lockdown began, I was still singing. Challenging myself to sing using my whistle tone, learning popular Broadway songs. Singing was my safe space. It still is, so why not continue with it?
I find joy in having a small project to work on each week. They’re rough because I’m only giving myself two weeks to complete them. I’m learning about filming which has been surprisingly fun (and hard). Even the little things, like working on my Pinterest board! I’m managing my stress pretty well. When it gets too much, I back off.
I still do wonder if I’m stressing about all of this unnecessarily. Am I overthinking all of this? Or am I actually doing too much? I couldn’t tell you. But this current way of working is bringing me comfort during quarantine. Fine.