Dear Lockdown: Here We Go Again!

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While people in America wonder whether Halloween will be canceled, the French president announced that France would be going into a full nationwide lockdown again (this time, with schools staying open). Today is day 1. 

After the lockdown in the U.S. last winter and spring, I, like many others around me, am tired of the whole no social life / no physical contact parts of 2020. Whereas last year I was fortunate enough to share the lockdown experience with a loving and caring romantic partner, this time I’m flying solo. Single and freshly moved to a new continent in the time of Covid … a memoir no one wants to read, probably because of its complete lack of plot. 

Here in France, every time you go out, you need to have an official paper with you at all times, that the police routinely checks, and on which you tick a box of listed options stating “legitimate” reasons to leave your house. Needless to say that dating and making new friends are not on the list. This morning, I went out to do some food shopping. The sun was shining and the sky was blue, but the streets were eerily empty, with shops closed, café terrasses deserted, and a few masked ghosts hurrying home with a bag of groceries or a baguette under their arm. Very post-apocalyptic-wartime atmosphere. 

I never thought I would get to taste the joys of lockdown in two different environments and countries.  In the U.S., I had vast open spaces, nature and trees, a quick drive away. Here, I am in a medieval city made of white stone, with narrow alleyways, and a small but beautiful botanical garden I can run to daily, whenever my nature cravings get too strong. There, I could cook, talk, hug and have sex with my partner, or pet (and, of course, talk to) my beloved cat. Here, I have a small but cosy apartment, and just myself to talk to in the mirror. 

I’m feeling a bit tired and exhausted at the prospect of spending a whole winter with no intimate or physical contact with another human being. Zoom just doesn’t always do the trick. 

So I am going to have to be resourceful. Reconnect with the creativity I set aside during my PhD: painting, drawing. I missed it so much. Reconnect with the joys of baking and cooking in France, where quality produce and recipes are abundant. Reconnect with myself, and my hard-won ability to be content and happy while being alone, and single (it really took me years to get to this point). As long as it’s not forever, I can navigate the lonely yearning for connection with grace. 

Thankfully, remote job opportunities are appearing on all sides, and I have the luxury to be able to choose between those that speak to me the most. As those of you who have been reading this blog know, I wasn’t really satisfied during my 6 years (or 10++ if you count the pre-grad school years) in Academia, a field that ended up limiting my sense of freedom and creativity, and spiking my anxiety levels, to a degree that was seriously unpleasant, rather than fulfilling.

This weekend I have several job interviews lined up. One of my committee members wants to hire me as her editor/research assistant starting Monday, for her new book on schizophrenia. I’ve also been asked whether I’d like to translate a book by a world-famous American philosopher called Martha Nussbaum into French. I applied to a bunch of translation and copy editing jobs, at various companies, and many are offering me remote projects. And last but not least, in a couple of hours, I have a Zoom interview to become editorial manager for an Eating Disorder Recovery program and online blog. I would really LOVE for them to hire me. That position would allow me to combine my writing/reading skills with a broader, nonacademic vision that aligns with my values, my passion for therapy, and my desire to help others. The way this program talks about recovery also really fits my own conception and experience of it, as a process of self-discovery and self-healing that goes beyond mere acquisition of knowledge and behavioral change, but also requires that we dive deep into our emotions, heart, and soul. That’s basically my interview pitch! lol 🙂 No, but seriously, it’s also what I truly believe. We’ll see what they say.

So I probably won’t meet my new boyfriend in the upcoming months, but that’s ok. I’ll snuggle up in my new apartment, and dive deep into work, while making sure to set time aside for self-care and self-nurturing. And more WordPress. I never thought I would go from regular party-goer / bar-dweller / relationship addict to hibernating / single nun / sober / disciplined worker in my 30s. But maybe that’s what your 30s are about: calming down, figuring out what you want, and what’s possible given what life throws at you. E.g. a global pandemic. 

Sigh. 

Long story short: I miss BOYSSSS but I’m gathering my energy to invest in myself, my meditation practice, and the new work projects that end up being my companions this year, now that I am no longer a PhD candidate but a PhD period 🙂 Life is mysterious. 

Sending big hugs, 

Introspective-resilient-Anne

Published by nomorebeer

Learning how sobriety helps you ENJOY life.

23 thoughts on “Dear Lockdown: Here We Go Again!

  1. Wow!!! To everything, in general. Sometimes the weight of the pandemic unexpectedly hits me … it is fascinating to hear how they are dealing differently in France. How small is the city? I CANNOT imagine police enforcing that here (Minneapolis / St. Paul – 1 million people?) but I wish they would, because people just want to pretend it doesn’t exist and are being careless.

    Thinking about the winter is daunting for to me too, even with my regular routine / family life. Really try to take it one day at a time. (I really do distract myself from the void of cold and dark by saying OK what are you doing TODAY to make this day good?) It sounds like you have all the tools to develop good routines…. but UGH there are some things that just cannot be replaced…. you probably won’t even believe it but I was sitting around a fire with four middle aged moms like myself the other night and a couple of us said “I miss flirting! There is no one to flirt with anymore!!” Haha.

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    1. hahahaha I would have loved to be there around the fire, I would have said the same thing 🙂 Yes, setting an intention or goal to make the day a good one is a great tip, thanks so much for the reminder! Taking things day by day is so much easier than winter by winter 🙂 ❤ xxx big hugs xxx Anne

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  2. “I miss boyss” made me laugh out loud. Thank you for making me smile. I’m excited to read about the next chapter your life is going to make and the amazing meals. I think we’re heading into a full scale one here too. Wish we had papers, in England it seems really divided xx

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    1. hehehehe 🙂 argh I hope everything is ok in the U.K. It’s crazy how everyone’s experience is different depending on which country/city/neighborhood they live in. But in the end we’re all in it together too. Sending big hugs your way xxx ❤ Anne

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  3. Wow, life sure is challenging where you are. That being said, the job opportunities sound interesting. I really hope you get the ED recovery editor position.

    Here in the Netherlands, we’re still in a partial, sort of, “intelligent” lockdown and the government is too much of a sissy to want to enforce it. I’m so glad though I can still see my husband (we don’t live together, as I’m in a care facility). Back in the spring, care facilities were closed to visitors.

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  4. Reconnecting sounds wonderful. Try to embrace instead of resist. This is all part of the greater plan for Dr. Anne. (But I know it sucks and is downright difficult.) I’ve stopped saying “What are the odds?” And “What else can go wrong?” Now, confronted with life, I just try to take a step back (maybe smile a little and nod my head) and think of something I can do that will bring me peace. Baking, writing, gardening, walking, birdwatching. So what if I sound like I’m 80…this is 2020! We do what we can! Hugs.

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  5. There are so many positives in your post (which I loved reading by the way) and I just know that despite the huge challenges this situation brings, you’ll use the time to your advantage. This is temporary. You can still connect and meet new people (ie boyss) just online and in the virtual world for a while. Two of my single friends have met their new partners in the past 7 months exactly that way. This also gives you time to focus on you for a brief period. Those job opportunities sound fantastic, get stuck into that. Then you’ll be on an even better place when that gorgeous and adorable man comes your way. If you feel too lonesome I’m happy to chat over email. We can make some yoga teaching, dog owning plans for the future. 🤗🤗😘😘❤️

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    1. yessssss thank you Claire for drawing out the positives. Today I felt good, peaceful and grateful 🙂 and yes to emailing this winter, I would love that! I have to link my wordpress and normal email accounts, because I never check the wordpress one and keep missing emails from people. xxxx ❤ Anne

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  6. wow…you got to/get to experience this pandemic in two countries? i find that both amazing and also such an opportunity . yeah, i know that sounds silly because many would see the opposite- as in”oh my god, i have to do this all over again”, etc. But being still here in the U.S. and just knowing deep in my soul that we are hell-bound for another grim reality ( a second lockdown , even more restricted than this last one) as those who flaunted their right to freedom over others right to stay healthy will be forced to either acknowledge their careless ways or alternately continue to complain bitterly, i envy you! and hey- boys come & go..you’re still young and have so much good stuff going on . As others have suggested above “embrace it”…hugs!!

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  7. Well Anne- You won’t find any BOYSSSS on these sober blogs – but if it’s MENNNNN you’re after looks like you’re spoilt for choice (was that the sound of laughter wafting across the English Channel?) Seriously though, tough luck on landing in a tightly controlled Lockdown. Look on the bright side you can start working on the short story competition- I’ve had some ideas😀 x

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    1. hahaha Boyz2Men. !!!!! We need to convince people to join the competition! Dwight said no. I don’t know about Claire and DGS 🙂 if you do the rallying I’ll do the organizing 🙂 (me? procrastinating ? noooOoo!)

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      1. I see stubbornness is one of your traits😉 . I’ll do some rallying- see what response we get- maybe rally the troops via a post? Say yes and I’ll get cracking- tout suite as they say somewhere in Europe X

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  8. Ugh. Lockdown by yourself in a new place does sound daunting. I’m sorry. But I have faith in you to make the most of this chance to really focus on yourself and your future. Congratulations on the job offers. Those all sound like very interesting projects. xo

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