A peek inside my head

A splash of my thoughts in simple words, written by https://emasuriano.com/

This article is connected to my previous one, where I wrote about the first 5 days in Quarantine.

Current situation

3 weeks have passed since the city where I live (Berlin) started to apply measures against this virus. The measures are basically, all the shops are closed (except supermarkets and pharmacies) and, luckily we're not in lockdown yet, so we're allowed to go outside but groups of more than 2 people are forbidden.

Comparing us to other countries: Italy, Spain, France, etc. the rules we have here are not that strict. Nevertheless, I don't think this going to last for long ...

Some numbers

At the moment of writing this, the official number of infected people in Germany is 54k.

Only one week ago, the number was 20k, and by checking the graph, I realize that every day the number of infected people increases by around 5k.

Germany already declared the official lockdown in the zone of Bavaria. So if the numbers continue to grow like this, I can see Germany applying the same lockdown in the north too.

General feeling

Since the start of this pandemic, I followed the latest news closely. I was reading articles daily about the topic, listening to several podcasts and I even watched some documentaries about pandemics.

It's like one enters in this state of endless information circulating thought your head:

  • Live updates of the numbers of infections per country.
  • The measure to control the growth of the virus in X country.
  • Different vaccines or cures for the virus.
  • Too many Opinionated conferences by the president of X country.

And the list can go and go ...

I think that being informed about what's going is a good thing. But at the same time, it's quite unhealthy for ourselves. We're the whole time worried about something that sadly we can't fix.

What is the world doing?

The measures that mostly all the countries have taken was to suggest/demand/force/[use the verb you want] people to stay at home and do quarantine until the situation improves.

The main goal of this is to win time.

Something that is a true fact is this virus will be all around the world. At one point, everybody will have it. Therefore, if we can slow down the progress of the virus, we can save thousands of lives!

This strategy is widely known as Flattening the Curve. In the following image, you can see the relation between the amount of daily infected people and the time passed, and a second line highlighting the capacity of the health care system.

Flattennig the Curve

Given that there is no official cure or vaccine for the virus, this is the only thing we can do at the moment to fight the pandemic. But this solution created other huge problems.

DISCLAIMER: On this occasion, I don't want to talk about economics, politics or idealogy of what's ethically correct to do or not to do. Those are big topics and I don't have the time and knowledge to cover them well.

Quarantine + Uncertainty

I would like to touch the relation between this situation where we need to “stop living” (Quarantine) and wait for an unknown date (Uncertainty).

We, as humans, are continuously searching to have control over our situation. We like to know, what's going to happen and when. There might be some people that are more relaxed than others, but overall we like to have control over our life. Well, at least I like to have ...

The fact we don't know when this is going to end, it's what I'm most afraid of. When am I going to be able to live my “normal” life?

To be honest, I don't have a crazy lifestyle at all. But things like having dinner at home with my friends, or clubbing it's something that I definitely miss ...

The other day while talking with one friend. We were talking about how the Quarantine going for each other and, she said this phrase:

I'm worried that life won't be the same as before.

Well, I think she over exaggerated a little bit. I do think that life will be back to normality in one moment. But I would re-phrase it into:

I'm worried when life will the same as before.

And in the meantime, what can we do?

It's time to create new opportunities!

This is the moment when we need to switch our behavior from reactive to proactive, by pushing ourselves to try new things and we didn't do before of time constraints or maybe we didn't even know about.

For example, a lot of friends came to me saying they want to start programming. Others asked me about recipes, or how to do meal preps. And of course, I was very happy to help them!

In my case, I'm pushing hard to improve my German. Every morning, at least I do 1 hour of German before I even turn on my computer or check my phone notifications. And in addition, I have twice a week remote classes with my teacher (yes, I finally found a good teacher!).


To close

On a lower or bigger scale, we are all being affected by this virus. I hope you, your family and anyone in your inner circle are doing well. In case you want to talk, you can always reach me using the private messages of the social platforms or you can send me an email.

Thank you for reading.

Ema.

Current situation: Today is the fifth day that I'm staying at home due to this virus that it's threatening the whole world.

I have to admit that despite all my initial enthusiasm for being at home and be able to work from the couch, this is going hard on me.

Life has just been halted, and no one knows when it's gonna start up again ...

I prepared myself for this ...

If you had asked like 1 or 2 weeks ago what was my feeling with the Corona situation, I would have said:

“This is just to panic people, it's not that serious at all”

At that moment if you have checked how many people were affected and died because of the virus, I was right! This virus was not lethal at all. But what most of the people were not thinking about was how much the virus can spread. And how is possible that 2% of death, will end up killing so many people globally.

Last week was “the last drop in the glass”. It was the week when most of the countries announced the quarantine, borders closed, flights canceled, events shutdown and mostly every possible social interaction was over too.

So I knew in advance that “dark times” were coming, and one of the things that I wanted to avoid at all cost was to fall down in the boredom or solitude. So I came up with a plan!

I built a Home work out routine

Sports are a big deal for me, especially in the past month, I started training quite regular and intensive. Doing sports every single day of the week. Besides the good health benefits, it's something that fills me and makes me happy.

Therefore I had to think of a way to keep going and not lose the progress I made and most probably my motivation. I built my own “gym” at home I can train every morning for 40 minutes, and it actually works!

I bought something called “elastic bands”, with which I can train practically everything I do in the gym but at home. You have to be a little bit creative with it, but after watching some YouTube videos I managed to have a killer full-body routine.

This is by far one of the best things from this period.

I started to have remote lessons of Germans

One of my goals for 2020 was to finally defeat this freaking hard language, and March/April was the month that I wanted to start again the german classes.

Suddenly the whole fucking world tore apart, then schools closed, and everything stopped. And I said, “Okey if I can't attend a course, then I will bring it to me”. So I started taking remote German classes.

At this moment I only took 2 lessons, both with different teachers. I wanted to have an overview of how it feels to have remote classes, and it was a good experience.

Now I need to decide with which teacher I want to continue, but it's good to know that the option is there and that I don't have to stop my learning process because of this.

I came back to gaming like the good old times

I've never been what people called hardcore gamer, but I used to play quite a lot. Like 1 or 2 hours per day was a normal thing for me.

Then I moved out of Argentina, I have a job, I start to regularly do sports, hang out with friends, party on the weekends, etc. And sometimes I felt that I disconnected from the games that I love and enjoy so much.

Luckily when I went back to Argentina in 2019, I took my “gaming” computer with me back with me. I assembled all the parts and yeah I was using it ... just to see Netflix on the TV ...

Now I took another try and started playing again, and it's soooo much fun! I managed to finish some games that I started but never finished (Control is one of them), and also started fresh and new games, like Call of Duty Warzone or Disco Elysium.

So yeah, I'm happy that I came back to this old habit. Some people might consider it a bad habit, that you're not actually accomplishing anything by playing video games. But for me, this is a way to stay lean and to disconnect, at least 30 minutes, from the craziness that we're all living.

The bad things

So given what I said before, this doesn't look as terrible as I said in the introduction right? Well let me tell you the other side of this, and what I really struggle with.

The lack of context switch

Most of the people will agree that context switch it's bad for productivity because it makes you think of several things at the time, and it's better if you focus on only one thing. By doing so, you are going to achieve more things and most probably with better quality.

And I agree with that. But the problem here it's not the constant switching, the problem is that there is no switching at all ...

During my entire day, I'm basically in two rooms: the kitchen, where I eat, and the living room, where I work. And that's it ...

Comparing with how it was before, the amount of working it's still the same, but I had the chance to change my context, by going to the gym before work, walking inside the office to another floor, or after work, I go to play football, see some friends, etc.

Please don't blame me, I'm not saying that remote working it's bad or anything. My point here is when you stay in your house, not because you like it because you have to, it's very hard to disconnect your mind and relax.

Keeping motivation up

I consider myself a person who always want to achieve something, who has a plan for the day. Actually it's a simple TODO list, with around 5 or 6 things that I want to mark as done at the end of the day.

I've been doing this (it's actually called Bullet Journaling in case someone wants to look at it) for about 1 year now and I think it really helps to stay on track with my goals and also not forget about events.

Some people find this practice very formal and that I should let life go freely, but for me doing this makes me feel secure and productive.

And that's exactly what I've been feeling that I start to slowly miss, productivity. I actually don't know the proper definition of it, and to be honest, I don't think I need to know it.

For me productivity, it's something that I can feel. When I'm in this mode of rampage, jumping from one problem to another, fixing this, talking with this person, getting the information about that. It's like a force that pushes me to do more.

And well, I don't know what's going on but I feel that force it's becoming weaker or something. I'm not being able to mark as done as many tasks as before, and I just move them to the next day, and the same happened the day after.

To sum up

I'm fine, really. I'm saying this because people, when they read this, think “Oh shit, he's having a very hard time”, and it's partly true but I'm not going to commit or some stupid thing.

I did this because I felt the need to sit down and start writing about everything that it's spinning inside my head. Some people write it down in a diary, I like to post it online, it's a matter of taste.

Lastly, I would like to know if you are up to have some call, just to chat, and see how can we make this situation better for both. I'm sure that I'm not the only one having these problems.

Thanks for reading.

Ema.

Hello there! Maybe you know me, maybe you don't, TBH I don't care that much. Since I started doing journaling I realized I gained a huge skill which is writing down my feelings, thoughts, and emotions in the paper. Which is amazing!

But those things, besides being personal, sometimes I feel that I would like to share them with friends, family, or maybe with anonymous people. I think there is something special when you share a piece of work with someone because it forces you to take it outside your head and give it a sort of shape for others.

That process of re-construction is incredible for the human mind. And IMO the best thing is that everyone can do it, you don't need to have a degree or to be smart (I don't believe in smart or dumb people, but that's what the society call them) to write down your thoughts.

This is not the first time ...

The thing is, this it's not my first attempt to open myself out there, I shared them inside social media. Because you know, it's like where you have your “friends” and they love and everything (this is going to be inside another post for sure).

I consider my self a regular user of social media. Luckily I'm not addicted like the rest of the society (or that it's what I believe, it's like an alcoholic who says that doesn't drink as much as his colleagues 😂). But yeah, I do use social media every day.

I don't if this is my feeling, but every social platform has a goal to achieve, and maybe that's why there are a lot of them. To support my idea I have this example:

  • Twitter: short posts and I hate that. Why on the earth I have to limit myself to 140 characters?
  • Instagram: just pictures and flat comments.
  • Facebook: it's supposed to be the super social media because it has all the features in one platform. But nobody uses it nowadays, so what's the point?
  • Whatsapp: is that a social platform or chat application? Well, it has the status feature...

I'm sure there must be way more examples, but those are the ones I use the most and I consider to posts this kind of thing. I don't this kind of content will be suitable for LinkedIn 😅

Given the list from above, I started sharing on Facebook, and more or less it worked. I think Facebook has some kind of algorithm to highlight an important message of more than 100 words compares to a simple picture of you eating in a hamburger place or drinking beer in a bar. I'm glad that it works like that!

The deal with this is those posts were way more important for more than the regular pictures I frequently posted on the platform. Up to a point that I would love to have a filter feature to hide the “random” stuff from the important. IN the end, I was posting my thoughts, people read it for a day or two (depending on if they enter Facebook close to that date) and then get forgotten.

Trying something new

So I realized that social media posting does not for this purpose. Therefore, I was looking for some kind of platform that allows me to write in a pretty simple way, without any hassle and of course without paying any extra money.

And I found this platform called write.as which just works. Like it's quite simple to start (I love the fact that the starting page is an empty text input), free and in case I feel the need to make some post anonymous I can (I will not do it).

So yeah, this is how I will share my “mambos” (very slung way of calling thoughts in my country). Some questions that I feel coming soon after publishing this:

  1. “Are you ok Ema, do you want to talk?” Yes, I'm fine, I fell much better when I free myself writing. We can talk any time you want buddy :)
  2. “Why are you writing in Spanish if you are from South America? (vende Patria)” So yeah, my native language is Spanish and my English has a lot of grammar mistakes but it's exactly for that reason that I want to write in English: to improve it. For example, one year ago I wasn't able even to fully express myself in English and now I'm here writing about my internal thoughts!
  3. “Man, you are quite opinionated with what are you saying, I really don't agree with you...” Yeah, that might happen, bro. Something that Twitter taught me is that the Internet is free of saying whatever you like or feel like, and I think that it's amazing. I prefer to be open and totally honest and not please the rest of the people just to have more likes/claps/hearts/[whatever you want to give to people to show appreaciation].

How is it going to work?

Well, I really don't want to force myself to write every week about what's going on in my life, this is not a blog at all. So yeah I will post when I feel the need to sit down for about 30 minutes of freewriting about anything that it's going along my head.

I consider myself a perfectionist person (I'm trying to get out of it, but it's quite hard), but these posts are not going to be perfect at all. As I said, I'm writing as I normally don't do. Never erasing sentences. Always going forward. It feels amazing.

Most probably I will share these thoughts inside my social media because the goal of writing here is to have people reading this... But now I have a centralized thoughts place to go back when I want to revisit my past self 🤔

So yeah I think that's all, thanks for reading and in case you want to talk with me, just reach me out. I check my email daily.