If for some reason you have come across the barren landscape that is my blog- then here is a catch up for you- filling you in on why I’ve been absent; in brief I can say it’s to do with being a keyworker and like many, not finding lockdown easy. But I have made some big life changes and looking forward to what the future holds!
When I came back from Italy in March it was early March, when coronavirus was yet to strike stupendously in the UK. Italy had been one of the first countries to be badly hit and I had to rush to the airport before a flight travel ban was imposed. Then when I was back in the U.K I quarantined at my parent’s, in my teenage bedroom. My mum cooked for me and left food on the stairs and I kept a distance for about a week then the NHS called me and said because I had no symptoms I could stop self-isolation. I could finally stroke the dogs, hug my parents and sit at the kitchen table with them. It wasn’t until after my week of quarantine did I begin to realise that I most likely had coronavirus in February anyway, after a trip to Florence. As a few days later I was struck with a high fever, horrendous cough, fatigue and general grotty feeling for about 3 days. Luckily I didn’t pass it on to the Italian family I was living with (I don’t think) because I kept washing my hands and they went ski-ing for a week when I felt rotten so I had the apartment to myself and could sleep and cough the time away…
Anyway, I’m fine now, apart from up until June I could not go for jogs or walk up hills without having pain in my lungs and struggling to breath. That’s what makes me think it was definitely COVID because others have experienced that too. I also had a return of very bad acne, after managing to clear it, it’s like I was back to square one again. This indicated my immune system had taken a blow. Now I feel back to my healthy, fit self (very nearly, I need to work on my sleep schedule) yet I’m grateful for my recovery because as we know, others are not so lucky with this deadly virus.
Because I had effectively lost my job as an au-pair due to schools and country closure, I knew I couldn’t sit around so I looked for a job as a carer and was soon snapped up by a company seeking employees. I began my healthcare training in April and then went out and about in the community, visiting the elderly or vulnerable in their own homes- checking their medication, preparing meals, helping with housework and providing companionship. It was a rewarding job but exhausting. It was ominous driving around during the peak of lockdown; it was like being in an apocalyptic film. I had to be vigilant with PPE and hygiene. I had to be smiley and positive for clients who were bracing themselves for a new way of life that was going to keep them indoors for months on end. For my clients with dementia, they regularly asked what my mask was for or even got scared because of it, sometimes it was difficult to explain to them.
I did manage though. And it was an income. I was grateful to have some financial stability and create bonds with clients who told me wonderful stories. Some days were tough, I remember I did a 15 hour shift once. I have sincere respect for health professionals who regularly do that!!!
Unfortunately living back with my family after not living with them full time for 4 years straight was testing, as I’m sure many other 20 somethings experienced too. I felt tension and a bit stifled, because my family members had their own worries and stresses- and were dealing with it in their way. I was worried, stressed and muddled about the future too. So I made the decision in June to move back to my favourite city of all, Norwich.
Norwich is where I went to university and have many fond memories. Also many good friends still there. It’s welcoming, bohemian, inclusive and cultural to summarise it if you’ve never been. I was able to transfer within the national care company I worked for . I must say I preferred the Norwich uniform to the one I had in Sussex! I found a beautiful, reasonably rent priced room close to my favourite park in the city. I had a housemate in July but then he left in August, so I had the whole house to myself. Which was amazing because it had a garden, modern kitchen, living area with a T.V and laundry room. It felt safe and homely. I also had someone in my ‘bubble’ as the government says, so I didn’t feel lonely. Some pics of the cosy, fresh home:
August was stress free; despite still being a key worker. Oh and when I scratched my lease car on a brick wall that wasn’t ideal…Yet I had space and time in calm surroundings to get my head straight. I saw a therapist weekly which really helped me. I never understood the hype around therapy and I understand it doesn’t work for everyone- but I was able to walk away with tips, understanding and confidence to pack in my suitcase for Rome.
Then, in the blink of an eye, I handed in my notice, returned my car, packed up my things and headed to the airport on September 5th. As I could go back to Italy.
This time in Italy I will still be an au-pair, just with a different family and part of Rome. Piazza Bologna this time! I have already discovered some glamourous cafes that make creamy cappuccinos and boutique shops where I have to resist the temptation to buy all the shoes…c’mon Georgia you have enough already!
The main reason for my return is that I have a magazine internship. With the lifestyle magazine ‘Romeing’. Insert heart eyes here! What a dream come true… In the middle of a pandemic I have somehow been granted this amazing chance to dip my toes in the water of magazine journalism and begin my creative career.
I have also secured a remote freelance job working for a psychic website too. So now I am regularly paid for giving psychic readings to clients all over the world and I find that incredibly rewarding.
A friend said to me in my last night in Norwich, “everything has fallen into place for you Georgia. Now you go chase those journalism dreams in Rome.” That I will. My ultimate goal is to have an article in Vogue one day. Judging by 2020, anything could happen. Let’s make it happen.
On the surface it looks like I have been very lucky, particularly in my career. However the pandemic has caused a family friction that may linger for many years. Yet I do think change is possible and things can be okay- different, but okay. Occasionally I feel anxious/panicky as I’ve experienced a lot of big things in a short space of time. But I am lucky to have very supportive friends who know how my mind and soul operates. I can lean on them, even if it’s a Whatsapp message if they’re far away.
Keep enjoying life, despite it’s incomprehensible madness- nobody’s experience of this pandemic has been truly the same. Lets lean on each other and hold out hope for easier days.