Week 16: Life goes on in this “new” normal
The world can seem like a scary place. In a post-pandemic world, it can seem even scarier.
At least, to me.
2 years ago, “WFH” becoming a thing and strict lockdown (and curfew) rules set me right in the centre of my comfort zone — being away from crowds. Whilst it got lonely at times, on most days, I felt free as a bird. For the first time in a long time I wasn’t absorbing others’ emotions and constantly watching and responding to people’s reactions throughout the day. It was the most at peace I’ve felt in a long while.
Fast forward 2 years later, in a country that is basically living on a roadmap to endemic, I’ve been forced, once again, outside of my comfort zone. Uni classes are now face-to-face by default, people have started returning to the office, and international travel is now a reality.
As part of my Master of Science in Innovation course at SMU, we are required to travel to Boston for a school visit to Babson College. It is an intensive, week-long, visit where we hear from speakers in the entrepreneurial and innovation space, and then pitch our ideas in return. It is supposed to be a great experience, minus the hassle of getting past pandemic travel rules and the very cumbersome visa application process, of course.
But as I prepare for this trip, I find myself feeling very nervous. My planner self starts kicking into action every now and then, wanting to find the “best” way forward, to plan for every scenario that may happen, for everything that may go wrong. And time after time, I have to tame her and remind her to go with the flow, to “be water”.
It’s not like I haven’t travelled during the pandemic. I flew to Singapore from Melbourne slightly before the more infectious Omicron variant hit, and under stricter travel rules. I shouldn’t be this worried, right?
I guess, for now, it is back to making pre-departure checklists and lots of self-reminder that it is probably not as bad as I’m expecting it to be. And that despite the nerves, have fun, we must.
For life goes on, whether we like it or not.