7-14 days

Hello from a free Simona. My last quarantine update was a week ago. Encouraging, but words that were subtly claustrophobic described the first week of quarantine. A week made up of discoveries, many questions and an immeasurable trust of this new adventure with an unusual beginning. My calendar was the protagonist of a battle, not so internal anymore.

Day after day, the red Xs followed one another and I was already looking forward to the moment when I would be free. The previous week had given me some experience and I, with a certain hubris, felt ready to face the second one. But, as always, life is there, ready to teach us otherwise.

But how did the quarantine go?

The second week of Simona’s adventures in isolation began with a motivated Monday, full of energy, slightly impatient due to the little variation of the scenario, but always optimistic. What in the first week began to seem necessary had now become vital for my survival. The little things, superfluous in an existence without quarantine, at that precise moment had taken on priority.

For example food. Anyone who has read the first part of this story will know that I am Italian and as a respectable citizen of my country, I maintain a certain list of needs. First of all food. I would say that, by definition, almost all the quarantines that can be called such have an absence of variety in the diet. Mine, however, had reached such a monotony that it even made me regret the ham and pineapple pizza, eaten during a trip to Brighton, I had at the age of fourteen. Anyway, let’s not say that Italians only talk about food. So, we’ll continue with the list.

The first week without speaking to anyone in person had been almost interesting, cathartic, purifying. Certainly noteworthy in my memoirs. However, in the second one, the weight of loneliness began to be felt. The laughter of my roommates in the other part of the house, was so inviting and at the same time heart-breaking; like looking out of my window and seeing my neighbour’s birthday party, to which I haven’t been invited to. Nevertheless, as it is common to say:

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”

From this quarantine I came out invigorated. But, most importantly, I got out of it. Marking the time of my days were meetings with the members of GEAI. My only contact with the outside world. A world in which I was very eager to participate, but which seemed increasingly distant. I believe that the time of a quarantine passes a bit like the time of a cat’s life. The first year of life, for the latter, corresponds to 15 years of the life of a human being. Therefore, after all, this last week of isolation for me was lasting about three feline months. I could therefore feel satisfied with how I was dealing with it.

Survival strategy

The first rule in order not to lose sight of the goal (and, if necessary, also the mind) is to organise. Planning the whole day gives the illusion that everything is controllable, even a growing impatience. So, having said that, here is my isolation schedule, for my second week. Wake up at 8.20; breakfast from 8.25 to 8.45; personal care from 8.50 to 9.20. Introduction to the GEAI world and carrying out related activities from 9.30 to 17, with adequate lunch and coffee breaks, each followed by lashes of intermittent optimism. The evening was occupied by reading books and watching films, mostly in English, with the right purpose of improving the level of language comprehension. Believe it or not, my method can be said to have worked with some success, because the seven days are officially over.

Final thoughts?

This time alone, however, has also allowed me to reflect and think about how many opportunities I have in front of me, thanks to this volunteer opportunity with GEAI. How many things I have the chance to learn, to discover, to see, thanks to this decision that was not so easy to take. An old Italian proverb says: “When you leave the old road for the new one, you know what you are leaving but you don’t know what you’ll find”.

Inevitably, a thousand doubts, uncertainties and fears come to the mind. But, at the same time, however, by making this choice, an infinite series of possibilities opens up; possibilities which I would never have had access to if I had not made this decision. Therefore, for the first time in my life, I savour the sweet taste of uncertainty. Without fear, because in this case I know that it is nothing more than the prelude to something unknown, new and beautiful. I don’t know where this will take me, but I know for a fact that the journey will be very exciting. And, finally, after a long wait, I am free and from today my new adventure begins. Here, in beautiful Ireland.

If you follow my blog, I will take you with me, in the discovery of what will be.

That’s me, happy to finally be outside.

If you haven’t already, check the first part of Simona‘s quarantine diary. Find out how Marine‘s and Silvia‘s quarantine went and how Tania is dealing with volunteering from Belarus!