Covid 19: How it Changed My Life

Sigh… Covid 19. I think I need not explain how shitty these almost 2 years have been. As some countries start opening up their borders, we here in Singapore are still stuck in our tiny island city. As much as I am very grateful to be in Singapore, I’m so ready for this stupid pandemic to friggin end. Life as it was has changed. For some of us, it affected our jobs especially those of us who were/are in the tourism and hospitality sector. Many businesses have closed down. Some have lost loved ones or watched them struggle. And even for those who didn’t lose their jobs, businesses or loved ones, have gone through some form of stress and anxiety through this period. I definitely had a hard time coping.

Change of Plans

When we welcomed 2020, Shine and I had just booked our flight and accommodation to Paris. It would’ve been our first big trip to Europe together as a married couple in June last year. I planned a romantic itinerary to Paris Disneyland and Palace of Versailles before we possibly have kids. But alas, Covid happened. It felt very shitty especially when June 2020 came and went and I tried to distract myself by doing Instagram #stayhome challenges and focus on being a full-on homemaker but I kept thinking of what would have been if Covid didn’t happen and if we did go to Paris. I felt extremely miserable every time I think of the memories we could have made and how I had to start a family without ever having that romantic European getaway I’ve wished to have with him. We already had 2 years of our marriage go by putting everything else above us and I dread thinking that I will be on lockdown my whole life not ever being just us again, I can kiss yearly honeymoon, romantic dates and our sex life goodbye.

Re-evaluate Family Planning

We intended to go through IVF in June 2020 after that Parisian trip but I couldn’t go through with it. The IVF procedure will require that I not travel, had to go back regularly for check ups and that I had to jab myself daily. I was struggling emotionally at the thought of losing my freedom and my relationship with Shine as I knew it versus what society expected from me as a married woman. I wanted more time to work on our relationship but the truth is my age and Endometriosis won’t wait. It got to a point where I couldn’t bring myself to get out of bed or eat and had a panic attack. I finally had the courage to tell Shine that I couldn’t go through with it. I was surprised that he understood and didn’t get upset about it.

What does Covid have to do with family planning? I honestly don’t know if we would have gone through with it if there was no Covid and if we did go to Paris. We spent the first 2 years of our marriage delaying to have kids due to family obligations and now that Covid hit and halted our plans, it kind of made me confront my deep-seated issues. Also, I’m so grateful we had our own place during lockdown, I was able to finally have a clearer picture of my values without the influence of family, in-laws, relatives and the entire community shoving their opinions down my throat. There were so many Covid babies last year with everyone being on lockdown and nowhere to go. When the lockdown eased up, it was difficult to meet-up with friends because almost everyone was expecting, lol! And it was around this time that what felt like the whole universe was interested in my fertility some going as far as to persuade me to “just try” because “I will regret if I don’t” and some even avoiding me. People are weird. Well, we did end up starting a family during lockdown, with Baeley entering our lives.

How It Affected Relationships

Social distancing restrictions have made me realise who cared about us and the people who don’t. I took this as a time to detox from certain people and give some their space to grow or heal. Being an introvert, I really needed that space to myself, however, some didn’t take it very well. Since we are limited to only 5pax and then 8pax for a very short while then back to 5pax, Shine and I hang out with the same people frequently because it’s naturally easier to keep in touch and meet up. Also, smaller groups cause less drama. But of all the shit that Covid has caused, the one thing I did not expect and I’m most grateful for is that it brought me closer to my family once again and Shine has a big part to play in it. Social restrictions also meant I spent many one-on-one lunch and double dates and it’s easier for me to connect since I’m horrible at multitasking and loathe big groups and fussy family functions, I’m thriving in keeping with social gathering rules, lol!

How It Affected the Way I Create Content for Social Media

Social Media for me is more than just scrolling through a feed, it’s also a means of earning money as a content creator. Cringe but it’s no surprise, I’ve been doing this for a while. But since Covid hit and the lockdown, many lost their jobs and some were bored with nothing to do, many have started doing this too. After restrictions eased and people started going back to the office, some still continued making money off content creation especially those working from home and SAH moms. So the pool is now very saturated and since Singapore is so small, just like in any field, most of us are connected. So you can imagine how my feed looks like; ads after ads. I know it’s contradictory since it’s a part of my income but nobody likes to be flooded with ads all the time. So I kind of fell on and off the radar and I started to post more personal posts.

It was also hard to watch my following numbers take a dive since I transitioned from travel, fashion and beauty to home decor. Even now that our country is starting to open up, cases keep going up and down, its hard to keep up. Occasionally, I try to go out to take some OOTDs but having a mask on put a damper on my look and mood. Hence, the reason why I shoot most of my photos at home and why the big transition.

Taking Up New Hobbies

Almost everyone I know took up some form hobby during this period, baking or cooking. I took up gardening! IKR, shocking! If you told me 3 years ago that one day, I’d rather spend my time and money shopping at a nursery than Orchard Road and watching YouTube videos on propagating succulents than makeup tutorials, I’d call you crazy. But alas, here I am checking up my local garden centre on a weekly basis. It started somewhere after I had my meltdown and was looking for a live plant to place beside the fountain to get myself out of a rut but it died. I bought another plant from NTUC to experiment. I read and researched the way I use to for Vintage designer goods and it thrived! It gave me confidence to get another plant and soon, I learned about our local nurseries and I started Nursery hopping, lol! I accumulated a small collection of houseplants since. I also learned that, just like shoes and bags, I love certain species more than others. I don’t know what it is but I love watering, repotting and generally caring for my plants, it gives me a calmness and a sense of purpose. Besides gardening, I’ve also started to repurpose and DIY pots and other garden deco. I’m hoping to sell some of my work. I hope you’ll support me and I’ll definitely give you a discount.

So there you go, my first blog post after a really long time. I forgot how good it feels to share my personal thoughts versus Instagram where I have to put up a pretentious positive front or be labelled a Grinch. Till the next time, stay strong and stay safe.

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Isabelle is the editor behind Love Bella Vida, a Singapore Lifestyle Blog. Thank you for your continued support. Should you wish to collaborate, feel free to get in touch.

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