Still Alive (still in lockdown)

Has a year really passed, or did we just dream it?

This is the first time in a while that I’ve been able to write something with the full intention to hit ‘publish’. So if you’re seeing this, the odds of more to follow are ever in your favour. Or mine. Something like that.

It’s been eight months since I last posted, and almost a year and a half since I posted any kind of update. I, like many, have been what could be described as fatigued from being alive. Early last summer I had a brief moment of creative energy, only to be cut short by said fatigue.

And it’s not for want of trying.

As I type this, I can see I have over twenty posts sitting in the drafts, and countless others in my head. I’ve had a blog overhaul planned since what now feels like the dawn of time, and an absolute abundance of stage recordings lined up. And that’s just blog-related; in terms of my stagecraft(s), the to-do list is endless.

But every time I’ve tried to that energy into something – online and off – I’m hit with a wall of no. It’s a really hard feeling to describe, but it’s like a mental version of that Simpsons scene where Sideshow Bob is surrounded by rakes, and every step he tries to take tips the rake-pole up and into his face. In my case, every time I try to do something, my brain blindsides me with a definitive I don’t want it.

I have no idea what it is. I don’t know what it means. And it’s frustrating as hell.

For some, quarantine has boosted creativity and opened doors to opportunities they’d never considered. For others (probably more than anyone cares to admit), it’s been suffocation by another name. I think I’m in the latter camp, but for more than just my work.

The last year has challenged my normally optimistic outlook to the point of hopelessness. I don’t have good updates, because on a personal level, a lot of things in my life have…not been great. Like many, 2020 was not a year to ‘recharge’ with all this extra ‘free time’.

My last update was October 2019. Between then and the March lockdown, I had been working flat out. A pop-up show, two Christmas cabarets, a Christmas showrun, a new job, and plans of moving into a new place after saving for so long. In January, I’d posted about one of those shows with the full intention of doing the same about everything else – I still have it all lined up on my desktop.

Between January and March, work spiked, and I didn’t have the time to follow through, but I knew I’d make up for it when I could. Then came lockdown, and we all know what happened next (…unless you’re not in the UK, in which case: we were told we’d reopen in 3 months, 3 months became August, it caused a second wave, and then the 4 nations have been in and out of lockdown ever since).

Maybe something has finally shifted, and I’m feeling more open. Or maybe I’m just trying to distract myself from my second day of sinus headaches thanks to barometric pressure change, it’s hard to tell. But I’m trying to override my Sideshow Bob vs rake instinct, and coming back here seems like a good place to start.


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