The past 3 months have been something I could never have predicted that I would experience.

I mean, who'd have thought that 2020, the year that we all most likely presumed would be 'our year', would be hit with a pandemic, months spent indoors and our lives flipped completely upside down? Who'd have known that those countless pennies we'd usually splash on Pret coffees and Primark candles would now be being spent on co-ord lounge-wear and Disney+ subscriptions?

Not. a. single. one. of. us.

Well, maybe the writer of The Simpsons had an inkling, but that guy knows everything for some reason..

You see, I came into this year so ready and so positive. I felt on a high, like this year would be a fresh start - a new decade of my life where everything would fall into place. I had thoughts of discovering more about myself, taking on new ventures, travelling to new places. I wanted this year to be one that would shape me into a new and improved version of myself.

I expected to see so much growth this year - for my friendships and relationships to flourish, for there to be a change in jobs, a change in income, a change in anything that could change, and, well, I guess there has been change, just not in the way that I thought.

At the beginning of April I was approaching each day with so much energy, so much calmness. I found myself learning to appreciate the little things in life again, learning to get fresh air and appreciate the birds singing in the trees. I had new ideas and new creative instincts, and I felt like I was ready to take on all of the things I'd been putting off for so long. For a while, it worked - everything felt okay and I felt like I was getting to do all of that 'self discovery' just in a different way.

The sun was shining down for us each and every day, and it was so easy to wake up and take on the hours of indoor time, surrounded by family, all wanting to use to the bloody bathroom at the exact time. It became normal to have days spent sat reading in the sun, my Mum worrying over my sunburn even though I'd been slapping on the factor 50 in the morning as a new daily habit, and even hearing my Dad's work phone calls through the walls because he's talking on the LOUDEST loud speaker had become normal to me.

I long for the feeling of calm I felt during that time. It wasn't the calmest of calms, but I felt more at peace, more 'okay' with tackling what had been put before me.

As the months have passed by and lockdown has continued, things have began to change. I mean, yes, the days are cloudier, more rainy, and seeing the sun shine lately is a rarity... but that's not exactly what I mean.

The distance from friends, my boyfriend, my usual life has begun to hurt. The days have begun to feel long, tiring, uninspired, and as someone who really relied on that creative spark to keep me going, I've started to feel a little lost.

I seem to lack energy, to lack drive. I only seem to find comfort late in the evenings when I know I'm finally *allowed* to rest and head to sleep. I constantly feel tired and it doesn't help that the sun has vanished from the skies, leaving behind nothing but grey cloud and pond-sized puddles in the streets.

Now, I know I'm not the only one feeling this. Rainy weather or no rainy weather, we've all started to feel, I guess, a little trapped? claustrophobic? unsure of how to fill our days? It's even hard to pin point what exactly the feelings are because it's just... surreal.

I feel so isolated (if you pardon the pun) here where I live. I don't have gal pals living round the corner who I can pop round and have socially distanced cuppa with, my relationship is one that relies solely on public transport or begging my Mum to chauffeur me around like Lady Penelope and Parker, and as much as I like time to myself, I don't like this much time alone.

It's just quiet here, I suppose.

I feel guilty for not having the energy I was full to the brim with at the start of April, I feel envy for those who have managed to see their partners and have romantic picnics in the park, I feel hurt by the way this year has turned out.

I think it's hard not to feel everything all at once right now.

However, no matter the amount of guilt or exhaustion or whatever I'm feeling, I'm trying to remind myself that... it's okay. If there is one thing that the last 3 months have taught me it's that, sometimes we all just need a god damn break and that is perfectly fine.

I mean, sometimes we're lacking energy because we're exhausted, sometimes we're uninspired because we've burnt our brains out, sometimes we're crying at the Friends episode we've seen a thousand and one times because we're PMSing and everything is sad at the time of the month, right?!

Whatever it is, we all need to give ourselves a chance to stop, to feel, to rest and breathe. I'm slowly learning to understand that.

Sometimes I just forget to breathe, as silly as that sounds. Sometimes I just let all these emotions and thoughts build up and up and up in my head and my chest and it's like I can't take in any more than that.

I guess what I'm saying is, I know this time has gotten hard. It really has for me. As much as the idea of going back to the 'norm' feels daunting, I think we all need it and we're all quietly longing for it.

I think if there's one thing I'll look back at this time and regret not doing, it's resting. I will regret it soooo much if I don't use this time to fulfill those lazy weekends or film days I used to dream about.

So, yeah, don't feel like you have to feel like you did in April, don't feel like you have to skipping through meadows like you did in May, just feel whatever you're feeling right now and roll with it. I know I'm trying to.

Take pleasure in those rainy thunderstorms, grab a cup of tea, cuddle up and watch some crappy TV. Don't force yourself to be thriving when, in reality, you and your body need to rest.

Put yourself first.

After all, it's been a long 3 months.

"in times of crisis, we must all decide again and again whom we love." - Frank O'hara