“We will never be the same again,” is the resounding sentiment that has risen in the face of the pandemic that changed the world, and inevitably, our lives.
While some people discovered how fleeting life can be, prompting them to become more spontaneous, others recognized the need to slow down and live a little. In the face of massive tragedy, COVID-19 has also given us the time to introspect and rethink our approach to life.
From simplifying their lives to gaining the courage to make it big, five women share how the pandemic pushed them into new phases of their lives.
Jagruti, 25, Bengaluru, Content Writer
Both good and bad things have happened to me because of the pandemic. My health took a hit, both physical and mental. In my head, I had hit a wall: It helped me make my most brave decision yet, which was to move out of my parent's house and switch cities from Mumbai to Bengaluru.
I used to have goals like “this is how much I want to earn or save before I take any kind of leap” but not anymore. I was stuck in a full-time content writing job that made me hate my work, so I switched to freelancing. The money is peanuts compared to before but I love the stories I write. I’m also trying to put together a PhD proposal. I don't think I would have moved out or decided to finally teach or pursue PhD had it not been due to the pandemic.
It's been a crazy ride and I don't think I will ever be the same as before.
Molshree, 22, Patna, Correspondent
In April this year, my whole family was declared COVID-positive. While all of us were fine, my dad, who is a liver patient, started collapsing day by day. Fortunately, he recovered but the hospital bill was in lakhs. We were privileged enough to pay the bills since I belong to a well-built family.
I realized how important it is to invest the money somewhere so that when such a crisis happens, I can pay for my bills, which is right now not possible with my salary. Hence, I am going to take health insurance soon, leaving everything aside that I had planned.
Earlier, I had also wanted to invest in my own digital publication. But, the pandemic disrupted so many businesses whereas only the food industry has remained slightly unaffected. So, now I am also planning to invest in this industry in the future.
Vaishnavi Prasad, 32, Chennai, Content and Communication Specialist
I had quit my full-time corporate job in 2014 and moved to freelancing roles in content development, digital strategy and also took up other side gigs like emceeing. Due to the pandemic, I had to shift back to corporate full-time as all my clients died out. Initially, when I started losing clients it was like any other low in a freelancer’s life. But, when the lull started to persist I started to panic. It took a toll on my mental health, and I began equating not having any work to my self-worth.
I was almost penniless, which prompted me to develop a huge saving mentality. Earlier, I used to subscribe to “live in the moment” and take each day as it comes. Now, I put away money every time I get a chance. I plan for things consciously and remind myself to think about money more and regularly.
Gunjan Hariramani, 22, Mumbai, Associate Creative Producer
Earlier, I wanted to move to the US or the UK but during the pandemic, I realized that I don't want to settle anywhere which is really far because if anything happens to me or my family, we should be around to take care of each other.
I've also come to understand what kind of people I want around me and who is worth spending my energy over better in the pandemic. When conversations with those people started to die down, unlike earlier, I didn't pursue them so much. I reevaluated my relationships with those people and just took a call to let the distance remain.
Kiran Singh, 43, UK, Lifestyle Coach, Author, Blogger
I was brought up with the idea that the more I had, the happier I’d be — so over the years, I filled my home with stuff. One afternoon in 2019, while journaling, I had a breakthrough moment where I realized that it was all rubbish, owning things did not make me happy, true happiness came from within. That is where my journey to simplifying my life started. First, I parted ways with more than 70% of my belongings. The pandemic made me realize I barely used all of the things I owned, so I let go of even more and this is still ongoing.
I also became a vegetarian. I had started cutting down on eating meat gradually but a couple of months ago I stopped it altogether. I am currently somewhere in between being a vegetarian and vegan, hoping to go vegan in the near future.
I cut down on my expenses and essential bills, simplified my overall life, business, finances, and more. I have created more time and space to focus my energy on what matters. COVID-19 taught me that we don't need that much to live a meaningful life.
(Edited by Sanhati Banerjee)