Portraits by Sian
I started writing this post weeks ago, and ended up putting a huge pause on it after suffering with my mental health during lockdown. Today (it’s Tuesday 9th June 2020 as I write), I thought I’d come back to my original draft and work on it again, especially given how much the world is changing at the moment. With the incredible Black Lives Matter movement that’s catalysing the biggest uprising in our time, there’s so much room for positive change.
A couple of weeks ago I also wrote that I didn’t and wouldn’t subscribe to our lockdown life being our ‘new normal’, and I’m definitely still in that camp. Even though I spent most of my time indoors anyway (homebody life is the best life), I surprisingly haven’t enjoyed being cooped up indoors and the past three months have taught me SO much.
Life after lockdown
I think it’d be remiss of me to assume that once lockdown is lifted, we’ll go about our old routines again. Although it’s sad to say it aloud, life pre-coronavirus is gone and we’ll likely – hopefully – never live that way again. I’m not talking about hanging out with friends or frequenting supermarkets and grocery shops way more than recommended (sometimes ya girl needs emergency chocolate or beer-battered onion rings from Tesco!), but how we interact with each other in society, in public.
Will we be more considerate and compassionate? Perhaps more understanding of each other, now that we’ve all lived a life of confinement alone, together?
Work-wise, I’ll continue to work from home. I run my own copywriting business, as well as hold a part-time job, and thankfully the new measures provided by my employer mean I’ll be able to continue working from home. I’ve spoken about this endlessly, but the work-life balance without a commute to and from London just can’t be beaten.
Travelling domestically and internationally has always been a luxury in my eyes. I don’t take it for granted for a moment that I’ve been lucky enough to travel across the world since I was a young child. Whether it’s to visit family over in Hong Kong and Malaysia or to explore a European city, I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities I’ve had. That being said, travel takes on a new height after this pandemic, for me. Is it a luxury? Or is purely frivolous? Living in lockdown for two months has taught me that I’m perfectly capable of enjoying a life well-lived right here.
There are lots of lockdown practices that have become commonplace in our lives now. Giving ourselves more time to allow for queuing at the supermarket. Ensuring we utilise our precious once-daily time outdoors. Wiping down surfaces regularly. Although I don’t expect our lifestyles to be quite this slow on the whole, I’m really excited to live life a touch slower. I’ll carve out even more time to get tasks ticked off, even if they’re just a grocery shop or Post Office trip. Before, I’d get really stressed out trying to stick to 30-minute slots to do each thing on my errands list, but now I’ll be happy to stretch the little things out for longer. I’ve had more time to spend on hobbies, for which I’m grateful for. In the hustle and bustle of everyday, menial life, it’s easy to lose sight of what makes you tick, and I’ve found that many parts of lockdown made me feel more ‘me’.
During lockdown, us Chai’s have been working away on our vegetable garden. Again, we’re really fortunate to have newly moved in to a house with a fully equipped veg garden at the bottom of our garden. We’re growing all sorts, and I’m genuinely amazed every time I get to cook using ingredients that we GREW. These habits, that I’ve also nurtured in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, will absolutely continue post-lockdown; I’d love to reduce my supermarket use, and curb going out so much.
Black Lives Matter; living with a growing, open heart
Over everything, though, I want to continue living with an open heart. The last two weeks have been absolutely monumental. If you’ve read Daisybutter for any length of time, you’ll know that I’m passionate about using my voice for good, sharing stories that resonate and hopefully spark a need to speak out and make change for yourself. And yet despite my wide reading and continued learning, I’ve only just started learning about huge, unsettling issues this past fortnight. I’m not ashamed to say that I am deeply ashamed at how little I knew about the part that I myself play in systemic racism; it’s answered a lot of the questions I’ve had for years and I’m grateful to be able to listen and learn. It’s a privilege to learn about the storied, systemic oppression and racism, rather than live it.
Before I dip back into sharing the content you’ve come to expect on here, I wanted to share my sentiments and have them properly cemented here. Daisybutter is a one-woman band, and I’ll continue to passionately shine the light on all kinds of creators. I’m making a commitment to update some of my older posts about being British-born Chinese. Some of those posts reach tens of thousands of people a week, and I want them to be informative resources where white, non-black PoC and Black people can find courage, purpose and, for some, representation. This will continue moving forwards, my own way to sustainably continue the conversation in a way that I believe will resonate with my thoughtful readers.
From a creator level, I’m hoping to create more resources for fellow British-born Chinese and the East Asian diaspora to meaningfully contribute to the Black Lives Matter cause. Whilst I don’t have lived experience of being Black, my own experiences have taught and are still teaching me a lot. The part I’ve unknowingly been playing in white supremacy. Speaking to or at people with no real action being taken. But I have responsibilities as someone with a (small!) platform. By the time you read this, they will have been updated to include some of the glaring realisations that I’ve happened upon recently, as well as to recognise the privilege I have and the defences I may have unknowingly put up.
I won’t be perfect… who is? There is so much work to do on many fronts. But I’m proud to commit to continued positive change and education, and hope that you are too.
What are the habits you’ll be continuing long after lockdown? And I’d love to know how you’d like my Being British-born Chinese posts to be of more use to you.