We’re in Shutdown.
All social gatherings have been banned, most of the high-street has closed and we’ve all been instructed to stay at least 2 metres away from each other. I think it’s fair to say that the Arayla London team are finding this a considerable challenge. We’re so used to each other’s physical presence that we don’t notice it when we’re together but it’s very apparent when we’re apart. Nothing really beats Sophie’s ability to kick start a positive day with our morning Costa coffees (we all like a different kind). We’re already missing Bella’s routine of slamming her Arayla Jett Satchel on her desk as she relays that morning’s ‘Tube’ (London Underground) irritation. We’re missing the stories we usually tell each other about getting together with friends or family the night before and discussing the drama the day after.
I look out of my window, as I work from home, and I’m very aware of my surroundings. The hustle and bustle of London is neither hustling nor bustling. The silence is deafening and I hope for the odd car to remind me what noise sounds like. The sunlight beckons me to go outside to empty streets which yearn for beating footsteps. The room is cold, small, and isolating. The usual ‘click-clack’ on the pavement as travellers drag their suitcases to the Gatwick Express has been replaced by the now extremely loud ‘tick-tock’ of my wall clock. I am by myself and for the first time, since I can remember, I realise that I am alone.
Solitude is a funny thing. It makes time standstill. It makes you contemplate … anything… either in a positive spiral or a negative one. It’s surprising, given I actually like to be in my own company, that I should find this situation so difficult. The fundamental issue, of course, is that I’m being forced to be by myself. It isn’t my choice and that lack of freedom of choice makes all the difference to how I perceive being on my own.
For once, I’m grateful for all technology that enables instant connection. As an old-school soul, I had always found them both intrusive and invasive. But today, they will save me from a never-ending negative spiral of unhelpful (and potentially destructive) thoughts. A click (or tap) will connect me back to humankind and remind me that not only am I not alone but that we’re all in this together.
We’re in the Shutdown. So, let’s Open up.