Looking back on 8 March 2020.
I’ve felt a deep sense of longing in the lead up to today – as I reflect back on 8 March 2020 being the last “normal” day I had before Covid-19 changed everything.
It was All About Women at the Sydney Opera House. The atmosphere was electric – we were excited to hear the women we admire speak, and also to meet up with friends and colleagues. We trusted strangers to take our photos. We mingled closely. We hugged old friends and new. We ate together.
There was talk of cancellations overseas because of Covid, but I thought, that would never happen here? Would it?
The Ruby Princess was docked near the Opera House. There were so many people passing through. I had worn a mask on the plane, and wasn’t shaking hands, it’d be ok.
People were stocking up on toilet paper and were were laughing at what an overreaction this was.
It was the last day I travelled. The last big festival event I would speak at. The last gatherings with friends for a while. The last time I’d see my Mum until November.
I love my work, I love travel and I love meeting people. I never took it for granted. But I didn’t realise how much work shaped me and gave me a sense of purpose until it was gone – and we had to do things differently. I yearned and ached for what we once had.
That day was so glorious. I met and worked with amazing people. I had laughs and drinks with friends. I’ve tried not to think about how good it was in case it wouldn’t happen ever again.
And I acknowledge that so many others had it so much worse than I did. I was fortunate to have constant work from home, not on the front line, and was safe.
But we are climbing out of darkness, here in Australia at least. Festivals and events are happening again. Thank you to our government and health workers and our communities for keeping us safe. My thoughts are with those overseas who aren’t so lucky, and to those who have lost loved ones, work, financial stability, and their hope due to this insidious virus.
I am due to fly interstate next week. I won’t believe it until we are in the air.
What a year.
Images: 1. Flex Mami, Bri Lee and I, laughing on strange.
2. Mum and I in African head wraps after the 2 Sydney Stylists workshop.
3. Chanel Miller and I at the signing table. I am so glad we got to meet 💜
4. Me signing a book, and Chanel talking to a fan.
5. Mum, me, Niwa and Wa-Nyika from 2 Sydney Stylists the at Opera House.
6. A photo a stranger took – mum and I under the Harbour Bridge.