life in lockdown

Well, hello there! Remember me? After four months of silence, you’d be forgiven for thinking I’d packed up and given up on this whole blogging thing… but nope! I’m not retiring just yet. My online life just tends to take a backseat when things get hectic, which is more often than not these days. A lot has happened so far this year — I got to experience the joy of a family member’s wedding, I went on a few road trips, I turned another year older… and those aren’t even the most interesting things I can think of! Let’s catch up on what’s been happening for me lately:

Gouache painting daisies      Sydney sunset

I got my wisdom teeth removed

So earlier this year, a routine visit to the dentist revealed that my wisdom teeth were coming through. One specialist visit and a second opinion later, it actually turned out to be pretty bad, and I needed to have all four of my wisdom teeth removed! Honestly, I can’t believe I didn’t notice earlier considering food was getting stuck in my gums (I know, totally gross). Thank goodness I realised before it got infected and painful!

Of course, as with any medical procedure I was pretty nervous in the lead up to surgery, but it was fine. Mainly because I was completely knocked out and don’t remember a thing, besides some alarming drilling sounds that could be heard from the waiting bay! As expected I could barely eat solid foods for a week after that, but four months on? My gums feel brand new, and like nothing ever happened.

I changed jobs

You read right — after almost four years at my first job out of uni I’ve moved on! So no more agency life for me. I had actually been pondering it for awhile, but the opportunity didn’t come up until recently. Funnily enough, it wasn’t until I left when I realised how unsatisfied I was at my previous place. Isn’t it weird how being unhappy is sometimes the push you need to move on to the next stage in life?

I won’t go into too much, but my organisation is heavily involved with Japanese culture and I get to do what I’ve always been doing in PR and marketing. The role is actually more creative than I anticipated, so zero complaints from me! Even though I studied PR and Japanese, my past self probably never imagined that I’d eventually use both of my degrees… funny how things work out!

Of course, there’s been a learning curve. I’m working with more people, I need to use Japanese more and adjusting to a new company is a challenge in itself. But all in all, it’s been really enjoyable so far! I’m even working with an all female team for the first time, so that’s a bonus.

NSW went into lockdown

Now that we’re up to speed, that brings us to the present! As you can probably guess from the title, lockdown has been taking over our lives here in NSW. I honestly have no idea how many weeks it’s been now, but Sydney has been under stay-at-home orders since the end of June. And yeah, it hasn’t been fun.

Of course, I’m aware that I’m more privileged than most right now. I can work from home easily, I can avoid going out in public and I live with family. Even though they grind my gears from time to time, I’m super thankful to have some company during lockdown. But even as a self-proclaimed introvert, being cooped up at home is not doing wonders for my mental health. All I want to do right now is hang out with friends. Get to know my coworkers properly. Wear a real outfit and feel like I’m going somewhere in life.

I think plenty of other people in their twenties would be able to relate — after all, it’s almost been two years of our life now that have been interrupted by the pandemic. Two years worth of plans put on hold, trips that have been abandoned, pivotal moments that have been lost. I can’t even imagine how it feels for students in this situation right now.

Anyway, it wasn’t until this week that there has been some progress on the situation in NSW… kind of. Basically our government is set on opening up once we reach a certain vaccination target, and as sick as I am of lockdown, I’m not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand, I’m glad there’s some clarity on how we’ll be getting out of this. But also, I can’t be the only one worried about how it could all go downhill if we’re too hasty to reopen.

One year transplant anniversary

Sad news aside, I celebrated one year of my kidney transplant recently! After some blood tests and a biopsy my doctors have given me the all clear, thank goodness. I’ve said this over and over again, but I can’t believe how quickly the months have gone by.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I can fully relax — I still try to stay vigilant by sticking to a safe transplant diet and keeping up with my meds. And of course, as a high-risk person during Covid-19, there’s always that fear lingering at the back of my mind. Thankfully I am fully vaccinated, and was on it as soon as I could get a booking back in May! But research already shows that two doses of the vaccine may not be enough for immunosuppressed people like me, so I’ll probably be playing it safe long after everyone has their freedoms back. I can’t wait for that third dose already, as far off as that seems right now…!

Things keeping me going in lockdown

No one asked, but here are a few of the things keeping me sane lately!

Korean R&B playlists on YouTube and Spotify. One upside of working from home is the fact that I can blast music and sing along as much as I please, and songs with this kind of vibe have been my go-to! Since I don’t understand a word of Korean, it’s been great background music for when I need to concentrate. I’ve also discovered some great artists through these playlists, so they’ve been on repeat lately.

Asian dramas. It’s been a hot minute since I last watched a drama, but lately I’ve gotten back into them to kill time at home. My latest obsession is Hometown Cha Cha Cha, a k-drama that’s currently trending, and I can totally see why it’s popular! It’s just a really fun and wholesome drama, with a cast of flawed but loveable characters. The only downside is the fact that it’s an ongoing series, which I usually try to avoid at all costs! I just can’t stand having to wait for episodes from week to week, although it does give me something to look forward to in lockdown. Anyway, it’s streaming on Netflix if you want to obsess over it with me!

Cooking food at home. When I say food I specifically mean carbs, and lots of them. As it turns out my parents are obsessed with focaccia and kimchi fried rice, so I’ve been making that nearly every week in lockdown! Other things on my homemade menu include pizza, dumplings, the occasional spag bol… I’d also love to branch out and bake more complex things, but sadly my oven has decided now is a good time to break down on me!

Homemade kimchi fried rice      Homemade pork dumplings

Staying creative. I’m so glad that past me stocked up on painting supplies last year, because I’ve revived the habit since going back into lockdown! With plenty of time to dabble in old hobbies, I’ve also been experimenting with photo and video editing again. I actually don’t have Photoshop anymore and am trying out Affinity Photo as a replacement, and honestly? I’m having a lot of fun experimenting with it! While there’s obviously a learning curve at first, it has most of the tools that exist in Photoshop. And of course, the fact that you only have to pay for it once is a huge drawcard.

Notion. Yep, I finally gave in after seeing a hundred YouTubers spruiking the app. But seriously, as a chronic list maker I think it’s totally worth the hype! While my spreads are nothing fancy, I do love how Notion makes it easy to keep all my random thoughts and ideas in one place. Honestly, I could probably organise my entire life on there if I wasn’t already devoted to my beloved Hobonichi.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got to report about my average life! If you’ve managed to read this far, please do tell me about what’s going on your world. I’d love to hear about it!