I’ve recently had the opportunity to travel to the city where my freedom lies and be back in all of 30 minus 1 hour, and let me tell you- the thrill of running away from an ill-fashioned mask wearer, who is munching on chips as he coughs, and to look at Starbucks with nostalgia, and think of times when you didn’t have to worry about how many people might have touched that straw? Mind-blowing. The question of my sanity lies in if the risk, the multiple masks, the shield, the gloves, the chaos, all of it was worth a total of 40 minutes spent in ecstasy garnered from a bubble tea and nachos, a well-lit room and comfy hotel bed, oh, and well, a well-timed fight with your may-be/may-not-be boyfriend. Well, so was it? I wouldn’t know, might have to come back to that. In the world that we live now, not much seems to be as it was, most of all, the things that are. Every stressor is either exaggerated or it exasperates you to think of your stressor in the face of others’ much bigger ones. No problem is big enough to hold in the face of a pandemic, and that is known - but every problem is definitely magnified in the face of a pandemic and if that’s not the truth, I don’t know what is. The other day, I got my results back from an entrance that I barely prepared for and upon announcing my failure to my friend, you know what I received? “It is the pandemic, no one expects better.” Pure empathy, pure justification, pure ‘hello, new issue causing other issues’. I’ve rationalised most things in the last 7 months to be external, and that maybe the fundamental attribution at play but I’m not to be blamed. Am I trying to shroud the pain the world has been due to this hazard? Absolutely not. I couldn’t if I wanted to, know that. Last time I sat down to write, Kanye was in his first phase of the breakdown and today, Biden has bagged the highest votes in Pennsylvania. No amount of stimulus has been able to stimulate me enough to go back to my Googling days, oh! The blessed days of me finding a new word and reaching out to it every chance I could get, complete Icarus to the sun. Which reminds me, (in my most moving voice) they say when you do something with all your creativity, love and passion - you do it with Meraki. A word I’m extremely fond and am slightly terrified of. Like every other beautiful, soul-filling word (well, in this case, soul shedding, (you’ll see)), it belongs to the Greeks and implies that “every time one works on something one really loves, they put a part of themselves into it”. While the concept is beautiful and has no English counterpart, there lies enough truth in it to make it completely sound. In my little to no knowledge of the ‘worldly’ affairs, I could only bring myself to compare it to Cathexis - the psychic energy one puts into people, objects, things, a gift given to us by my all-time favourite, Mr Freud. A close second could be ardour, or well, ardour. Ah, here I am again, stuck in words, when what I need to do is be stressed by my stressors, and subsequently, others’ stressors, too. Is this the time to get back to the drama that folds in from my may-be/may-be-not boyfriend? How about my (n)ever engaged and lengthy enough to go around the sun once (maybe, twice) to-do list? Ah, the joys. All I hope for is that if and when you read this, if and when you are in a position where it seems that you’re not working with Meraki anymore, this could work as a reinforcement, perhaps an aversive one.