Today I'm giving zero fucks about... most things but family and friends

Today I'm giving zero fucks about... most things but family and friends

You really do have to reflect on life when you're leaning out over your Juliet balcony to talk to one of your very best childhood friends, who is standing on the street below, and you're overwhelmed by the urge to cry.

This was me two weeks ago. I didn't want to cry out of sadness - I do not feel sorry for those of us who are healthy, safe and have a roof over our heads - but out of sheer overwhelm at the sight of seeing a friend for the first time in a couple of months. All the things that I know to be true about Karlia - that sometimes she doesn't return my calls (nor me hers), that it can be harder to get into her diary than if I were besties with Beyonce, that she's so morally wholesome that it can make me feel verging on depraved - had disappeared in an instance. Here, standing on the street below my balcony, was my darling, beautiful, perfect Karlia; the Coronavirus Romeo to my Juliet. I knew I missed her when we spoke on the phone but it hadn't hit me until I could see her ridiculous, quirky outfit (which she always looks great in), her silly swaying dance moves on the street (giving absolutely zero fucks) and her huge, beaming smile. And then I heard the break in her voice and I knew she felt just as I did.

I don't see Karlia as much as I'd like to, even out of lockdown. I've always known that my friends hold an importance for me that I find hard to articulate adequately. Yet, often they can feel like "things" that we'd really like to fit in, "and believe me I'd absolutely love to hang out with you on Wednesday after work, if only I could, but I've got to work late and then I've got these networking drinks, which I'm not sure I'll go to anyway because tonight's my long run night for marathon training, but I'm free in two Wednesdays from now?" In the context of the crack in Karlia's voice and the tears pricking behind my eyelids, thinking back to times like these - and I want to stress that so often this was the norm - feels absolutely fucking ridiculous.

I can't tell you what I'd have done to be able to give Karlia a hug. That's all. A hug and a squeeze (and to not have to conduct our conversation in raised voices on the streets would be ideal, too). I'm fortunate enough to have lived with my family at the beginning of lockdown, before moving out, so I still get to go home for a restorative Mum Cuddle and a brief hold and pat on the back Dad Hug (bless him, he tries). I know that the majority of you won't have had that luxury, instead having to lap up every ounce of emotional connection possible over video calls. I'd struggle with that and I feel for you. I'm still feeling the pinch: I kicked off yesterday (over WhatsApp, the most mature place to have a strop) when I found out that my sister had gone home, yet no one had told me.

"WHAT? How comes no one told me Nic was home? I would have come home for dinner rather than changing to tomorrow lunch"

"We thought it would be a nice surprise... it doesn't matter"

"Surprise? Surprise?! At a time like this? Now is not the time for surprises. Now is the time for clear and open communication. Could we please all exercise transparency?! All I'm asking for is effective communication, for god's sake"

*Silence* (my family's strategy for avoiding conflict)

I can't imagine this was anything than an extremely juvenile manifestation of my yearning for connection with the people I love most. A projection of the human disconnection I'm feeling within. A visceral demonstration of my dislike for surprises.

I sincerely hope that your longing for in-person, physical connection with those you hold closest to your heart presents in a less aggressive, more loving way (and I'd like to reassure you that mine does normally. I'm not a complete dick, even if I do use the word "transparency" outside of a corporate context). However the struggle presents itself in your life, I think for many of us it's as though life has been strained through a sieve, concentrated down to its very core elements, the thread that holds the essentials of life together. Personally, I now can't believe I've been known to prioritise hanging out with "good time friends" over having a Friday night dinner with my parents. That I've gone to networking events to try and make a connection that will probably come to nothing, shaking hands with strangers rather than snuggling up on the sofa with a best friend. Nothing compares to that.

The tears that came on my balcony gave me a very tangible reminder of what is important in life. I don't know if it's just me, but I feel as though I can feel the love I have for the most important people to me inside my chest stronger than I ever have before. It tingles and fizzes and it is warm. We are the creators of the habits and routines that propel us from week into month into year. It feels almost criminal that my need to be "busy" saw me running around in such a way that I barely had the time to tap into this depth of love. When, really, nothing else matters.

Jacs.

I meant to make Zero Fucks 2.0 more irreverent and avoid the current "situation" we find ourselves in. It turns out, I have fuck all else to write about.

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