Wrote on 8th September, by Natasha Minter.
I sat down to write an instagram post, but realised I have so much more to say.. I’m not one to shy away from the long captions. Actually, I rarely write the three word cheeky or witty caption that feels like it’s trying too hard. I try to just be authentically me on my social, in a place where I feel like we are told we can’t be ourselves, that there isn’t enough space for us to be so (does anyone else feel like that or is it just me…)
What we do at modelme is 100% necessary and I’m yet to meet a creative that makes me think differently.
So, what do I miss about lockdown? I miss my long morning walks, or even the short ones. I miss going to see Francesco at my coffee shop on Roman Road. I miss calling Bonnie and saying “fancy going for a walk?”. I miss experimenting with my comfy clothing / sports wardrobe. I miss cleaning out my wardrobe every few weeks thinking “I’ve not worn that in months” forgetting I haven’t left my postcode in… months…
I miss taking care of myself in ways I didn’t realise I should. I miss studying the word, journaling daily, meditating, taking long showers once a week to wash my hair with this new “curly girl hair method” thing that I just still haven’t mastered… I miss the long sleeps and learning how bionic my focus is after sleeping for hours… I miss wondering how I used to cope on an average of 4 hours every night for weeks on end? I learnt that you can’t bank sleep, so now I’m laughing at the weeks I would just sleep on Sundays and caffeine all week long. I built my company, worked part time, and trained in acting, week after week, letting the hustle culture of London suck me up.
I found a new level of stillness in my life in lockdown that I just simply had never attained before. London’s lust for the busy life was intertwined fully with my love for being active.
I miss being alone. I never thought I would say that. I miss being with only my thoughts, every day. I remember at the start of lockdown I had massive meltdowns and crippling thoughts of what it would be like to spend so much time on your own and not see anyone, would people forget what you looked like, how goofy you were, would they still accept me if I changed? And I’m not talking about the masses of people we all intersect with on a daily basis if you are out and about or you work in large companies, I’m talking about my 5 close friends, my sisters, my mum… What if I change so much they don’t recognise me? What if I become a complete introvert and I hate socialising and the volume of my voice gets quieter because I’m only used to talking to people through a video camera?
I miss my family, but I always miss them. They live up North, and I’m in The Big City, a choice I made to pursue my career + to really live the mission of modelme. If anything I would even say lockdown brought me even closer to my sisters (two who are NHS champions).
Everything I’ve already said I miss - and I haven’t even mentioned my two careers. I was furloughed from my job and honestly - I’m very grateful; it’s an entrepreneurs dream, to be paid from your job while you are given time to pursue your true purpose! Not only was I pursuing modelme, I was able to focus on my acting in a way I’ve never been able to before. I did two sessions a week on zoom, pretty much from the very beginning - God bless my teachers for being so on it with getting our classes online so we could hone our craft. I even ended lockdown with an acting showcase in the physical! So now - I’ve committed and shown people my work… a very scary feeling but also, extremely exciting!
I miss being alone. I never thought I would say that. I miss being with only my thoughts, every day.
I found a new level of stillness in my life in lockdown that I just simply had never attained before. London’s lust for the busy life was intertwined fully with my love for being active. Moving constantly can make you feel good, even make you feel like you’re prospering - but truly, it's like an assimilated world sometimes… we forget to recognise the growth that comes in being still, having time for reflection.
Something I learnt at the end of 2019 - when I first learnt the definition of rest (I laugh but honestly, why are we not taught the importance of taking a break?!) - was that, God is a quiet voice. He is always close to you, so he’s quiet. Like a whisper in your ear. He wants you to be in still, quiet places, so he can talk to you. God doesn’t shout, he doesn’t scream. FYI - this doesn’t mean if you’re busy running around that God can’t talk to you, but being busier it is hard to remember to listen.
Now I will just touch on this incredible opportunity we have had with modelme. Honestly I say, touch on it, because I could write a whole other blog (and then some) on the fact that I completely pivoted my business and basically started from scratch, growing a business once is hard enough and if someone would’ve told me I would’ve had to REBUILD it… well, actually definitely yes I would still be here because - the belief I have for this mission is beyond my love for hard work.
What we do at modelme is 100% necessary and I’m yet to meet a creative that makes me think differently. Now we function through a membership platform, releasing 3 webinars a week covering the categories: wellness (mental health, fitness, personal development), business + start ups, acting, film + tv, sustainability, multimedia + design, photography + videography, and beauty.
I must make sure that even in this new busy, hectic life, I remember the love of solitude that nursed me in ways I didn't know it ever could.
No matter how much I miss, I understand that now things are different, moving forward, and yesterday is yesterday. For everything there is a season.
It’s important to have boundaries, principles, values… and I feel like lockdown changed so many of mine. I realised who I actually want to spend time with, I realised how blessed I am to have the people I do around me. Most of all I realised that God is number one and Jesus really is the King of Kings… I mean, I knew that anyway but in THIS season, when you can’t rely on human leaders, you can’t rely on your government, you can’t rely on other people / your friends or loved ones because - who knows how they are gonna feel as we ride through a season of life that no one knows how to ride through it - so, God showed me more than ever that the only thing and person I can rely on is Him.
(the following edited on 30th September)
So… translating these lessons into life in this new life, remember we can’t go back to anything - so let’s keep going forward… life changes, and we can be grateful for the many things that we have learnt as it changes. The simple things - I will definitely keep my walks in my area consistent as I really feel they make such a difference in my mood. I will keep journaling, and writing, I write a lot for acting work right now but sometimes I find I just end up writing about my experiences with no intent to ever share them anywhere - it’s sooo therapeutic.
The harder things - but also the most important - are that I need time alone, time detached, and I also need to have days where I’m not communicating with everyone. I really love people so I find that quite hard to stay disciplined to - but since I love people - and I love being an encourager, a champion of others, I must make sure that even in this new busy, hectic life, I remember the love of solitude that nursed me in ways I didn't know it ever could.
Practically, I've finally, after nearly 9 weeks (editing this on the 30th sep) being back at work, i'm getting to a place where my life does have a routine. I have set days at work, acting school back in the physical, a consistent day off (absolutely vital and always the one day that we let slide, or the one day we end up working… we must be so disciplined with this day!), and I've found ways to work on my business in between it all. Being an entrepreneur means late nights, and early mornings, yes, but I think in today's world of a pandemic and living in 2020, more than ever do we realise that in between all the working, looking after YOURSELF is priority. So, yes, that does mean, I'm still sleeping, cooking maybe twice a week (i really wish i was home more ngl), connecting with God daily, and, like in lockdown, I am hoping. I am grateful for every day, and I hope for better days, for all of us, always.
More than ever I’ve realised, you can’t do it alone.
My final thing I will say - is more than ever I’ve realised, you can’t do it alone. Looking after yourself is vital, but you don’t need to - and you shouldn’t - do that by yourself. More than ever, I realise the importance of a circle; a small group of people that encourage me, challenge me, allow me to be vulnerable, and no matter what - love me, through it all. Don’t isolate yourself.