Obviously lockdown was awful but one thing I’m grateful for is the beauty and thrill of experiencing things for the first time again.
First time ordering a latte in a cafe. First time catching up with friends at a fancy restaurant. First time praying in a tranquil mosque. First time looking out the window on a train, zooming past the fields. First time seeing the trees and cars shrink as you fly into the clouds on a plane.
First time entering a lecture hall and catching up with course mates. First time scanning your staff card at the office. First time trying newly-released clothes in fitting rooms. First time eating popcorn in the cinema before the movie starts. First time being part of a standing ovation at the end of a brilliant theatre show. First time experiencing the thrill of a theme park ride. First time eating fresh hot street food at the local market. First time pinching the cheeks of a friend’s new baby.
First time queueing up at the buffet for traditional food at a festive celebration. First time donning graduation robes and receiving applause as you walk across the stage. First time dressing up for a wedding and an aunty tries to set you up with some guy at the event. First time cheering excitedly in a football stadium when your team scores a goal. First time feeling the delight of booking an exciting holiday. First time hugging a loved one closely. First time seeing your parents again. First time coming home.
With that said, my heart goes out to the businesses that shut down. To the flights that never departed. To the jobs made redundant. To the damaged global economy. And most importantly, to all the people we lost along the way, and the people who miss them dearly.
I hope the pandemic has taught (and is still teaching) us all to appreciate the little things, and to not take them for granted.