The rather irritating and over used phrase ‘YOLO’ has never felt more formidable. A force to be reckoned with, a mantra to live by and a fuel on the fire of this often mundane and logic stricken life. Within the most stringent of times, there is freedom to be found in this silly little acronym.

You Only Live Once.

Sitting on my bed, which actually belongs to my dream sister who has kindly allowed me to move in whilst she bathes in the hot Indian sun, thoughts of decisions made and decisions yet to be made float around the room. A diffuser bubbles on the bedside table, steam escaping and filling the room with mist and a lavender scent. My toes are tucked underneath a patterned bed throw, dosed in yellow and blue flowers, bringing spring inside to a place that I have been forced to spend more time. Like rupunzel, trapped in the tower, a virus has spread across the land, obliging us to look within.

Normally, I am quick to stop myself from dwelling on the past, as I have a tendency to insert a VCR of uncomfortable memories into the video player of my mind. A form of torture, as I am unable to change my actions, the reaction of others, or the outcome. In this unusual time however, with the urge to distract myself requiring too much energy and self-motivation, reflecting has become a source of comfort rather than punishment.

There is a tree outside of the window which sways as the wind tickles its branches, the sky is blue and the clouds are light, splattered across the pale blue. Never again, I think to myself, never again do I want to have regret. From this day forward, I want to say all that I feel. I want to live with the awareness that this may be my only chance to do so. I want to tell the person I fancy, that I fancy them. I want to tell my friends how beautiful they are every time they smile at me. I want to kiss my Mum all over her little squidgy face. I want to make decisions on gut feelings and appreciate every emotion that stirs within; be it happy or sad. I want to laugh until I can’t breathe and my stomach hurts. I want to reach for the stars and live in sweet delusion that my dreams can come true. I never want to go home from a night out before my feet hurt and my step count has reached a ludicrous height for early hours of the morning. I never want to say a negative word about myself ever again, even when I have the urge to do so. I want to remember that I only live once.

Within the comfort of this cherished chamber, there is nothing to lose. No inhibitions, no embarrassment, no idea to big or small, no alternate reality that feels out of reach. All is possible when following the words ‘When I get out of here…’ When I get outside, to stand underneath that swaying tree, with no restrictions on once a day or only in two’s, just watch how I roam. Taking life by the horns, throwing caution to the wind and trusting in the process. Isn’t this experience making you realise how important it is to make the most of what you’ve got, to appreciate all that already exists and all that could exist within your life.

The world can be scary, dark and miserable. Luck can be unfair and things won’t always go our way. We can be jealous of those more fortunate and feel for those with less than ourselves. When it comes to taking stock of what we do have however, the only feeling to focus on is gratitude. Never again will I take my freedom for granted, never again will I look down at my phone whilst I order a coffee or pay for something at the corner shop. It’s easier said than done, when the world gets back to full pace, schedules are implemented and the ladder of success is propped up ready for you to climb. This quarentine, however, feels like a unique, once in a life time scenario in which we are confronted with what in this life is important to us.

So, whilst in this lavender scented bubble, free from the reality of this troubled world, I want to take note of all that is important. The pillars of this life that bring joy to my every day. The things which I refrain from doing because I’m too busy or I’m afraid, well fuck that, before I know it I could be back in social isolation yearning to feel alive.

You Only Live Once.

Appreciating all that is around me whilst my world feels small, will only help to appreciate the world when it is vast and limitless. 21 days and counting, filled with the joys that a comfortable bed and a blue sky can bring, dreaming of the possibilities of living life to the fullest. x


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