Alone?

 

I think we can all agree that the lockdowns have been hard on us all, but I’d like to shine light on those of us who live away from our parents and by ourselves. I’ve never lived by myself for 3 months and from what I understand, it’s quite natural to feel uneasy when you leave the nest, but no one could predict what the virus could do to our society and what measures would be put in place. 

 

My name is Jordan William McLaughlin and I was born in the UK. When I was 11, my mother and I moved to Slovenia. Postojna, to be exact. We moved because her boyfriend was Slovenian and she had recently gotten pregnant. Perhaps I’ll explain that story sometime, but for now I’ll stick to the subject matter.

I arrived in Zasavje at the beginning of September. We could still go out whenever we wanted and Salon was open pretty late. You could jump on a train and be in Ljubljana or Maribor in an hour. On Arrival, the entire world was open to me. I could do anything and go anywhere. To be frank, it’s not like I jumped on the chance to go places every day, but I had the chance. I was looking forward to going to Ljubljana and meeting some other ESC volunteers and other people to connect to. Then one day, it all stopped, we shut down and our government threatened the population with large fines if we were found to be moving around the country unnecessarily. 

 

Please do not misunderstand me, I’m not specifically saying I disagree with our lockdown measures. I’m not here to make that argument, that’s something else I could write about at some point. 

 

All of a sudden, all of those opportunities dried up, and I was in a certain way, trapped. Now sure, as a resident of Slovenia, I have the right to travel back to Postojna, where my home is, but I didn’t feel like I could just do that every weekend, especially after they closed public transport. The worst part is that we’re essentially not allowed to spend time with people that don’t live in the same space as you. Sure, you can see people at work and in the shop, but we are social animals and I wholeheartedly believe that isolating ourselves has done nothing but damage our social health. Due to Covid-19, the people that were supposed to join me as volunteers in this project weren’t able to make it in time, due to such things as getting a visa. That means I live alone, can’t have the few close friends from Zasavje I’ve made come over and am away from my family.

Looking back, I think I’ve battled with mental health for a really long time. By no means have I had it bad, but maybe things weren’t so rose-tinted as I remember them. I suppose I should point out that I am an overt extrovert, which means I need to be around people. If I don’t spend at least some time outside socializing with others, I can feel my soul start to wither away and die. Only now during these lockdowns, have I come to understand how social we really are as mammals and if anyone is even slightly socially oriented as I am, then I worry for the future of society.

Now, I think it’s quite important to finish things on a positive note. I am not alone, and neither are you. Personally, I have plenty of people in the organisation that genuinely care about me and the connections to my friends that I have made over the last 3 months give me the will to stand up and clean my apartment. My friends and family are just a phone call away. And so are yours.

 

To anyone who feels alone in the world right now because of these lockdowns:

That you are not alone

I am here with you

Though you’re far away

I am here to stay

But you are not alone

I am here with you

Though we’re far apart

You’re always in my heart

But you are not alone

 

  • Chorus in “You are not alone” – Michael Jackson

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAyKJAtDNCw 

 

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Projekti prostovoljstva v okviru Evropske solidarnostne enote mladim nudijo priložnosti za prostovoljsko delo. Odgovarjajo na pomembne potrebe družbe, prispevajo h krepitvi skupnosti in ob tem prostovoljcem omogočajo, da pridobivajo uporabne izkušnje, veščine in kompetence za svoj osebni, izobraževalni, socialni, državljanski in profesionalni razvoj, s čimer se izboljšuje njihova zaposljivost.

Več o programu Evropske solidarnostne enote (slo. ESE, ang. ESC, European Solidarity Corps, bivši EVS) si lahko preberete na povezavi: http://www.movit.si/ese/projekti-prostovoljstva/