There’s no chance at all that I am the only person who has had their life irreversibly turned upside down by the last fifteen months. A global pandemic is a once in a lifetime occurrence, and its changed things we once thought untouchable: the locations of work and school, mask-less shopping, and trust in science. (I’m not going to get into that last one, but you know what I mean).
When the pandemic first hit, I was working in a well-known, efficiency-focused supermarket in the UK. Retailer workers encounter adversity from customers on a daily basis, but naturally, the uncertainty and panic had good manners thrown into the gutter. In the beginning, if someone wasn’t angry that they couldn’t take twenty packs of toilet roll, they were angry there was no toilet roll left. Later, this evolved into fury at needing to wear masks, or a fury that we weren’t enforcing mask wearing.
This supermarket supported us pretty well through this, but it didn’t change the fact that life and work had simultaneously gotten more difficult and more dangerous.
We moved out of London, thanks in no small way to my husband’s company allowing everyone to work from home permanently. Overnight, I had a choice to make: whether I would continue to work in a supermarket, or try my hand at a dream I had cradled for a long time.
Six months after quitting my job at the supermarket, I am staring in the face of a release day of the first book to be published since starting out. I’ve had times of panic, wondering if I’m good enough to succeed in this line of work. I’ve had moments of overwhelming excitement, in which anything feels possible. I’ve had moments of clarity, in which I have accepted that even if failures happen, they will only pave the way for later successes, but only if I work my butt off.
Right now, I’m in the calm before the storm. The peace before the inevitable explosion of work that comes with releasing a self-published series to its fullest potential for the first time. Anxiety doesn’t have its claws in me, in fact, it seems content to simmer beneath the surface, grumbling to itself. This pocket of time is uniquely serene, and its really given me time to reflect on how this pandemic has changed my life.
I’m not sure if I could call myself lucky to have worked on the front lines in the capital city of the UK during this pandemic. More so that I’m lucky to have avoided illness during that time. But I’m certainly lucky for the door to an author career opened during this time, and I will be sure to bear that in mind during release week. Flexible working hours, an hour lunch break, and actually getting to meet with family during the holidays are no small benefits. Not to mention working in the same office as my favourite person in the world. (He gives the best hugs!)
To those out there facing illness and difficulties because of this pandemic, I not only salute you, but thank you for all your efforts and risk. I wish for all the right doors to open for you at the perfect moments.
Thank you for reading! Did you know I also write urban fantasy books? Check them out here!