This is a hard post for me to write – but it’s been playing on my mind for what feels like months and I need to get it out. I don’t want to be a Negative Nelly – I know that I’m overall in a very privileged position, and that a lot of people have it much worse than I do. But guess what – and yes, this makes me cringe too – my feelings are valid. Now let’s just see if I can gather my thoughts into something coherent…
I didn’t start 2021 in a good place. 2020 had taken its toll and I was burnt out. However, I could never have predicted quite how bad this year would turn out to be. I came back to London in February, and whilst life seemed to be going in the right direction, I was still struggling. I always knew a winter lockdown would be the death of me – so I put all my hopes into summer 2021. It’ll be a good one, right? Well, a shitty summer is a hard pill to swallow. And this is all down to some very simple factors – crappy weather, too much working from home and post COVID restrictions and worries.
I’ve always found the term Hot Girl Summer on equal parts cute and cringeworthy. This year, however, it was all cringe, no cute. For one thing, the weather was horrific. And yes, I’m aware that I live in the UK and that the weather is ‘temperamental’ – but this year was just something else, and I know I’m not alone on these feels. Unfortunately, I’ve become one of those people who rely a little too much on good weather to feel good. And because feeling good and looking good are inevitably linked, I don’t feel like I even scrapped the surface of a Hot Girl Summer – despite all my wonderful summer dresses and outfits.
As for working, throughout 2020 and 2021 I experienced the many aspects of pandemic work life – furlough, redundancy and working from home. Fellow furlough peeps – if you know, you know. Furlough gave me a ridiculous sense of freedom – even though it came with a bad ending. Redundancy was, unsurprisingly, a hard blow – and well, the wfh life? I know it works for many, many people – but it has taken its toll on me. I honestly don’t know how some people have been doing this for a year and a half. Sure, there are a ton of pros – the main one for me was of course avoiding London’s horrific commute and saving money on transport. But whilst I do not miss questioning my life choices while being squashed like a sardine on the London underground, I can wholeheartedly say I would rather work once to two or three times a week in an office than being at home five days a week. I miss the social aspect of office life. I miss meeting people after work – little did I know how much of a whole new layer there is to making drinks & dinner plans when you’re working from home versus when you’re already out of the house.
In all honesty, and as lame as this sounds, I’ve probably got a case of post COVID PTSD. My attitude last summer versus this summer has been a 360 degree turn. Last summer I was so carefree, possibly boarding on careless – (that being said however, I ALWAYS ensured I never put anyone that wasn’t myself at risk). And yet this summer, despite having been double dosed by the start of July and so many restrictions being lifted, COVID has continued to be an absolute pain. I was a ‘victim’ of the pingdemic – this lead to cancelled plans and various days of isolation. I know, not a big deal in the grand scheme of things – but it made me feel like going out was pointless if I was going to get pinged constantly. Not to mention the fact that this pandemic has, essentially, become a never-ending situation – I’m sure that for a lot of us it feels like we’ll never get our ‘old’ lives back.
The truth is that I spent far too much time waiting this year. I waited for a summer that never arrived. I waited for COVID to fuck off – and yet it never did. I waited to be in the mood to date again – it turns out one of the aftermaths of a pandemic is that it’s an absolute mood killer.
It’s hard to admit that I’ve had anything but a Hot Girl Summer – it’s been a pretty f*cking Sad Girl Summer. I have lost my lust for life and miss my old life. 2021 has personally been much worse than 2020 for me – and there’s a good chance it will go down as not just one of the worst summers, but one of the worst years of my life. I think, however, that I may have learned my lesson. I can’t wish my life away, I can’t wait for the sun to arrive in order to have a good day and if socialising is vital to my wellbeing, I need to go the extra mile and make plans – even if I’m stuck in a wfh rut.
Dress, She In. Earrings, Mango. Necklace, Alex Monroe. Bag, & Other Stories. Shoes, Dorothy Perkins.
Anyway, I think that’s the end of my rant. I don’t really know what to expect from the last few months of 2021, but I’m hoping I’ll pick up somehow. And as for these pictures, I think they definitely have a nostalgic theme that fit in very well with my feels – but they’re also simply a display of my love for the sun, sunset, long summer evenings and beautiful summer dresses. Ultimately, I’m grateful I got to have at least one moment like this this summer.
Pictures taken on both my camera and phone near my home in London on August 4th, 2021.