A wee introduction... and where did all the sunshine go?
Oh, hello. What are the chances of running into you here?
This is Love Letters 💌 by Jen Kaarlo, a newsletter about looking for love in the big, bad city while being a bit too loud and overly verklempt.
If this bright red newsletter has landed in your inbox you can consider yourself one of my nearest and dearest. While I almost always have more than enough to gab about I’ve realised how I’ve stopped writing for longer than I’d like to admit.
I can chalk it up to any (or all of) the following:
Getting too consumed in the day job and binging reruns of Brooklyn99 at night
Wondering if anyone would even bother to read yet another email in their inbox
Recognising that while I talk a big game, I am in fact, afraid of online haters
Feeling that unless every aspect of this new project is perfect that it can’t go out…
Then I had one of those all too powerful shower thoughts and it was something along the lines of, “Jen, this narrative is exhausting. Just do it, see where it lands, and go from there. Besides, you were just told by your friends how they appreciated how you saw the world.”
I’m not sure if it’s just me but I feel like I’ve shrunk in this pandemic world and am still trying to figure out where I belong now… and what I want to say. The sun may be shining and there isn’t a face mask in sight, but it now feels like a lot of us are coming to terms with how challenging the last two years have been.
While I wake up most mornings with boatloads of gratitude and optimism, I begrudgingly rolled out of bed today with the attitude of Oscar the Grouch. After making a monster coffee I determined I wouldn’t let my shit attitude get the best of me and decided to tap into why I was feeling this way. So, I made another coffee, put on a pair of jazzy metallic shorts, and went out into the heartbeat of the city.
It was the most amazing thing, I got to my co-working space and had a conversation that was no longer than ten minutes but totally invigorated me. And, it just so happened that I discovered others were feeling the same way as me. I’ve been calling it “Post-Pandemic PTSD” but never really spoke about it outside of my close friends and family.
I had been relating this subpar feeling to the time I walked from London to Brighton for a charity trek a handful of years ago. This journey was full of mixed emotions, but it was long and arduous. It wasn’t until about 10 hours after we crossed the finish line that I realised how physically and mentally taxing of an experience it had been. I was stronger for having gone through it and don’t regret the trip in the slightest, but I’m not keen on ever doing it again. I think of the years of Lady Rona’s reign as some of the best and worst of my life and I don’t regret what has unfolded since March 2020 but I do recognise it’s been heavy like wearing an iron coat that was only amplified with an unrelenting state of anxiety.
So where does that leave us? I know the older I get the less I claim to know the answers, life is funny that way, isn’t it? But here are a few things I’m going to remind myself as we begin the next chapter and maybe they’ll be a tad useful to you as well:
This shit was big and it’s okay to not have it all figured out.
If you’re sleepy and can’t quite open your eyes don’t beat yourself up for hitting the snooze button.
If that second serving of pasta is calling your name, go ahead and indulge in that tasty delight.
It’s okay to admit you’re lonely and need to ask for a hug.
How are you finding adjusting to post-pandemic life? How does this new, new, new normal feel? What can’t come back quick enough? Let’s have a chinwag on Twitter.
Until next time and in the words of the one and only Walter Mercado “mucho, mucho amor.” ❤️