Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Thursday, July 09, 2020

Why I'm coming out of the lockdown as a completely different person

Mandy Charlton, in 3 different outfits, why I'm coming out of the lockdown as a completely different person

Before we went into the lockdown and Coronavirus changed everything I was pretty sure of who I was, my self-identity is a really important thing to me and after all for the last 13 years, ever since I started Mandy Charlton Photography I've known myself inside and out as a photographer, I lived, breathed, ate photography until this year of course due to Coronavirus I've not worked as a photographer since early March and I won't return until September 19th when I have a wedding which looks like it will definitely go ahead. 

When the lockdown first happened, I did what most people did, I got tipsy, I cried and then I had a massive meltdown when it felt like my whole life/business/family/friendships were collapsing around me.  Don't get me wrong I like my own space but I operate best when I have people around me and all of a sudden I was completely alone in the world and I did not like it one bit.

I learnt over the first 9 weeks that I could actually spend life alone, I didn't want to but I can be good company to myself if needed.  I think loneliness is actually like illness and it's something I've dealt with for years no matter how many friends I've had.  Call it ASD to give it a medical name or call it being a unicorn, it's always meant that pretty much, I am different, I don't feel things the way other people do and I don't process the world in the same way either.  I find it especially hard when people don't see the world in the same way as me because it's impossible to describe, it's like being a Narwhal in a sea of whales if that makes it clearer?

Coming out of the lockdown has forever changed me, physically, mentally, emotionally, philosophically... I went into one side as a photographer and came out the other door being the owner of a gift boutique which I wouldn't even have thought about starting four months ago.  My gift boutique, Philomena's Boutique continues to show early signs that it will be a success and it will thrive in the future.  It will be a long time before it makes workable profits because of the constant reinvestments into stock but I am looking at a plan to help me scale up quickly so that it provides a viable income so that when I run it alongside my photography business I can make an actual income again one day.

Right now I am questioning everything I ever knew, why don't people understand me, why do I make such a mess of understanding other people.  Why is the world the way that it is and when is it all going to feel safe and comfortable again?

I have a feeling there's not just me that is struggling massively with my identity at the moment. When the world changes so abruptly it's almost a certainty that our reaction to that will be to change ourselves to deal and cope with it all.  I feel like I've missed so much of life but at the same time, trying to return to the norm is fraught with fear and other problems and I'm questioning myself constantly and overthinking every damn thing so if you're feeling the same way then know that you are heard.

One of the biggest things is with this enormous paradigm shift I question just where we'll all be in another 6 months, these first 6 months have felt like an entire century, an epoch all of its own so what if tumultuous things keep happening, what if I end up having to spend another 3 months locked away on my own?  I always try to live like something is amazing is about to happen which is perhaps why the last 6 months have knocked me so hard.  I have learnt one fact though, the way I love my friends and family is different to anyone else and it's almost a certainty that I will never find anyone to love me in the way that I love them and that is the hardest lesson I'll ever have to learn.

1 comment

Roberts Wills said...

Thanks for sharing this article. I am glad to see this amazing post.

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