I have been studying away from my family and hometown from 2017. Since then, this pandemic-imposed quarantine is the longest I’ve stayed with them again. Staying on my own had privileged me with a certain lifestyle that was independent in various aspects. I spent the initial months of the quarantine trying to re-adjust myself to living in a shared space. I love my family but I felt out to touch with everybody, like a house-guest. The dinner table conversations often brought up anecdotes from days that I’ve not been here. Everybody laughs, I smile. I felt disconnected, disoriented. I felt the same thing, if not more intensely, with my friends. The thing is, this disconnect amplified my insecurities, anxiety and depression. This coupled with the ‘forced alone time’ of the pandemic really got out of hand at a point.

But things started to look up. I spent my time determined to create moments and memories for myself. I started feeling a little less invisible. My squad and I started laughing at memories that also included me. The dinner table anecdotes began having me in them. I know it sounds juvenile, but it definitely made me happy. I also caught up with my extended family. Video chats, Ludo king and WhatsApp treasure hunt games made up some pretty goofy memories. I felt happy.

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