Despite living on an island surrounded by crystal clear waters, I haven’t truly enjoyed the beach in so long. The last few years of my life have seen me crave the city life and fly off to whichever wonderful European city will gift me that at any chance I get – and when I was not doing that, I could be found by the pool, sipping on a glass of icy white wine. I’ve craved the extravagant locations; the gorgeous infinity pools I could barely afford and the daring ensemble I would then opt for. I’ve hung out at fancy lounges and sipped on martinis while jazz music played on. And then I chased the busy, chaotic life – the one that never ceases to excite me. Even when I am most exhausted of my work schedule and the days spent running in the bustling city, I could never complain. I have embraced those days laden with events and I have lived an expensive lifestyle – it tends to happen when you live for all things tasteful, when you’re a perfectionist and creative soul and nothing pains you more than a poorly-presented meal or shabby interiors. The overall experience always mattered as much as the official offering, if that makes any sense at all.
Spending so much time indoors has enabled me to appreciate the seaside a lot more. Not just the seaside – but the overall Mediterranean experience. Since we aren’t on an official lockdown here, I’ve ventured out on the occasional beach picnic and countryside walk, and I have loved every bit of it. Don’t get me wrong, I cannot wait to slip on my heels once again, sit with my friends at an elegant bar in Valletta’s narrow streets and find the next best excuse to get all dolled up. I need that for my sanity, too. But I have instead decided to really take in the Mediterranean beauty and document that on a brand new, personal Instagram page. Who knew I could enjoy colour so much? It has almost felt like an inner conflict I have had with myself – the Natalya who always wore hats and all-black ensembles has been sporting striking yellow and jeans in every shade of blue. Yet this burgeoning freedom has allowed me to embrace a second side to myself. And I mean it, really; my art has also opened up to a more dreamy, whimsical style. Isn’t it spectacular, how COVID-19 is helping us all explore more of life? All the time we spend alone with ourselves is pivotal for self-discovery. Whether you are an artist like myself or not, there’s a lot of innovation that can and likely will come out of this phase. Personally? I’ve stocked up on second hand books from Amazon and started reading a self-help book and one on female sexuality. I started to draw portraits again, and then experimented with different mediums for my fashion illustrations. I’ve conversed with old friends, rekindled connections I once presumed dead. I’ve worked on my branding and made career plans for my future, I have taken up journaling again and taken some time to really delve deep and single out what it is that I’d like to change about my life – from my personality, my love life, my friendships.
Don’t misinterpret this blog post – figuring out so much of life while a pandemic takes over is not easy. Parts of my lifestyle have faltered; I wake up and lack motivation on some mornings. My sleeping patterns have become ridiculous, my food consumption has never been unhealthier, my creative ideas aren’t the best everyday. You’re not a failure for not managing to do any of the above or whatever it is you were aiming to do. But you should try, because there is actually a lot that can come out of this time.