How my life has changed in lockdown.
Picture it, I’m on a plane to Aspen to learn to ski and do a shoot at the ever so chic “Little Nell’ resort. I remember I started to hear rumors of a virus in Asia somewhere and I remember just sorta blowing it off. Then a week later I’m now leaving Aspen and I’m at the airport and everyone is panicking because that same virus was on the move and headed to American now. At that moment I had no idea that would be the last flight I would take for a very long time. As I returned to L.A. I was scheduled for major surgery and my surgeon made me promise I wouldn’t be around people for 6 weeks due to the virus spreading and targeting those with weak immune systems. To say I was scared would be the understatement of the year, I was terrified!
So, for six weeks I hid out, wore gloves non-stop, slathered myself in sanitizer, and only left the house for walks and long drives. Basically, the life I knew was gone, and ill be honest, I was pretty sad about it all. It wasn’t until I became much more informed about the virus that I finally began to relax. Then I slowly started to find my way in this new world we’re in and I started to begin to feel like happy Ryan again. But for everyone out there who fell victim to the terror of the unknown of all of this, I was right there with you. Thank god that fear went away and I’m myself again. Happy grateful and embracing all the changes instead of dreading them.
Nowadays I see this lockdown as a strange sorta gift that was forced upon me. It has made me really practice what I preach about “being present”. I remember before lockdown I was constantly planning my next trip, always on the move, and always needing to look ahead. Now I am more still and grateful for where I am right now and all the little pleasures around me. I’m excited to share some of these changes with you. Maybe my path will help you with yours.
Remembering the outdoors
I hadn’t realized it before lockdown but I had lost touch with the wild little girl in me who grew up in sunny California camping, hiking, surfing, dirt biking and just being in nature every day. At the beginning of lockdown, I was still healing from surgery so I started to picnic every day just to get out. Then once I healed up I invested in a pretty serious road bike and started cycling for fitness since I couldn’t do pilates classes anymore. I started going to the beach a lot and picked surfing back up again after 5 years off. I even started a new thing called “foil boarding”. So now I basically live outside and I can’t go a full day inside anymore without noticing it and needing to go out to eat on my patio. I think of everything that being in lockdown has changed in my life I am the most grateful that I fell back in love with being outside every day.
Food for fun
Before lockdown, I was what some would call a “foodie”. I loved going out to eat at great restaurants. It was a huge part of my life and then when all the restaurants closed I found myself cooking at home every day, every meal. Now let me be clear here, I am not a chef. I’m average in the kitchen at best, but I sorta fell in love with making things up and preparing it all. I also had never really noticed how unhealthy food at restaurants can be with all the sauces and extras they add. So when I started cooking all my own meals I felt amazing. I’ve always been a really clean cook when I cooked for myself. Mainly because I don’t know how to make sauces or use spices very well. But now even though most restaurants are open again I prefer to throw on a movie and stay in a cook with friends.
A new kinda adventure
The biggest hurdle and gift this lockdown gave me was taking away travel. If you’ve been following me for a while you will know, I’m a real-life Gypsy. I’ve lived all over the world and I love to travel alone and I have no fear. If there is an adventure to be had I will pick up and move across the globe to go after it. Because my biggest passion in life is learning about cultures and the ways people live all over the world. So I’m sure you can imagine my heartbreak when all the borders shut their gates.
Saying goodbye to travel for an unknown amount of time was difficult but now six months later it has taught me so much and I’m so grateful for it. It’s allowed me to really connected with my friends on a deeper level which was something I couldn’t fully do before because I was always running off somewhere. It has also forced me to explore more of my neighborhood and now I go for walks all the time now and have found so many cute parks to picnic in. I realized now how lucky I am to live in Southern California. Before lockdown, sadly I took this for granted a little bit and now I feel so lucky this is where I have to spend my lockdown. The weather is amazing and we are surrounded by beautiful beaches and mountains everywhere I look.
So wherever you are right now, try to find the things that interest you outside, enjoy those walks, home-cooked meals, and facetime with friends. These times were in have the power to teach us so much about true connection with nature and one another, if we let it.
I hope this year will make us globally much wiser and more present than ever. I hope we take a perspective of gratitude with us into whatever world is waiting for us when this all clears up.