Column: How quarantine changed my life as a model

The 13th of March 2020 is a day that no one will ever forget. We’re all in self-isolation, quarantine and we avoid to be in close contact beside our family members. It has an important on everyone and we’re going through rough times. On my side it resulted into having to stop doing my modelling and dancing work.

Nothing happens to you, it happens for you! See the positive in negative events

A week before Belgium went in lockdown, we already started to feel the tension and upcoming consequences because of the virus. It was spreading itself quite rapidly over the whole world and the stories, news and articles about other countries in quarantine were already taking over our national news. These messages made me feel nervous and I got a strange feeling in my stomach. Luckily my mom is a veterinarian and she therefor knows more about viruses than me. This helped us to deal with all the informations in a better way.

Also at school, before they decide to close them, my friends and I couldn’t talk about anything else. I think in the end, it was a daily conversation topic for all of us. Also here, at school, you could feel the vibe changing. We felt anxiety and insecurity for a couple of days.

It’s a day that will make history

And then it was Friday, the 13th of March. It was a normal morning and as always my mom came into my room at 7AM to give me a hug and open the windows. However this time. she sat down next to me so I immediately knew she was going to tell me something I wouldn’t expect. My mom said: “Titi, I have to tell you something. Today it will be the last day of school. It closes for at least five weeks and Belgium is going in lockdown. All schools and non-essential shops have to close because of quarantine.”

My first reaction was unbelief and being in shock. Then I thought: alright I will have a very long Easter Holiday. Instead of two weeks in April, I will now have a full month. But then I realized that when the government is taking such big decisions, it must be a serious situation as well.

After my mom told me the news and I started to realise what was happening, the schools also began to arrange the lessons and homework. We had to pick up our stuff, I saw my friends in tears and it was honestly all panic. Today, when I look back at it, I don’t see it as a good, neither funny, day.

Rearranging our lives

Once back home we sat down at the family table. It was me, my mom, dad and brother. During our talk we made one point clear: either we feel down and sorry. Or we make the best out of this quarantine time! And that’s what we were going to do. We are a very positive-minded family which really helps during situations like these.

Even with the positive family talk, I felt a little out of my comfort zone. I took my blanket, crawl into my bed and started to chat with my friends. Some of us were wondering what was going on. It looks like war has started and will this last forever? I plugged my headphones and started to listen to some music while having a motivational talk with myself: “I can’t feel sad as we live in a warm family. I’m surrounded with my brother and parents, and things will be fine!”

That night I fell asleep and the next morning the sun was shining bright. It was almost a sign that said “It will all be good, be patient.” And I kept that in mind while going down to the kitchen, following the smell of the fresh coffee mom was making, I pet my dog and sat outside to listen to the sound of the birds. They were clearly feeling happy!

We are one happy family

When I’m writing this we’re more than one week further and this self-quarantine isn’t as bad as I thought in the very beginning. The sun shining, Spring has officially started and we’re together as a family spending quality time together. We’re doing so much activities together, more than ever, and I can take a break from my modeling work. Not having these busy schedules with dance lessons, acting work or photoshoots gives me a sort of inner peace that I didn’t feel for a while.

My favorite activities this week were making pancakes with my brother. We also played a lot of Rummikub and as my mom is still working, my dad and I are fixing all kind of things at home. Being able to help out my parents and spending this much time together makes me realize how much I was focused on my work as a model. I kind of forgot the essentials in life. Maybe all of this is a sign from the universe to slow down? To get back to the essentials of life and to be thankful for what we have.

Now that we are in quarantine I have extra time to think and work on my future. I will also take a moment to review my work as a model and dancer. Is this really what I want to do for a long time? And is it what I want to pursue? Of course I will also focus on work but I mainly want to be back better than ever when they decide that we can restart our lives like it was before the lockdown. However, it looks like life will never be the same anymore…

This article has been written in collaboration with @MARGAUX.DECKERS

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