ESE blog

How to: Celebrate, Survive Quarantine and Conclude the Year »in Style«

December started with an office party where we celebrated Noemie’s birthday. The office was decorated in pink glittery ornaments to match the birthday girl’s dress. There was some choreographed dancing, karaoke singing, balloon popping and even the mysterious disappearance of a hacky sack.

December was also the month when the last workshops in Ways of Seeing happened. After acquiring a range of culture-related skills throughout the year, the program of the month was focused on employment in cultural public sector, producer cooperatives and identification of competences. I enjoyed the whole program thoroughly and got new insights and possibilities of what to possibly do in the future.

We also had three Aunt Rosa’s Library events to conclude the program for the year. We learned more about inclusive fairytales, how to join or start a housing community, and finished with an interesting outlook on animals, sexuality and gender.

Then I got Covid and spent a whole eight days in quarantine. However, I was sick(ish) for only two days, but insistently stayed positive for more than the usual time. I did not use the free time productively, for I spent it playing video games and watching a bunch load of TV shows and some movies. Naturally, I missed some of the events that happened, such as the workshop in PUM about platform economies and the opening of the new exhibition in the gallery.

Luckily though, I finally became negative on the morning of PMM collective trip to Gratz, and I was very grateful for that. However, I almost missed the train, because I forgot my passport. It seems I got used to Slovenia so much, that I forgot I am a passport-holder of a third world country. But thanks to my brother, and Slovenian railways for being late, I managed to visit Gratz and enjoy the day with everyone.

Silvia and I then had our last ESC presentation of the year, where we showed photos from our project and talked in front of a room full of representatives of volunteering related, or volunteer hosting, NGOs. It seems that practice does make perfect (or at least makes better than before), for I finally did not have stage fright, was not sweating from my forehead and did not have a shaky voice during the presentation. Even though it was uncomfortable to do these kinds of things throughout the year, it finally seems that it paid off. And repetitive “the learning happens between the comfort and panic zones” which we were told on so many trainings, ultimately, did become truth.

Soon after, it was time for Christmas, which I spent with my roommate’s family. She hosted the Christmas lunch for the first time, so I helped with dessert and furniture moving. During lunch, I did feel a little like an outcast, because I met most of her family on that day, but the food was that good that it did not bother me a lot. I even got some presents, which was unexpected, but welcome. After that day on, I ate the holiday food repeatedly for days, and gained some December weight.

Afterwards, I was in the gallery every workday, because everyone else was on holiday or sick. I did not mind it as much though, because I finally started reading books again, which was a nice change of pace.

Then the New Year celebration came. I can’t tell you much about it, for I don’t remember a lot of it, but people told me I had fun. And, as far as I remember, I did have a lot of fun. But the morning came with a lingering sense of amusement in combination with shame, and a bad hangover with a few bruises. This will be my last ESC blog, for the project is concluding at the end of January. So, whoever is reading this, I wish you all the best in life, and may 2023 give you more than the previous year.

LazarLazar BojanićBojanić
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