7th May 2020

Culture / India Price

India Price is Right: What Now?

44 7 mins 1

CCoronavirus is very real and very present and it’s affected all of us in a million different ways. India Price, our weekly columnist, writes about her personal experiences during the lockdown. She is honest and authentic and just a little modest. As she says herself, “I’m just one person with one set of opinions, so here goes."

I should preface this column by stating the obvious: I am not a scientist or a politician. I’m never going to use this column to make rash statements about things I have no knowledge of. Actually, I’m not sure what I do have knowledge of really (other than celebrity gossip, niche fashion designers and random song lyrics) but what I do have is opinions. I read a lot, I talk a lot, I listen to a lot of podcasts and I like hearing other people’s opinions. With that, this is what I’ve found to be true in the wake of isolation, quarantine and a very morbid COVID-19 world. 

  1. Empathy and gratitude actually matter.

Full transparency: I’m a freelance writer who still has a full roster of clients. I’m living in my mother-in-law’s outhouse and I haven’t really been affected by the virus. I miss my friends, I miss my family. In two days, I’ll have my 29th birthday without any of those people (other than my husband and mother-in-law) by my side. But that’s where my moaning ends. I’d like to think I’ve always been an empathetic and grateful person but the last 6 weeks have put my life into stark contrast compared to a lot of others. 

We can all be spoilt and we can all whinge and whine when things aren’t going our way. But, over the last 6 weeks, I’ve noticed that more people than ever before have become more selfless, more empathetic for their fellow humans and more grateful for what they have. People are giving up their time, their homes, their hard-earned cash to help others. I don’t think we’ve ever seen people care so much about other human beings and I am desperate for that to last. The world can (pretty often) be a nasty place – especially online – and I hope that in the next phase of life, we’ll actually all be quite a lot nicer to each other. 

  1. Reflection is needed.

For most of us, life is worryingly busy (more on that later). Work, social lives, family, marriages, children, finances: the list goes on. But I, for one, can now see how desperately I needed this time to reflect. I’ve had the busiest year of my life trying to sustain self-employment in a saturated market. It’s been hard and it’s been fast-moving. It took my doctor (sorry, parents and husband) telling me earlier this year that my physical symptoms weren’t some life-altering illness but actually a result of stress, for me to actually take a step back. And even then, I didn’t really listen. But the last 6 weeks have given me the chance to think about the clients that I value (and that value me), the friendships that bring me the most joy, how I actually want to spend my time. Reflection is always needed, we just never really take the time to do it. From now on, I want to do it more. 

  1. Busy isn’t always good. 

Our modern world has a problem: we think it’s glamorous to be busy (and tired) all of the time. How many times do you ask someone how they are and they respond with “so busy” or “so tired”? I’m guilty of it – I think we all are. We somehow feel that we have something to prove, that we’ve been working harder than anyone else, been staying up later than anyone else, that our lives are much more interesting than anyone else because of how busy we are. But it’s not true. I actually don’t think being busy is good anymore. Yes, we all need to work and yes, our social lives are essential to our mental wellbeing but I’ve realised that I actually feel so much calmer, happier and more at ease with myself by not being so busy. I’m probably working harder than ever before but I’m crucially making time for myself. I’m shutting down my computer at a social time and not filling up every hour because I think I have something to prove. 

I’m probably working harder than ever before but I’m crucially making time for myself.

India Price

  1. Meetings, schmeetings. 

Oh my god. I am so thankful that I don’t have to sit in on 5 meetings a day that all could have been one simple email. Being freelance means that I have a certain number of clients who require me in their office a few times a week and when I’m there, I can honestly say I get a maximum of one hour of writing done. Corporate people LOVE meetings. I hope and I pray that when lockdown is over and we’re all back in the office, people will see how pointless some meetings are and how much they can zap the creativity out of us. Obviously, the odd meeting is important. But let’s all hope that the 40-minute timer on Zoom translates into real life when all of this is over. 

  1. Comparison really is the thief of joy.

It actually really is and in my mind, social media is to blame. For a lot of us, more time at home means more time scrolling through our apps and comparing our lives to others. But to what end? No one is showing you their dark days. Comparison can ruin everything: creativity, zest for life, relationships. Don’t do it. Don’t give yourself the temptation and if you’re not strong willed enough, delete Instagram (I do this Monday to Friday and it’s life changing). You are you, and no-one else. 

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India Price, eldest daughter of Charlie and Caroline Gladstone, is a freelance editor, writer and digital strategist, specialising in fashion and lifestyle. Her clients include The Gloss, ASOS, John Lewis & Partners, Sir Plus, Next, Hackett and more. She is also an Associate Lecturer at London College of Fashion, tutoring 2nd and 3rd year students across various units in BA (hons) Fashion Journalism.

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