The Best Defense Is Attack

Starting next Monday (two days from now) restrictive measures in Valencia, the town where I live in now, will be relaxed. For the last 6 weeks we’ve been in a de-facto lockdown: we couldn’t run outside without a mask, bars and coffee shops were closed and there was also a cierre perimetral during weekends, meaning you couldn’t travel between cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants. And, of course, the curfew, starting at 10PM and ending at 6AM, a time in which you’re not allowed out on the streets.

I’m not gonna write about the measures themselves, I already did this quite a few times since I started my daily blogging challenge, so you should be familiar with my point of view. If you’re not, though, I’m just gonna say I find these measures disproportionately restrictive compared with their perceived benefits. And this is a very soft statement.

Anyway, from Monday on, we should start enjoying a little bit of freedom. The re-opening will be gradual, coffee shops will only be allowed to open their terraces, nothing inside, and there will be a 30% cap on attendance. This morning, as I was enjoying my daily double espresso, I had a small chat with the barista. I learned they will start serving tostadas again.

Now, for the last 6 weeks, another part of my morning rituals was making my own tostadas. But not just throwing together some bread, and other random stuff, no, sireee, I’ve put a lot of effort, focus and attention to detail in this process. I also shared them every morning on my Facebook and Instagram profiles. Not like I had anything else to share, obviously, because lockdown. I did this so religiously disciplined that at least two persons from my following posted their own tostadas, saying they were inspired by mines.

As I was talking to my favorite barista, and as the thought of having a real breakfast on a real terrace started to gain some momentum, I realized I was getting emotional. In the good sense of “emotional”. I was looking forward to it like you look forward to Christmas, in a way. 6 weeks of frog-boiling immobilization is a lot. Although I tried real hard not to give in to the mental flattening – because that’s the only thing that gets flattened during these lockdowns, not “the curve” – and I created rituals, exercised, started challenges and new projects, keeping myself busy, there was some, I wouldn’t call it “damage”, but some sort of negative outcome of this lockdown.

And, although my approach worked, the negative pat of it was that it was all defensive. Like a boxer who knows there will be a long string of punches from a way more powerful opponent, I tried to protect myself. I knew from the first lockdown that isolation, lack of balanced human interaction and lack of movement have a very adverse effect on me, so this time I was proactive. But still in defense.

I don’t like being defensive. I don’t like being in a fight, in a first place, there are better ways to advance in life than fighting, but even when I’m in a fight, I don’t like being defensive. If anything, I want to know that at least I lead the fight, somehow. And this “black swan” event put a lot of us – I would dare to say the vast majority of the world population – on defense.

If you stay on the defense for too long, you start to borrow the victim’s behavior. You start thinking like an oppressed person. You start accepting bad things, or just limitations, as “deserved”. You may not do this consciously, in the beginning, but the prolonged confinement will slowly push you, unconsciously, to these defensive behavioral patterns.

After I got back home from my morning coffee, I started to make my morning tostada. I still put a decent amount of attention to detail into it, but I’m not going to lie, I was happy this tostada making thing will end soon. Although it was mostly fun, it was also an entirely defensive measure, and, like I said, I don’t enjoy being defensive.

If defense is really needed, then the best one is attack. What “attack” means in this context, well, I’m not gonna share today, but I already started to work on it. Don’t think too far, it’s nothing revolutionary, violent or aggressive, on the contrary, it’s just being highly proactive, trying to be a few steps ahead of the germophobic fascism which is slowly engulfing our planet.

I still think it’s possible to escape it. And I hope everybody will realize that, before the world will be irremediably fractured.

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