This photograph represents a myriad different things to me. Bleak on first impression, you can either see some light in the distance or the dark colourless life in front of you, or you see both. For me it also has something of beauty as I know in full sunshine what the same view will look like as I have seen this before and I am confident I will see it again.

I consider myself a fairly self-driven individual, especially in the face of adversity. So when the COVID-19 pandemic uprooted all sense of normalcy in our everyday lives, I was able to stay grounded. My working environment switched from the typical healthcare setting to my home office. I was grateful to have the Trust’s support as necessary procedures were implemented to facilitate that transition, such as setting up my home office. As long as the items on my shopping list for my home office were selected from a predefined list, it would be delivered straight to my doorsteps. It was as if Christmas came early! 

At the same time though I felt somehow guilty not having been in acute care risking my life like others but had to prioritise only looking after those close to me. I think I did what I could, but I wish I could have done more. I think many others are in a similar position. It is similar to those people who see a child drowning and don’t jump into the water to try and rescue them as they know that there is a high risk of leaving their own children without a parent as a consequence if they did.

With all efforts and resources channelled towards acute care during the pandemic, and rightfully so, I did feel that children were at a disadvantage – unable to access the necessary services that they should have been getting. As a father myself, I was acutely aware of what families were going through during this time, and was frustrated on their behalf. Nonetheless, I attempted to make the best out of my situation and aimed to provide help and support to the utmost of my abilities.

In some ways, I see myself being a lucky one throughout this pandemic. I have a roof over my head and am able to juggle the demands of both work and family. To top it all off, I am blessed to live in the countryside which allows me to step outside for a breather to rejuvenate myself whenever I need to. In the mornings, I am granted the time to think and self-reflect as I am surrounded by nature with my dog as my only companion. Simple things such as my day and what lies in front of me are common themes that cross my mind but I value the opportunity to do so as it helps me grow as an individual.

The photograph draws upon another important message. In art and photography, different people see very different things, it is ultimately up to the interpretation of each individual. For instance, to some individuals, this photograph may appear bleak. Some may choose to focus on the light in the distance and the darkness may have caught the eyes of others. This accentuates the importance of immersing yourself in a neurodiverse community and being open-minded. There is more to a situation than meets the eye, no matter how pessimistic it may seem, it is within our capabilities to shift our perspectives.

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