Disclaimer: In Real Life is a platform for everyday people to share their experiences and voices. All articles are personal stories and do not necessarily echo In Real Life\u2019s sentiments. In 2019, if you have told someone they would be living in a pandemic, they would have just laughed at your face.\u00a0 However 2020 and the whole year was spent social distancing and in your house. Some might have been affected mentally, some might have had to change their travel plans. Fortunately for some, they got to keep their jobs. But not one everyone is as lucky.\u00a0 Image source: Unsplash I had to move back to my parents\u2019 house \u201cIn the beginning, I didn\u2019t see the issue of it. I knew about a new kind of flu from all the memes on social media, but it was something that I would see, laugh and scroll past, to move on with my life.\u201d Natasha*, (*not her real name) a 26-year old, shares.\u00a0 Natasha only understood the severity of her position when her office closed and she lost her job. \u201cWhen the MCO was announced in March, all non-essential business had to close. Which means the restaurant I worked for closed too. I was terrified,\u201d she explains. She was an events manager in a restaurant and has been working there a little over a year. So when the government made that announcement, it hit her that this is going to affect her too, especially since she works with big crowds and now that people had to go social distance.\u00a0 Image source: Unsplash \u201cI know it\u2019s selfish that I only realised the magnitude of it when it affected me. I have only myself to blame for not educating myself,\u201d Natasha admits. When the announcement was made, Natasha\u2019s company provided her with very little information on how to move forward. \u201cI don\u2019t blame them though, since everything was new for them too. No one knows when the pandemic is going to end so I didn\u2019t expect definite answers from them since they barely knew what was going on,\u201d she says.\u00a0 Since Natasha was an event manager, working from home was not an option. \u201cIt\u2019s not like people wanted to go to organise events in the middle of the pandemic. So for the first few months, I literally did nothing at home and got paid for it.\u201d\u00a0\u00a0 She started focusing on her savings instead of splurging. After that, her company notified them they would only pay 50% of their salary to everyone.\u00a0 \u201cThis alarmed me. I live alone, I depend on my own income so I started thinking how am I going to pay rent, how am I going to eat next week? Yes, I have savings to survive for a while but after that?\u201d Then Natasha\u2019s boss called her to tell her she had been let go She had a sense of constant fear.\u00a0 But this amplified in July, when her boss called her one day. \u201cHe apologised to me before breaking the news. I remember the tears and panic rushing in when he said \u2018we have to let you go\u2019. But there was nothing I could do about it.\u201d\u00a0 Natasha says how she kept herself composed during the call but as soon as the call ended, she went into a panicked frenzy.\u00a0 \u201cI called my mom and bawled my eyes out to her. I turned from a 25 year old to a 5 year old, crying to mummy. I loved my job and was not ready to lose it at all.\u201d\u00a0 She composed herself quickly and started applying for new jobs. The next few weeks she had enough savings to sustain herself, but as time went the numbers in her bank account got lower, and no one was hiring.\u00a0 \u201cNo one wanted to hire anyone at that time. Understandable. I would not hire anyone too but it still sucked,\u201d Natasha confesses.\u00a0 She moved back in with her parents and depended on them for expenses like for food. \u201cIt\u2019s embarrassing to be a 25 year old and still depend on your parents financially, but I had no choice.\u201d\u00a0 She added, \u201cI still had to pay rent for my apartment since the lease didn\u2019t end.\u201d\u00a0 Natasha started doing freelance designing and proofreading jobs She moved back in with her parents and depended on them for expenses like for food. \u201cIt\u2019s embarrassing to be a 25 year old and still depend on your parents financially, but I had no choice.\u201d\u00a0 Natasha still had to pay rent for her apartment since the lease didn\u2019t end, so she started searching for odd jobs. Luckily she picked up some skills such as graphic designing during her university days.\u00a0 \u201cWhen I saw posts in social media that they need someone to design a thumbnail for a video, I jumped at the chance to earn some small income,\u201d she shared. Eventually she came across more odd job posts on Facebook looking for someone to design or proofread, which suited her.\u00a0 \u201cThe more you do, the more opportunities you would get, since they recommend you to their friends,\u201d Natasha clarified.\u00a0 Aside from her freelance income, Natasha is still applying for jobs all the time and constantly contacting people asking if they know about any offers. However, she\u2019s been getting negative responses so far. \u201cEven if I do, they just say the position is unavailable, the job only starts in 2021 or when the pandemic is over,\u201d Natasha explains. There are times when Natasha loses hope, but she picks herself up quickly. For that, she is grateful for her family. They have been there for her throughout everything, and are always encouraging her. \u201cI have learned to be patient and positive. I know I can\u2019t depend on my freelance work forever since it\u2019s quite inconsistent and I have to find a steady job.\u201d\u00a0 \u201cI have come to terms that my opportunity will only come when the pandemic is over and until then to hold on,\u201d Natasha concludes. For more stories like this, read: \u00a0 These Are Three Malaysians Who Got Fired for the Most Ridiculous Reasons and After Malaysia's Borders Were Closed, Here's What 5 Pilots Are Doing To Survive If you like what you read, follow us on Facebook & Instagram.