Ava M I was experiencing this really life-changing experience
Prior to the pandemic, I had just graduated school in December. I graduated a little bit early. I was starting this new job. I’m super excited. And then my dad gets diagnosed with this terminal leukaemia. He just gone through all the check-ups. Everything seemed like he was fine. Everything was good. That was before March, April 2020. And so my parents relocated to Seattle to be closer to the cancer treatment areas, because if you’re going to get leukaemia anywhere, you hopefully will be in Seattle, because that’s what we’re known for their research.
And so I was kind of on my own. And that was prior to the pandemic. And then the pandemic happened. So already a little bit isolated. We were having to sort of social distance to begin with because I didn’t want to get my dad sick and I wanted to visit him. So, yeah, it was a little bit isolating.
I’m very fortunate in the sense that I have I had resources, and I know a lot of people sort of lost those resources. So that was kind of nice. I could live at home and not be worried with working or whatever.
But if you can’t work and you kind of are just sitting with your thoughts, which is not always the best.
I think previously I gone through some traumatic experiences, like a child of divorce, parents. I didn’t live with one parent for very specific reasons. And kind of in high school, I dealt with disassociating and some of that stuff to deal with, sort of that trauma. And during the pandemic, for sure, I was dealing with that.
I’m very much a go gather kind of person. So sort of stereotypical, like, I like to get my good grades. My As. I like to be busy with my athletics. So all of this having to sit with my thoughts sucked, to be honest.
When I was staying in my parents home, I was trying to be helpful when there wasn’t a lot that I could do to help the situation. So I remember my boyfriend and I were cleaning the basement, and I just would start doing tasks. And I didn’t even realize that I was doing those tasks. And so I was in the basement. I was just cleaning, cleaning. And he was like, Are you okay? Like you said that we were going to start watching a TV show, and now you’re just cleaning the basement, like, what’s going on? And I remember not being able to really respond to that when he was asking me questions, like being totally out of my head. So I think that was something that I definitely struggled with, sort of feeling completely outside of my body, it’s sort of, like, definitely feeling outside of myself.
I’m very close. I was very close with my dad. And so even though I was experiencing this really life changing experience, not only with the pandemic, but with the fact that I knew I was going to lose my dad.
I still had things and people that I cared about and who cared about me.
And so having contortion and having something to really channel my energy into and train all the time was really, really, really helpful, because that’s all you can do, really. So I know a lot of my circus friends and people that I’m connected with that’s what we did is we just trained, which I think a lot of us are very focused individuals. So sometimes that could be a bad thing because we’re so focused on training and things to distract ourselves that we were over training. I know for sure, maybe not taking care of those other needs and just focusing on our craft.
And then I also know at the same time that I was sort of using that as a coping mechanism.
One of the promises I had made to my dad was I would start going to therapy and start seeing a therapist not only to deal with what he knew would be a really rough time with grief, but also some of my past trauma.
So I did end up seeing a therapist after he passed away, which that has been really, really useful to sort of get some perspective on what’s going on, and also to not be so hard on myself for being human. I think that’s a really big thing. Like, you know, sometimes I like to have this idea of myself of being, like, almost not even human, like wanting to be the very best that I can possibly be. And that’s sort of unachievable. And so that therapy is really helpful reflecting on that.