Letting My Life Fall Away
Coronavirus has completely restructured my life. By "restructured"... I mean taken my life down to the studs.
At the end of December I was chest deep in the world of live events, specifically corporate conventions and conferences. I was traveling one to two times per month, usually to Las Vegas or San Francisco. I had two sweet ass roller bags that were always packed. My toiletries (even when I was home) were kept in an overnight bag. I was focused on building a work wardrobe, collecting clipboards, and locking down the next job.
I was balancing all of the demands of this lifestyle with the equally demanding lifestyle of aerial arts and creative theatre movement. When I was home my time was spent training (one hour a week with a personal trainer, at least one in the studio prepping choreo or dancing), teaching (5-10 hours/wk depending on the week), and taking care of my body (which was showing all the signs of wear and tear that you'd expect with aggressive aerial anything.)
I got my hair cut short, colored it to within an inch of it's life, bought a nice watch, and was always looking for the next travel accessory. I was building a persona that was based on having.
The last week of February, I got a call from the producer I worked under, "They cancelled the event." And then everything changed. Everything started to fall away. Every job I had on the books. The aerial and pole studios closed. Schools shut down. Almost overnight my primary sources of income went away and I was left to wonder, what do I do?
The answer was, nothing. Don't do anything. Just stop.
I stopped. My hair started to grow. The highlights grew out. My rollerbags went into the closet. My toothbrush came out of the overnight bag. I couldn't afford anything but the essentials, so I cancelled all my memberships. I stopped training privately. I applied for unemployment. I gave up my parking space. Next month, I'll give up my apartment and maybe my car.
I started to figure out how to move, dance, and create in my living room. I started paying attention to what was happening out my window. I started to paying attention to who lived below me and in the apartment next door. I started to go walking. I started to go camping. I started thinking about what I actually want to spend my energy (read "life") doing. I started to understand what I actually need to survive.
I spent the last 4 months watching my life fall away. In a few months it'll be unrecognizable to the life I had pre-CoVid. It's bearable, and sometimes even exciting, because I made a choice not to fight it. I've mourned and cried on my floor and wished it wasn't so, but ultimately, I recognize that this is what's happening. I accepted it. I decided not to pour all my energy into trying to keep things the same and opened myself up to the inevitability of change. I don't know what's coming down the pipe, but acceptance and surrender have given me more energy to engage with whatever comes next.
I found power in letting my life fall away and creating space for something new to arrive. Hard? Yup. Worth it? I'm choosing to believe it is.
Have you had a similar experience? I'd love to hear about it. Leave a comment below or reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Instagram @greyce.skinner.