I’ve decided to start a blog, mostly because I love to write and our lives keep such a steady pace forward that it is good for me to stop and look back every once in a while. We live a strange life, or at least that’s what I am told. My daughter, Bird, tours around the world with me as I do handstands on just about everyone I meet. We live in a suitcase, or an airbnb, and sometimes at our apartment in Adelaide.
I would like to keep a record of these years, as we struggle to balance performing and homeschool and play dates and mommy dates and days when I was sure I wasn’t enough and days that move on so quickly it feels like they only exist in the beautiful imaginary world of my amazing young daughter.
We have recently packed up our lives into two suitcases and a carry-on and moved to Adelaide, Australia to perform with my dream company, Gravity and Other Myths. It’s an adventure that we are still navigating and there will be many trials and errors in our future.
“How do you do this? How can you raise your daughter like this?” I am asked by every person who has ever met us (my own family included). And the answer is a pretty short one: This is our life. I am an acrobat. I am a mom. And it works.
I have known for many years that I am an obstinate, forceful, and unyielding woman. I have learned in my late 20’s that I am also a capable and resilient human. These two traits mixed with a fierce inability to give a fuck leads me to pretty much believe that anything is possible and not be too afraid of failure to test it out. While it sounds quite grand when stated like this, I firmly believe that most human traits come with a spectrum that spans light and dark. I am very independent and have trouble accepting help and love. I am incredibly organized which makes sharing a space or “going with the flow” uncomfortable. These positives and negatives can be seen in how I parent as well as Bird’s and my relationship. I often reflect on how she mirrors my behavior back to me and what habits are already instilled, both good and bad.
Our life has blossomed out of a conscious lack of future attachment. Life has provided me with enough twists and turns to shatter any illusion of attaining some perfect future. And while I do believe in foresight and preparedness, I do not subscribe to the idea that once a plan is in motion, you can no longer jump ship. In fact, it has taught me exactly the opposite. I have been lucky enough to be haphazardly thrown overboard only to find that treading water isn’t too bad, and swimming isn’t much harder than treading, and sometimes a good swim is all you need to clear your head to form a new plan. We tend to focus on solving the major problems of a future we have no control over rather than practicing making the proper choices for the situation at hand.
When people ask me about the long term sustainability of our life I always answer that it is working now, and one day it may not work, but when that happens I trust in my abilities to ask for help, to seek a reasonable path to a new future, and have the purpose of action to make the necessary changes.
There is a whole generation of people afraid to have children because it means giving up the job, or life, they love. To this I will say that nothing has taught me self sacrifice like a child. But I also would say that nothing has taught me the importance of self care like having a child. You can design whatever life you want for yourself and your family. You and your partner(s) (I am lucky to have many friends and family and a co-parent, all who I consider my partners) and your kids are the authors. Every novel receives critiques and believe me, as a parent you will hear your fair share of them. But I like to think the reason parents are critiqued so hard is because there is an understanding that a child is a most precious being, and they deserve everything good in this world. But it is up to each parent to decide what is good for their own lives and gently tell everyone else “ Thank you. Now fuck off.”
In this blog I may talk about handstands or homeschool or just rant about being a 29-year-old single mom/acrobat, but I’m looking forward to sharing the silly and sad and difficult and beautiful moments of Bird and my journey as we balance Her with Me with Reality.