Maria. Polina Soyref, portrait photographer

Maria, 31, choreographer, teacher, performer, research fellow

Interviewed on 15 May 2020

To be honest, there’s wasn’t any apparent change in my life. I was already working from home as if the planet itself was preparing me for changes. I stopped teaching gymnastics and that was about the thing that had changed. And that was a good thing since I began to rethink training techniques; I was trying to feel what exactly our body needs. I haven’t felt this distressed and off-key for a long time and now I understand the people who I do training for, I expanded the program.

Most people say their life got slower, mine, on the other hand, got busy super quick. It just so happens that I planned to take 4 courses: labor law, taxation, marketing, human resource management. And that’s a lot of new information. I wanted to learn these skills to start my own business, but these skills are far from creative. I felt uneasy, I had to sit and listen a lot. Sometimes I had a hard time concentrating. I teach these things at my training, aim for staying in the moment, be present, don’t get lost in your thoughts. But I found this as my weakness: when I overload my brain I just can’t process the information and be present at the same time.

When panic started to spread, I wasn’t feeling alarmed at all. I have some sort of connection with nature; I live in the woods and had a sense that everything is fine. You know, when you go to a theatre and you see people act on stage and this panic seemed put on, like acting to me.  Well, maybe once, when everyone started panic buying groceries, I thought that I also should take care of myself materially, so it wouldn’t be just inner peace.  But that was just a brief thought. This period gave me a much clearer understanding of what I’ve known for a long time now: I create everything myself. Doesn’t matter if I feel bad or good; it’s all because of me, even though it would be easier to blame something external.

In any case, this was a period of reconsideration. I work with people; help them reach their full potential, become more flexible. But because of fear, they don’t have time for this kind of stuff and I think that’s wrong. If a person is only going after the necessary things, they will never figure themselves out. The skill of synergizing with your soul and your abilities is crucial even if you lost your job or something worse happened.

What I do like about this period is how much more considerate people have become. Even if it’s just a small thing, like keeping a 2-meter distance from each other. Usually, a person just goes wherever he needs to go and doesn’t see anything beautiful along the way. But now it’s like a door to your mind.

Right now I feel a lot of strength and possibilities coming my way, I just have to find a direction for them. Since I was a child, I always felt a part of something and that this period didn’t tear me apart, this sense of wholeness stayed with me. But this is also the outcome of me living in my own world, I don’t read the news, I make music and listen to nature and my breathing.

“Tell me your story”