The Quarantine Diaries: Entries From My Journal.
2020 started off as what we all thought was going to be THE best year of our lives.
That isn't the case for many.
I have written a collection of articles from April to December of my days as a seventeen-year-old in quarantine. Living through a pandemic during junior & senior year of high school is a rollercoaster of emotions. These articles are my feelings, opinions, and perspectives on life in quarantine. I have my good days as well as my bad. But no matter what I make sure to sit down and reflect on everything I've been blessed with. It's okay to feel happy and sad during these chaotic times.
I present to you...The Quarantine Diaries.
April 2nd, 2020
By Ava Madison
Quarantine…where do I begin?
Let me start off by saying I love it. Yes, I love staying completely isolated from the rest of humanity all day. I know what you’re thinking, don’t you miss your friends Ava? Well of course I do…that’s why face time was invented.
During this extension of downtime I’ve been rather productive writing articles for my blog, binge-watching golden star teenage dramas, having John Hughes marathons, and spending time with the people who matter the most to me.
I’ve gotten to spend more time resting, one of my favorite activities. I’m always going! Go, go, go! Whether it's working my butt off making a playbills and posters for my theatre troupe, or writing copy, capturing memories that are made in the halls of my high school, or trying to master my academic skills, it all takes blood, sweat, tears, passion, and pride to succeed in every category. When I make a commitment to something I give it my EVERYTHING. And that's all I’ve done these last two semesters of my junior year, and above all that, things in my personal life were sometimes rocky…and instead of tending to those issues, I put business first. Because that’s who I am…a champion. Champions deserve downtime. I’ve enjoyed being reminded of the things I love and why I love them. One of them being writing. I love to write! And I hadn't written a single article for my blog since December. You should never have to stop doing something you love. Another thing I’ve done is spent time with my family. I felt like I was paying more attention to my friends than the people who have never let me down, those wonderful people... my family.
I think the only time I actually got to have five minutes of conversation with my parents was when they dropped me off and picked me up from school…and sometimes that wouldn’t be till 3:00 pm or 8:00 pm. That was due to tutoring, endless nights of projects and homework, or being at rehearsal for theatre. And when we were able to talk they weren’t seeing the best version of their daughter because she was stressed, exhausted, or busy.
There’s always something going on in everyone’s life.
I hate the circumstances that the whole world is facing right now but I think each and every single one of us has been given the chance we needed. The chance to reconnect with our loved ones, have a meaningful conversation with friends,(not including stupid gossip), fall deeply in love with a book, dance like no one is watching, stay up till three in the morning to binge your favorite show, laugh like we did when we were young, and recognize ourselves again.
I don’t know about you but this is the most alive I’ve felt all year.
So how would I describe my quarantine?
I have one word to sum it all up…
By Ava Madison
I hope everyone is doing well during these interesting times. Please stay positive, happy, and continue to radiate good vibes only through these next couple of months!
While in quarantine, I’ve found myself being alone with my thoughts more than usual. Another thing I’ve discovered that is quite puzzling is my struggle to fall into a deep slumber when the sun goes down. I’ve tried lavender, soothing music, reading, writing, and nothing, absolutely nothing is putting me to sleep. I hope to find a solution soon. Besides that, let me tell you how I'm feeling.
I feel very very blessed and thankful. I’m thankful to be under the roof of my beautiful home with my wonderful family. A lot of people have mixed feelings about this quarantine and social distancing. While some people think it’s useless and horrid I find it much needed…not just for myself but the entire world. I’m not a fan of the global pandemic that has caused this change of living to civilization but this quarantine was needed.
I hope people step away from the pandemic as better people.
I hope we appreciate everyone and everything near and dear to us just a little more than we did before this apocalyptic like event. I hope you tell your parents thank you and that you're their number one fans, I hope siblings grow closer instead of drifting apart, I hope spouses will treat each other with respect and make time for one another, I hope kids enjoy the experiences they will only enjoy while young, I hope friends will be more excited to see one another on a daily basis because you never know when that could stop. I want teachers to ease up on their students instead of making them feel like it’s the end of the world if they turn in an assignment late, or get a question wrong on a test. I want teenagers to know the future is so bright for not one…but all of us, and I want the people of this beautiful world we live in to stop judging one another by skin color, religion, sexuality, gender, strengths, weaknesses, but our true character.
We are all equal. I mean aren’t we all in quarantine? That’s what I thought.
Life is just too sweet and short to only focus on the lows…you'll sometimes miss the highs that way.
While in quarantine have you regretted something you said to a person....or maybe didn’t say?
Have you wished you could take one little thing back?
Use this as a learning experience.
The next time you want to say
something to a person say it!
Do something, do it!
Kiss someone, kiss them!
Dance like no one's watching, dance!
Live? LIVE and then LIVE some more!
You never know when you could be quarantined.
This article is just my honest feelings. I love life, always have, always will! Through the ups and the downs, the stupid turn arounds and the worst days of my life I’ve simply forgiven those who have hurt me, loved those who didn’t desert me, cherished every memory that I’ve made, kept every conversation at the back of my head, taken every risk that has been thrown my way, and faced every challenge that wanted to play…at the end of the day I refuse to fall. And have remained fabulous through it all.
You could and you should follow these words of advice.
We can get through this with faith and strength.
I love you all.
Stay safe and inside!
Date: Who knows...
By Ava Madison
Is it just me or does life feel like anything but real…
I haven’t written an article in a while... let along published anything.
This year has definitely been the weirdest of my 17 years on this earth. Junior year was already challenging and tragic but now it’s not just the pressure of an SAT score, or the lack of motivation to do anything. Junior year just punched, kicked, slapped, and tortured the living shit out of me.
Okay I know that sounds very dramatic and I will admit things weren’t that bad..okay my parents taught me not to lie so why start now.
But now life feels unreal. I feel like I’m in some alternate universe. And as someone who has seen World War Z and other horrifying “end of the world” movies…I’m scared. To me, anything is really possible.
And yes I will be the first to tell you I’m one of the few teenagers who isn’t complaining about being isolated in my house all day. To be honest it’s actually a dream come true for me…well minus the deadly virus taking over the world.
I know why some people dread the isolation…they’re scared and lonely.
Scared this is permanent and not some temporary precaution. Scared they won’t get to live out their high school fantasies like the class of 2020, scared this could be the new normal.
Sure I say I’m scared but I also feel a sense of comfort.
Fear is not of God.
I’ve known that for as long as I can remember. Those five words have gotten me through a lot in my life and I know they won’t fail me now.
But I can’t help but ponder about what never was.
My dream career.
My Broadway debut.
My grammy acceptance speech.
My engagement with Harry Styles..too much?
The last concert I went to was really my last concert...at least for a while.
The last thing me and my best friend did together.
My last interaction with school acquaintances.
And one last thing...to all the boys who liked me but never said anything...oh well.
Xoxo Ava M.
By Ava Madison
The 2019-2020 school year is over.
The remainder of the year will be online.
I can honestly say I’m a bit heartbroken. Not because I won’t get to sit in a classroom ALL DAY…but because of the memories made in one spot in particular.
I’ve been a member of troupe 7678 at my high school since my freshmen year. I am now a junior going into my senior year. Gosh! Where did the time go? I’m trying to figure out how I went from a fourteen-year-old who was somewhat shy yet, still had so much confidence and excitement within her... to a seventeen-year-old who has never been more sure of herself.
It’s not just the seniors who had their last bow on that stage. So did I. I performed in my last high school Production on February 25th, 2020.
Some of you may be asking why I am leaving something I hold in my heart so dearly…it’s a journal full of memories, secrets, happiness, loss, heartbreak, accomplishments, laughter, joy, inside jokes, and so many wonderful characters…those characters being some of my favorite people I have ever met.
That’s why I’m saying goodbye to theatre. It’s a journal I’ve carried around for three years now…the pages are full and the ink has dried out in my pen.
This chapter in my life has come to an end.
Within the chapters of this journal, you will see a girl who grew more familiar with herself each day, a girl who created relationships that lasted 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months, or 3 years, an assistant director who changed her life for the better and saw her greatness when she was blind. I’m lucky to say I am that girl.
Theatre is something I’ve always loved. Since the age of two, I jumped at any opportunity to put on a show for family, friends, even strangers. There is no other feeling like walking onto a dark stage and feeling nervous, yet ambushed with excitement. It’s hard for me to describe how alive I feel when performing. My favorite part is gazing out into the audience and making eye contact with as many shadowed faces as I can. I try to make a connection, leave that stranger with a feeling. It truly is the coolest thing. You should try it if you ever get the chance…or better yet take a chance like I did my freshmen year. It might change your life, or someone else’s. Even though I’ve spent the last three years of high school staying at school till 5:00 pm or later for rehearsals and other theatre-related activities, I will miss highlighting my lines on a brand new script, I will miss the memories you can only make in a three-hour rehearsal, I will miss the backstage shenanigans that thankfully didn't distract the audience, (I think)! I will miss the circle of my fellow thespians and I hand in hand grasping onto each other's sweaty, clammy palms on a show night reciting “whether the weather is cold, whether the weather is hot, whatever the weather we’re in this together whether you like it or not." Some of us trying to hold ba and sock tears, some of us watching those tears roll down our cheeks hitting the worn floor of the black box. But most of all I will miss the people that have made high school a real-life movie. You are all stars in my eyes and I hope to see you doing what you love years from now. I’d even love to share a stage with you elsewhere.
To be a part of something...that’s a beautiful thing.
This article is a rather personal one.
My last role: The Little Mermaid
By: Ava M.
Today I am feeling sad and isolated. Today is the 77th Day of Quarantine….and I’m going crazy. Stay at home order has been lifted and many people have gone back to their everyday life which is funny to me because some people I know never stepped out of their everyday routine. What I mean by that is they never socially distanced.
It just blows my mind that a global pandemic is going on and no one seems to care. I just think it’s unfair that a small percentage of people are actually considering a whole population of people’s health by staying inside their homes and social distancing, while a large percentage are being selfish and throwing parties on the beach, getting blacked out drunk. I haven’t seen my best friend since March and we had a whole bucket list of things we wanted to do together before she leaves for college. It looks like that won’t be happening anytime soon. But we facetime often, we text every day, we even leave letters on each other's doorsteps. We do anything and everything to stay connected during this crazy time in history. But I would do anything to hug her right now. See that’s what I mean by us sacrificing our summer plans to keep the people in our community safe. But how is it that those people are out living their best lives?
I was feeling perfectly fine before people started leaving their houses and going to the beach, the lake, restaurants, and any other public spaces. I mean look…I get it if you and your family escape all the madness and drive up to your beach or lake house, but I don’t get you bringing your best friend to tag along….THAT’S NOT SOCIAL DISTANCING HONEY. Sorry, not sorry. It makes no sense to me. I wonder if anyone else is feeling this way. But ask yourself….Am I one of the selfish or selfless?
By: Ava M.
You’ll never know.
This week I was supposed to be posting three articles that I’ve written in quarantine...due to the circumstances going on right now...I will be postponing my three new articles and leaving you with another type of article.
If you have any type of social media platform or watch any type of news platforms you know that tragedy strikes once again. And when I say that I simply mean this:
“We have seen this before...too many times.”
I’m posting this article because I don’t know any other way to describe how I’m feeling if it isn’t putting a pen to paper or typing emotions on a screen. Besides singing...writing is how I heal.
For those who don’t know, the incident that has caused the world of social networking sites to flood their followers, family, and friend's timelines was a disgusting, disgraceful act of inhumanity.
George Floyd was an innocent man who was held flat on the ground by a (white) policeman who placed his knee to George Floyd’s neck killing him. George’s last words were: “I Can't Breathe.” If this doesn’t make you feel sick, sad, disgusted, and embarrassed of society...I think it’s time for you to have a reality check.
If you are not moved by the graphics, harsh, brutal images, empowering words by fellow activists and influencers...you are not an ally.
This is a time to show your black brothers and sisters that you will stand with them. You will walk behind them as they lead the peaceful protest, you will show them that you care and want to see a change in the present and for years to come.
Now I will say...
I’m tired of it
I’m done with seeing it
You know why?
Some of you are posting #BlackLivesMatter just to be on “trend”, for others you are showing your true colors and not posting anything... don’t think I don’t see you and your lack of empathy.
But for me...#BlackLivesMatter is every day. That’s a hashtag to you, but a reality for me.
I’ve grown up my whole life hearing and having conversations with my family about being black and everything that comes with it. For some of you...this is a new topic. You have not once spoken about “what to do if a police pulls you over” in a family meeting. You have never had to understand that you are going to have scenarios where you get treated differently and are shown unfairness because of the color of your skin.
So join the club that you will never (really) be able to join.
At this time use your privilege to speak up for your teachers, your local grocery store cashiers, your neighbors, your favorite rapper, your fav actor, your fav athlete, and your friends.
You may sit in silence if you feel this doesn't apply to someone in your life.
You shouldn't be fine sitting in silence because one if not all of these people are in your life.
SO STAND UP FOR THEM. STAND WITH THEM.
This is not a Black people problem. This is an Everyone problem.
Do not try to tell your black friend how to feel during this time of devastation.
"It doesn't matter what day, what year, what decade...I will always be black despite any current political, social, or economic movements."
All you need to do is sit, read, listen, and begin to understand...equality and right vs wrong.
By: Ava M.
It’s a Tuesday and I’m feeling good.
I woke up with a light heart and good energy. I made açaí bowls for my family for breakfast and then had a concert in my living room dancing around in my pj's listening to my throwback Disney Channel movie playlist. I felt like I was five years old again! That’s a great feeling!
Being carefree, childlike, and feeling like there’s nothing but endless possibilities. I never want to lose that feeling. So I recommend staying in your PJs all day, blasting your fav throwback jams, and dancing like no one's watching!
Besides that, I went on a little drive, stopped by my grandparent's house to catch up and see how they were doing.
(Don't worry it was a hug free visit and masks were on).
And, I ended my day swinging on the hammock thinking about how blessed I am.
Eventually, I drifted off into a deep slumber which, made me feel very refreshed and peaceful.
Make sure to take a moment every day to just relax.
Xoxo Ava M
July 1st. 2020
By: Ava M.
It’s already July...really?
Time flies! Especially when you feel like summer never really began.
By that I mean we’ve been in quarantine since March and now it’s July...I haven’t seen my friends since spring break...in March.
And I have a feeling this is all just the beginning. It’s been a friendless summer but I’m very blessed that my family is wonderful and pleasant to be around.
By: Ava M.
Today was a Good Day.
I woke up with a feeling of comfort and positivity.
I headed to my bathroom, did my everyday skincare routine which includes the basics like washing my face and brushing my teeth.
I ate breakfast, greeted my family, and then we went swimming... ate good food and enjoyed each other's company.
This was the first night that actually felt like summer.
No talk about the pandemic or other tragedies, just me and my best friends aka my family.
It was the perfect sweet escape from it all. It’s important to know what the current events in the world are, continuing to educate yourself and others is still something that needs to be the new normal. Am I sick to my stomach every single time I see a news headline or an unsettling picture on Instagram about yet another innocent woman, man, or child being dead…yes it breaks my heart, it feels like I’ve been kicked in the stomach by a soccer ball. So hear me out when I say it felt sensational feeling like a carefree kid again.
We watched fireworks from the pool, I pretended I was in Ibiza at one of those wild parties you see in the movies.
When the fireworks came to an end, my parents went inside for the night. My brother Jax and I continued our night swim and decided to act out the last musical number from High School Musical 2! Like I said it felt like summer from way back when.
Jax and I ended the night dancing and singing in our living room to old Disney channel soundtracks, High school Musical, and The Cheetah Girls just to name a few.
That’s what summer is all about…being young and carefree.
So while we should all try to make a difference and seek equality for our neighbors...
Don’t rob yourself of a summer!
Xoxo Ava M.
By: Ava M.
Every day I wake up and feel like I’m reliving the same day over and over again.
I’ve definitely made the best out of this social distanced, friendless, summer! I’ve bonded with my family, laid out by the pool, listened to my grandparent's stories from when they were young, and have counted my blessings.
But tonight I felt alive.
I had been swimming for the majority of the day but didn’t get out until the sun was completely hidden.
I just stared at the silhouette of palm trees above my head while floating, only hearing the water clogging my ears and a smidge of the Lana Del Rey playing. I could make out most of the lyrics.
“Can't a girl just do the best she can? Catch a wave and take in the sweetness think about it, the darkness, the deepness All the things that make me who I am."
Lana...a true poet friends.
At that moment it was clear to me...
I am the main character in a coming of age indie film.
Xoxo Ava M.
By: Ava M.
Here’s the difference between me and other people...
Other people will wake up, start their day, something unfortunate may happen and then they proceed on with their lives....in the back of their heads, they may be angry, hurt, sad, confused, and remain bothered until they can go to sleep and start again the next day.
I on the other hand am the type of person to wake up with high spirits, start preparing breakfast, reach for yogurt in the fridge and spill a jug of lemonade everywhere in my kitchen creating a sticky disaster.
Yep. That happened. After that, I cleaned up a small percent of the mess,(thanks dad for doing the rest), went back up to my room on an empty stomach, sat in bed, shed a couple of tears, listened to Lana Del Rey, worked on a project of mine, watched music videos from the 80s, went back to sleep and reset my day.
Whoever said you can’t turn back the clock...lied. Because I’m a firm believer that if you have the chance, give yourself a do-over! Don’t beat yourself up, just do it again.