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Photo by Clemens van Lay on Unsplash

Life is made up of hundreds of thousands of moments. Some move us, others change us, and some moments provoke us. Busy lives, distracted lives, and daily routines tend to take us away from important moments. However, 2020 has been full of moments, and it’s been the time to slow down. We’ve stopped. We’ve listened to 2020, and we’ve focused.

The moments of 2020 have provoked us. 

We desperately want to go back to ‘normal’, but it’s just not possible. And frankly, even if we could go back, the life pre-Covid that we used to know simply wasn’t… normal. 

Thanks to Covid-19, life as we know it has fundamentally changed. We’re staying apart to keep each other healthy, but none of us can feel completely well while we’re apart. Some of us are probably asking questions we’ve never asked before; about ourselves, our families, our careers, our culture. And there aren’t necessarily easy answers to those questions– no quick fixes for the crises we currently face. 

We’re all going to need a deep re-think about many areas of our lives. Our attitudes, our priorities, and most importantly, our compassion. We’ve been forced to take a beat and assess how we think, decide what we stand for, and how we voice it. And most importantly, we’ve had to dig deep into thinking about how to make changes for the better.  I know, myself, I’ve learnt a serious amount in the last few months, been forced to think about other people (rightly so) and made bolder choices than ever before. 

Routine allows us to go through life without thinking much; change forces us to look at things with fresh eyes. In this post-Covid world, people around the world are now changing paths– in their careers, studies, relationships– and opening up to the idea of something new. Many people have more time to reflect, adapt, and finally make room for growth. Growth isn’t easy. We know it’s often uncomfortable, confusing, messy and can be full of feelings you weren’t expecting. But let’s be honest: normal wasn’t working. And with FreeBird, we want to help support this communal growth into something new.

At its most basic level, this pandemic is dealing us two options: evolve, or regress. 

Here at Freebird we believe in growth, we believe in change, and– as a core team– we believe in supporting something different . We all know that for anyone in the arts, if we were afraid to take risks and adapt to change, we wouldn’t survive. In an ever-changing industry filled with uncertainty and variation, we’ve learned to adapt to our surroundings on a daily basis. But what happens when life comes to a halt? Daily activities and routines go out the window and life as we always knew it, has completely changed. In my opinion, you have the option to step forward into growth or step backwards into safety. Come with us on this month’s journey into growth and let’s get inspired together. We are completely here for taking risks. If we didn’t ever jump, we might not ever fall. A brilliant colleague once said to me – “Sometimes you have to jump… and it feels like you’re free falling, but when you free fall, you land.” That one certainly stays with me. 

For myself personally, after several brilliant, busy years at Bill Kenwright Limited, I’ve now made the decision to step away. I couldn’t have ever imagined– on the 16th of March– the scale of events that were to follow. Over the next week, the country launched into lockdown, we’ll certainly never forget rushing home that night to watch Boris give that speech that halted life as we knew it. Having worked tirelessly for BKL from my kitchen table in the ensuing months, I remained part of a core team battling against the damage Covid-19 was, and still is, wreaking on the theatre, events and live entertainement industry– battling the unknown. As news of redundancy consultations, venue closures, and ongoing chaos unfolded across the performing arts each week, lives and careers came to a complete stand-still. And after five solid months of helping to keep the wheels turning, this girl now needs a break! 

How is it then, that somehow– in a time of ultimate crisis– I almost feel more grounded than ever? I’m a prolific planner; I plan my life day-in, day-out. I write daily tasks and lists, track my eating habits, my sleep, and constantly have things booked to look forward to, along with goals to achieve. Perhaps taking control of my time has enabled me to feel more steady. For now, I’m trusting that this has all happened for a reason. I’m allowing myself space to breathe, and understand that the events of this year are bigger than any of us. I’m allowing myself space to reflect and assess– I want time to consider the elements of my life and my industry that require change. I don’t know for sure, but a large part of my gut tells me this shake up hasn’t happened for nothing. 

One thing’s for sure– we’re ready for there to be something new; a world where fighting consistently for change and progress means there is no ‘normal’, but there are goals and ambitions that unite us and guide us forwards. We all know it’s time for change. Let’s take this opportunity for Growth–  we’re all in it together, and there’s a hell of a lot of power in solidarity. 

Milly Summer 

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