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Dana glanced outside her bedroom window. It was raining, steady and hard. She could see the raindrops bouncing off the concrete pathway that led up to her front door. The clouds hung so slow, so thick, concealing the mountains, Dana wondered sometimes what it would truly look like if they weren’t there.
This early April weather was certainly not unusual for Squamish, yet today it felt suffocating. Dana drew in a sharp breath. It’s been two weeks since the government declared COVID a pandemic. Two weeks since since the government forced everything to shut down. Two weeks since paranoia gripped the entire world with its tentacles, so black and so sharp. And there seemed to be no end to the madness.
Dana didn’t know what she was more afraid of: COVID, humanity, or loneliness. Perhaps it was a combination of all three things. Dana was such a ball of emotions — happy one minute and plunged into deep sadness the next — she really couldn’t explain her fears.
Since social distancing became the order of the day, the only contact she had with any of her family and friends was via phone or social media. Actually, come to think of it; Sam and her mother were the only two people who bothered to call her.
Sam was a true blue friend; a rarity who had an uncanny ability to see the positive in everything, the kind of guy who went out of his way to help another person. It’s too bad he was gay, Dana often thought: He’d make an ideal partner. But it was what it was and Dana loved him regardless.
Even after the lockdowns began, Sam invited himself over a number of times, but Dana always declined. She was much too fearful of her overly nosy neighbors seeing them together and then reporting them. They used to be kind, but since all this happened, Dana wasn’t so sure. She wasn’t sure about anything anymore.
She walked away from her window and sat on the edge of her bed. She closed her eyes and breathed in deeply, exhaled out slowly, breathed in, then out again slowly. Her mind was transported back to the summer of 2015 when she first moved to Squamish.
It had been the best decision she had ever made for herself. Nicola and her had fast become best friends. Nicola gave her the grand tour of Squamish and took her to all the upscale cafes, bars, and restaurants in the area. At first, Dana didn’t feel comfortable, being the only poor girl amongst the wealthy and privileged. But that feeling evaporated the day she met Ivan — owner of Sea to Sky Fit Studio, and Nicola’s personal trainer.
Unlike most of the people she had met, Ivan didn’t judge her. In fact, he welcomed her into his fit fam and offered her a paid internship at the studio, an offer she jumped at. Of course, she had to get a second job because the pay wasn’t enough to cover her rent.
She had soared to the highest highs of success, thanks to Ivan and his fit fam — their fit fam. But only to have everything come to a grinding halt. Within one day, she lost everything: Her job, her clients, and most of her support system.
Tears seeped out of her eyes and slid down her face. She didn’t know what to do now. How could she still move forward and re-construct her life as a fitness instructor when everything was shut down and she had almost no one to rely on?
Yes, she had built up enough savings to tide her over for a while, but the future terrified her. The very thought sent cold shivers throughout her entire body.
A key message: Situations beyond our control are terrifying and change is always painful. It’s in those moments, we must lean in and have faith that all will work out well in the end. Because it will.
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