We had the good fortune of connecting with Ava Ismaiylova and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ava, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
For me my career was always the main goal. I always choose projects, business meetings, seminars – anything work related over family and friends. I don’t think it was bad – I was in my 20s and this is how I felt. For me it was the only right life style back then. 7 months ago I became a Mom and my life changed a lot since. Also because of the pandemic situation to be honest. I now have the most important project – being a good Mom. Now I evaluate If anything work related is worth my time, where will it take me versus jumping into so many projects and not having time for myself and my family. Also, now I see my career goals more clearly. I became much better at time management. Of course I have a so-called Mom guilt, when I have to leave my baby for work but I know that every working Mom has it from time to time. Because of the pandemic I now appreciate my family and friends more – I had a chance to talk to them over the phone or Skype more often. I would not say I did something wrong before – I feel like for me everything happens when it needs to happen to make me a better person. I feel like it is hard to tell yourself oh, I have to have a work/life balance. One has to do what he or she is the best for them, what makes them feel good and happy.


Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I think it is important for parents to notice what their kids are good at. I have always been good in writing and putting theatre plays at school together but my parents had a dream that one day I will save lives of others by being a doctor, just like them. But I became a journalist and filmmaker and I am super bad in chemistry – if it is not the chemistry between the characters in my movies. Well, now, so many years later, they are proud. Life is tough enough so support of my parents when I needed it the most would be the best help/inspiration for me. My second challenge was that I have to do everything in English – which is my second language. The third and another big challenge for me is that I have been living abroad for the last 10 years. When you move to another country in the age of 18 you become your own parent in a way. You have to solve so many issues that some of my friends who live back home and with their families do not even have an idea of. After all, now, I can say that all the challenges above, made me who I am and I am glad I had this journey.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Honestly, I would suggest to have a little road trip and experience camping, which I love! For beginners I would suggest visiting Malibu Creek Campground at the Malibu Creek State Park. The place is popular among mountain bikers, hikers and runners, and even rock climbers. There are picnic tables and fire pits, showers and drinking water. It is pretty close to Los Angeles and about $45 a night. Of course I also suggest this spot as a filmmaker – famous television show M*A*S*H was filmed not far from the camp ground. On your way back from the M*A*S*H site, you can stop by the rock pool and partake in some cliff diving. Also, surfing is a perfect option. El Porto Beach is popular among tourists and beginning surfers, so I suggest going there.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
When I am asked about the good book to read, I always suggest “Loving oneself with open eyes” by Jorge Bucay. He is a writer, gestalt therapist and psychodramaturge from Argentina. The plot is based upon the conversation via e-mail between two persons, due to a server error. It is not just. a great book love wise but also makes a huge impact on personal development. I talk about love in my movies and I believe this book made a huge impact on what I understand by love and relationship. Here are a few quotes that I would love to share. “Someone who is capable of loving, will always find something worth loving on someone else.” “When something bothers me on someone, that most probably means that in fact, that something bothers myself.”

Instagram: @avasmondays

Image Credits

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.