I’ve been rather contemplative lately, in a funk of sorts. This tends to be when I get reflective and such, which has only been heightened by the excitement of a domain name, instagram account, facebook page, and everything else that has come about with the blog actually being a .com.
Looking back, I realized this time last year, most people still didn’t know me.
It was largely Wizard of Oz that actually introduced me to everyone in the studio. I knew a few after Nutcracker, but mainly just the girls in Chinese with me. Which was about, ya know, 7 people. Oz added on the Crows, other Winkie Guards, a teacher, (who was our director) Munchkins, their siblings, the dance mom’s, and eventually the other dancers. (I think Crows opened up majority of that.)
It’s funny to see the difference.
How now, everyone knows me. They know my name. They know I’m not in High School, a good deal of them have figured out my story, or at least bits of it.
Honestly, sometimes I can’t tell which I prefer.
Getting less-than-stellar roles is definitely easier when you don’t know anyone. It’s not as personal. The sting is only within yourself and doesn’t typically have other people attached. It’s less to fake until you can work through your emotions. It’s less tears, really.
There’s less confusion about how you rank on level since so many other opinions are now interjected. You don’t have as many people you feel responsible fore; You don’t have to be “on” as much when no one knows you.
On the other hand, there’s less encouragement. Less people who care about your accomplishments and help you when you’re struggling. There’s less support. You don’t have people to bounce thoughts off of, or to ask to watch you do this or that move and see if it’s correct. You don’t have someone there to pull you back to reality when you get caught inside your own head, no one to shoot down the lies you tell yourself. No one to build you up when you get knocked down. There’s no one there to ask for advice. No one to share ballet puns with. No one to read your blog and get excited with you over new beginnings or small victories.
On Sunday, I went with one of my best-non-dance friends to Austin to meet our favorite author. This was my first time to attend such an event, and I was really excited, especially since I felt like I could relate to him in so many ways.
There was a question and answer segment, during which he nonchalantly divulged the wisdom that guides who he is as a writer and a person. During this, he made a comment about how, when writing the final book of this trilogy, he tried to seclude himself to get what he needed out. He went to his parents cabin with hopes and visions of walking around nature, taking it all in, and being able to get the story out. What he found was the exact opposite. Being alone was of no help, and instead he found what he needed when he surrounded himself with the people he cares most about. The ones who encourage him and are honest with him.
It may be difficult, there may be times I want to just be alone, and that’s okay. Especially being largely introverted. But what it boils down to is that I’d be nothing without the people in my life, without this dance family I have found myself among. They push me and encourage me and help me accomplish the things I’ve set out to do. They celebrate my successes and grieve my disappointments right along side me.
Though I’m sure I’ll find myself in days when being alone is what I need, I can’t let myself cut off from the very people who have helped me get as far as I am.
I love the people in my life. And I cherish these days that I get to have them close to me. Every year brings new changes–heck, everything could change tomorrow–so while I have them, I want to hold them close and make the most of it.
Started ballet late October of 2011 at the age of 23.
Began pointe training late August of 2013.