That back story post had me feeling all sorts of feels after I posted it.
I had an outpouring of love from those in this incredible adult ballet community I have found since making my blog more public. It touched my heart in ways I didn’t know was possible.
But then I had the stark realization that most of my story was out there. In public. For literally anyone to read.
This made me panic. What was I thinking? How could I divulge all these details about myself for everyone to see? After all, usually I go about my day trying to pretend they don’t exist. I do my best to not let my health and all of its complications get the best of me. I fight the demons of my past daily, sometimes it seems to be a fight moment to moment. There’s even more that I didn’t write about, that only those in my inner circle really know. What the hell was i thinking?!
But then I see posts, like one from a dear friend I’ve known for over a decade now, who saw my post and found the boldness to post about her own struggles. My heart went out to her as she endures such intense health battles, and yet my heart was strengthened. Not because she has it worse than me, (though she does) that’s the part that breaks my heart. To know she has to deal with this day in and day out with no end in sight. But it was strengthened in knowing that someone i know and respect is fighting a fight sort of like mine. Knowing that I’m not alone. So many things I don’t have words for. Having her in my life means more than words can say.
Tax season is upon us, making the days long and stressful (and it’s only January.) this, mixed with everything else leaves me feeling pretty drained. It was a wonderful surprise yesterday when I saw a notification on Instagram that Hindsfeetballet had taken a line drawing she had done of me this summer and turned it into an exquisite water color.
You see, I’m usually the one that takes the pictures. I’m rarely the one in them. Harder still is it to find one that seems to capture things the way I see them in my head (since I’m the only me, ya know. Kinda makes it impossible.) I’m 28 and know that my ballet days are probably numbered, at least when it comes to performances and stuff. (I hope to always dance.) In the back of my mind there’s always this wish that there would be someone who could somehow catch those shots of me (or any, really) to have for when I’m older. Those prized shots to look back on. These are my golden years. I want to remember them. I have a few staged ones, and some polaroids I love, and a handful of artist-y types, but they’re very few and far between. Seeing this touched my heart in ways I don’t have words for.
Lindsey is one of my favorite fellow Instagram adult ballet gang girls. I’ve always felt that we’d be good friends if we lived close to each other, but I largely kept it to myself to hopefully not come off as a creep. Turns out the feeling is mutual, and she had some really kind words to say about me that turned me into a complete puddle.
Then she busted out this.
My absolute favorite picture I have of me dancing. It was taken by one of my favorite dance moms at our studio and means the world to me. It’s in my favorite costume I’ve ever worn in one of my favorite dances I’ve ever done. It’s actually a picture I’m proud of, not one I pick apart.
For Lindsey to take that picture, on her own, and turn it into this incredible piece of art. Y’all, I literally couldn’t even. There aren’t words. But since this is a blog, I have to try.
These pictures from Lindsey rounded out a beautiful lesson this week has taught me. I know that I’m unique, and that I matter, and that people love me and stuff, but I also know that I’m just an ordinary person. There’s nothing I have that the average person on the street couldn’t obtain. I’m not super privileged, though I do recognize the privileges I do have as such, and there are many. But I wasn’t born into a name that has rank, I wasn’t born into money, I wasn’t born into favor. I was born into an ordinary family that struggled quite a bit, but was headed by a father who held a good reputation as something of worth. I do recognize this to be one of my greatest privileges. My parents raised me in truth, which was one of the greatest gifts they could give me. Because even when they failed because they’re human and that’s what humans do, I recognized this and knew to seek out truth and let myself be guided by it. In this, I’ve followed my heart to the world of dance. Even when it was hard, even when it seemed impossible, even when people look at me and tell my Im stupid, when they think it’s a frivolous child thing, when I’m asked how much longer I’m going to do this like it’s a phase. Even when I feel too weak to walk a straight line, let alone attend a class or rehearsal. When my stomach hurts too much to hold my core. When I feel emotional pain more deeply than I feel physical pain. My heart leads me to dance.
I began this blog as a sort of life lessons I’ve learned in dance sort of thing, and I’ve found no shortage of the like. And in it, I’ve also found these incredible friends.
Friends that remind me, like I was this week by so many, but especially these two dear and cherished friends, that I am not alone in this life. That enduring is not foolish. That pursuing this crazy dream of mine that doesn’t really have rhyme or reason is something I should be proud of.
I can’t explain what that truly means to me. It’s breath in my gasping lungs, it’s beats to my weary heart, it’s a balm on my stinging spirit. It’s the rope I’m holding on to as I navigate my way through this tense and uncertain season.
These pictures gave me the impossible. The one thing I wished for more than anything, but that I saw no way of happening. She took a moment snapped in this season of my life and made it eternal. For that, I am beyond grateful.
If you find yourself feeling like you aren’t very important, dismiss those thoughts right now. This week is absolute proof that you are more than enough right in the middle of your ordinary. Your single, solitary life influences more people around you than you realize. It’s in your hands whether that will be a good thing or a bad thing.
Make it a good thing.
Chin up, darling. You are valued and loved. You matter, oh, how you matter. Days will be brighter soon, but until then, these things help you get through.
Keep your eyes open for them. They come when you least expect it.
(Thank you, Lindsey and Carrie. Y’all mean more to me than I have words for and I cherish your friendships.)
Started ballet late October of 2011 at the age of 23.
Began pointe training late August of 2013.