I haven’t been to a class in a while. I honestly don’t remember when, but I’m sure I could look back on blogs and find out. 😂
In my online silence, I feel I have learned much:
I’ve learned that even when I’m unable to get to class, ballet is still very much a part of my life. I may be in bed most moments I’m not at work, but what ballet has taught me finds it’s ways of helping me in most areas of my life. Most recently, it’s been in the area of communication. I remembered something a teacher had told me with a correction, “reach your arm out longer. Longer than you think it needs to go. If it’s too much, I’ll tell you.” But she never had to tell me, because what I thought was too much ended up being the perfect amount. I applied this concept to communication, and found that what I thought was a dramatic overkill was actually what was needed and helped immensely.
I’ve learned the importance of learning my limits, and that also pushing them is equally important at times. While talking with a dear friend of mine, she mentioned making sure that I didn’t use my diagnosis as an excuse to give up. That it’s important to listen to my body and what it needs, but whenever able to make sure I push those limits. Without that, I’ll lose the very thing that makes me who I am. She’s right. So while I have to throw in the towel way more than I ever wanted or thought I would have to, I will not be defeated. There’s much that is unknown, but all hope is not lost.
I’ve learned that even when I’m feeling my worst, even when I’m unable to to do what’s required of me, let alone anything extra, even when I feel like my life has lost its luster and everything I worked for is slipping from my fingers, like I’ve lost every bit of influence I had or any point that made me enjoy living and helped me get through the hard days, even when trying to explain the depths of what it is im trying to relay to you ends in the most run-on of run-on sentences, still people find this blog, people read my stories, people connect and find something in it that speaks to them. It shows me that even when I’m feeling my worst, I am not pointless. I am not too far gone. I am not lost for all hope.
I’ve learned that I have some of the greatest friends one could ever hope for. Ones that help me, ones that keep up with and check in on me. Ones that still follow my Instagram account, even when I’m silent for weeks with no explanation. I’ve found friends in similar predicaments, lending their own silent waves of understanding, showing me that I’m not alone.
I haven’t written as much because I don’t want to just be all about the illness, but I have also come to realize that the illness is part of it. Classes start again next month, where I will be teaching and at least in the studio weekly if for nothing more than that. I hope to get into some interim classes, but so far haven’t been able to yet, sadly. But still, ballet has not left me. Everything it is and brings to the dancer still lives inside of me, still encourages me to keep believing, to keep dreaming, to keep pushing myself.
It’s funny to think of how different life is now from last year, or even six months ago. The things I could do with minimal effort that now I can’t even consider because it’s too much. But even in thinking back on what I used to be able to do, I smile. Because I did it. I didn’t wait and wish and hope that one day I might dance, I got out there and fumbled around like a baby giraffe until it started to make sense. I chased my crazy dream until it came true. And it did. Just in time, it did. And no matter what happens, no matter if I ever get well or stay sick the rest of my life, no matter if sickness comes in and takes more from me, I will always have that. I will always know I dared to dream and my dreams came true.
And that, my friends, is more than I could ever ask for.
What makes me any different from you? Nothing. You just have to decide in yourself that you want whatever it is more than you’re afraid of it, and remind yourself of that feeling of euphoria whenever things get difficult. Because they will. Show up anyway. Try anyway. Push your limits anyway.
Your future self will thank you.