It comes and goes in waves.

Today was the first class I’ve attempted to take since being in Kansas last month.

I was looking forward to it, grateful to know I still have some summer classes left to make it to before fall kicks in and they start too late for me to make.

I feel like every time I write these days, it’s after having a particularly difficult week. This week is no different. I’ve struggled with health stuff in ways I haven’t known in quite a long time, been dealt a new load of grief, and had to dig up some old emotions to let things heal. It’s been painful. All I could think about was just getting to class and being okay. Feeling the familiar rush that comes with flowing through Ballet and forgetting everything bothering me in the real world.

Except I forget that I don’t have that luxury like I used to. Don’t get me wrong, I’m truly grateful I can even step foot into a studio still. I don’t want to ever take that for granted. But today was another wave of the grief of adjusting to all this health crap that’s holding me back.

Those of you who don’t know me may not know I’ve known a lot of people to die in my life, and since I started dancing 6.5 years ago, the one thing to make me feel like something makes sense after the grief begins all over again is getting into a studio, recentering myself, and letting myself feel and express and lose myself to the music and movement. I lost someone else I love on Sunday, and not only am I learning how to actually let myself grieve, but I had the harsh reality that I can’t even make it through class right now slap me in the face. I went anyway, knowing I’ve felt terribly this week, knowing I wouldn’t be able to make it through the entire thing, knowing it might wear me out even more than I’ve already been fighting through this week, but I had to go–I had to try.

I was grateful. I was at the barre with some of my absolute favorite people, some I hadn’t seen in a while, some who are moving away, and some whom I’ve never actually danced with since they met me after I got too sick.

I had a few pretty rough waves of emotion during barre. Where I realized again that I’m not who I was even a year ago. That my body doesn’t let me do what I used to be able to do. That I can’t push through like I used to. That it’s not a matter of mind over matter. I hated knowing that his is probably as good as I’ll get now. I was angry at my heart for feeling like someone had a vice grip on it, at my back for the herniated disks hitting the nerves even in low arabesque, at my stomach for feeling so incredibly nauseous, at my muscles for screaming at me, at my hands for shaking, at my mind for not being able to hold focus long enough to retain the combinations I used to be so good at remembering.

I miss who I used to be. I miss being able to get through class with only my knees hurting. I miss the days when the only thing holding me back was my own determination

Then I look around me and see these wonderful friends Ballet has brought me. These kind people who love me exactly where I am, not for who I used to be. Friends who go deeper. I think of my friends in Kansas who I cherish. I think of all the wonderful things Ballet still gives me, even if I’m not who I used to be, even if I never will be that person again.

I miss Ballet as I used to know it. I miss the release it provided, I miss getting lost in it all. I’m a blubbering mess even writing this damn blog post. But that’s okay. It’s healthy, even. It’s something I need to learn to let myself be okay with.

A piece of me is missing, and I have to learn how to adjust to what life is like without it.

I’m hoping this will be easier once classes start up again and I’m teaching my babies. Just being around them makes me feel better, but also makes me feel like all isn’t lost. It’s a part of me I still have, and I’m grateful for that. I want to make the most of it while I still have it.

Okay, hopefully I have happier things to write soon. Thanks for coming along for the ride, even when it’s dark and not fun or whatever. There is a potential bright spot in the health field. I may have found a doctor that could actually hear me out and help me. We’ll see where it goes and of course I’ll keep you updated.


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