It’s been a minute.
Even then, I sat with just that first sentence for longer than I’d care to admit.
I wasn’t able to make any more classes past the one with Lindsi Dec like I was hoping to. My body was too exhausted to even try making it through a class, and I knew I needed to save up any bit of energy I had for the obligations I have before me.
Classes started August 20th. So far, they have been absolutely incredible. The kids I have are mostly dream children, and I have to ask myself what I did to get so lucky to have them. I’m very excited for the prospects of this year, although I am also on guard that I could still have many children added to my classes. Still, I think a wonderful tone has been set for the year, and I’m excited to see the progress these dancers make.
Life for me looks very different than it did this time last year. Heck, it looks different than it has ever before, really. My work load is “minimal” but also is all I can stand without extreme health repercussions. There are days that are easier to accept this than others. The difficult days have been so frequent that I’ve hardly even gotten on my ballet instagram to keep up with things. (For that I apologize.)
I used to see my friends on their go through an illness or injury that kept them from dancing for a bit and see them post that they wouldn’t be on because it was too difficult to see the reminders when they knew they couldn’t do that. I didn’t really understand it until these last three or so weeks.
I’m beginning to see, I think, that I’m really not going to be able to be who I used to be. I’ve been sick for years–literally half my life–but now that I have CFS, it’s put my life and my ambitions on hold and taken over. I see these people who are my age out there doing things that I so badly want to be doing, and I tell myself that I’m the only thing holding myself back and to go out there and do it, and then I realize that isn’t true. This illness holds me back, and to just push through it like I’m used to doing with obstacles is not only unwise, but literally threatens my quality of life, which is already way less than it used to be.
I try not to neglect the reality that I am still very lucky to be able to do as much as I do, and I want to make the most of it while I can, but I do have to come to terms with the fact that my life isn’t what it was, it isn’t what I dreamed it could be, and it’s all because of things I couldn’t control no matter how hard I try. And this isn’t something you can just learn once and be on with; it’s a many-faceted lesson that comes and goes in waves, smacking you in the face and leaving you in a puddle of tears when you least expect it.
I’m still trying to do as much as I can with my life while I have it, even if that looks differently than I expected. I’m trying to find ways to contribute to the world and those around me. I’m trying to extend myself the grace to be who I am now and the learning curve to figure out what all of this means for me. It’s a process.
This last year (since the hurricane) was one of uprooting the weeds that have been growing all my life, facing the monsters head on, and taking back my life. It’s looking as those this next year will be a sort of follow up as I fight to define why I’m even here and what my purpose is. As soon as I thought I had it figured out, it gets turned on it’s head and I’m left to start over.
But I’m still alive, and I’m still able to fight for this definition. These ailments don’t define me–I do. I still get that luxury to do so. I get to learn how to be so fully myself that nothing else matters. I’m one of the lucky ones.
I apologize in advance if my posts become less frequent. I’ll do my best to update when I have things of note to say. Unfortunately, having my ballet experiences quiet down means I have less and less to say that isn’t just repetitive words you’ve read a thousand times before. Hopefully around Nutcracker, I’ll have strokes of wisdom and all.
Life is weird. It’s one thing, then suddenly it’s not that anymore and you’re left to figure out what to do now.
Thanks for sticking around, y’all.