Perspective

I had a conversation with a dear friend of mine that started with informing her of the success of the harder shanks in the pointe shoes.

And honestly, now I have a seemingly new-found perspective, as well as a figurative weight off my shoulders.

Which is silly, because I kinda knew all this before.
It just put it all back into focus for me and really made me realize something.
Mainly, that she was right.

She was right about me needing a harder shank, even when I’m told by others that having a harder shank is a cop-out for people with weak feet.
She was right about my alignment being a little funky and was able to guide me in how to correct it.
She was right about how to use teaching styles that are effective. (The proof is in the pudding.)
So many other things that all have the same connecting factor;
She was right.

So if her track record is one of being right, then I know that she’s right in what our conversation held today.
Which is more than I’m going to divulge here, but what I really take away is this:

I am my own person. I am the product of the hard work and effort I put into to my technique. I can choose to either learn from people offering to help make me a better dancer, or I can throw it all out the window. I can choose to ask questions and learn, or I can putz through in fear. I am not the studio or company I dance for. I am not any lesser or any better because of roles I do or do not get.

And no matter what things look like now, nothing is guaranteed to stay the same.
I don’t know what my life holds for me next year. I don’t know what decisions people around me are going to make that are going to affect me. I can’t count on that. I have to make decisions for myself and what is best for me. I need to keep an open mind and realize that if something isn’t working out, I have the power to change it. One way or another.

So yeah, Swan Lake sucks right now. It’s hard and it leaves me crying every weekend because there is just so much that doesn’t make sense. But there’s parts I can change and parts I can’t. And the parts I can are up to me. I can make the most of what I’ve been given and get through the best I am able. Or I can complain about the things I can’t change, sit around and pout or be bitter or not work hard because it’s “not fair.” Okay, it may not be fair. But that’s something I can’t change. I fear I’ve done all I can do, and that isn’t something I fear for myself, but for the whole.
But I am more than Swan Lake. Even if it puts an unfair amount of strain on me. Even if it leaves me completely frustrated and embarrassed. Even if it leaves me with commitments difficult to keep because of how the “cards fell.” Whatever. Gotta just deal with it and keep trucking, and evaluate things and make decisions from there.
For me.

In the mean time, I can utilize every second given to me in that studio to become a better dancer. I can be so good they can’t ignore me–not necessarily in the sense of being compared to others, but compared to myself. Think about it; if someone is a mediocre dancer in class, and all of a sudden they start caring and trying and working hard, the teacher can’t help but notice.

I want to be that.

What they do with it is up to them.

And from that, I decide what to do with my life; with my art; with my career; with my story.

And that is completely up to me.

I shouldn’t set my goals with such a narrow depth of field. I shouldn’t set them in things that are out of my control. I should set my goals and dreams in things that I can handle and things that I can logically work for. If not, I’ll just continuously get let down time and time again, and for what? It’s not that I wasn’t capable or this or that or the other. Who knows why? I sure don’t. But the point is, it’s out of my hands.
Now my goals are going to be with me in mind. They’re going to be something tangible. They’re going to be logical.

  • I want to be able to consistently do doubles. In flat shoes, and eventually in pointe shoes.
  • I want my jetes to actually, ya know, get off the ground.
  • I want to master chaines.
  • I want to learn the different names for all the placements–arms, hips,  everything.
  • I want my arabesque to be above 90 degrees when I’m not trying.
  • I want to figure out how to beat my jumps, even though jumping is bad for my knees…
  • I want to learn these new, complex moves.
  • I want to continuously improve, blowing my old records out of the water.
  • I want to leave class knowing I was the best version of myself.

I know this isn’t something I can make a career out of. I’m twenty-seven. This will be nothing more than just for the hell of it. And I should try my best. But I have to realize that there are limitations simply because I’m not in high school, or my back is jacked up, or politics, or whatever.

But I shouldn’t let that keep me from doing what I love for as long as I want to and am able to do it.

My wish is that things would improve to where injustices aren’t a thing anymore. But judging by track record, that doesn’t seem to be logical.

And I can’t let that hold me back.

Oh, here’s some new stuff! (and pictures!)

We had an event for the Nutcracker on Saturday where some of us dressed up in costume and did a story time, inviting people to come to the shows. Barnes and Noble gave a portion of the profits to the company if the customers mentioned us at check out. Cool, huh?
Going as Rat Queen terrified half the children and intrigued the other.
There was this one little girls, couldn’t be older than two, who was completely taken with the Rat Queen. She was my absolute favorite thing, I wish there were a way to get a copy of the pictures from her mom! Haha. I don’t know how the Disney Characters do it, since they aren’t allowed to take any pictures.
I also saw one of my favorite little dancers from my old studio, Noelia, whime I hadn’t seen since our last recital at Instep. I took off my head and her mom remembered me and Noelia did after a bit. It made me so happy. She is dancing at Ballet Academy, which I’m glad to hear that she’s still dancing. She absolutely beautiful and incredibly talented, not to mention such a sweet girl.
There were two different times for the Nutcracker story time. Jessica was gracious to let me have the first slot so I could be done in time for a photo shoot (that got rained out, unfortunately) so I gave her the suit for the second part. It was such a fun time.

We had a local promotional event at the Lighting of Lamar Park here locally, and I got to be the Rat Queen for it, as well. (Which is fab since it’s cold outside and the Rat Queen costume is nice and warm) My dear, sweet Ayla was there as the mouse, so we walked around a bit together. It was quite the hit, seeing the “big mouse and little mouse.” I even made one girl scream when she commented on Ayla’s costume and I turned around to see her and she wasn’t expecting it. It was pretty hilarious.
Surprisingly, less were afraid of me than weren’t. I took tons of pictures with kids and sometimes other characters as well. We passed out candy canes and having the giant head sure did make it easier to give face to the local news station reporters.
I saw another one of my babies from Instep, the other one I had yet to see that I missed to terribly. Isabella was there with her Mom and Brother, and I introduced myself before taking off my head to talk to them. Her Mom was thrilled to see me, and remembered me right away. Isabella took a second, I’m sure also taking in the fact that there was a human in this rat suit, haha. Her Mom told me she hadn’t been dancing since Instep closed and I told her about Munro and the classes there. I told her about the class I assist and to check it out and that Mia was the teacher and the times and all. She was so pumped. I really hope to see Isabella at the studio!

I also got to see my friends Ryan and Lauren, who had a table set up with their two books they’ve put out recently. One is a book of photography and the other is a children’s book; both incredible.
(http://www.amazon.com/dp/1943842116/ref=cm_sw_su_dp)
They have been really dear to my heart and also such good, cherished friends to me over the years. I love seeing them and seeing how God is using them to make a difference in the world.

I got to hold on to the costume from Sunday until the event on Tuesday. I realized Sunday night that the Black Swan tutu is part of the Rat Queen costume and that it was in my closet. I text my sister and asked if she could get some pictures of me in it on Monday, and she graciously obliged. 

                                                   
So that was fun.
The costume was a little big, since I’m not wearing the giant rat suit underneath, but we made it work. I really like how they came out, and I’m glad to have these for if one day I can’t dance anymore. Plus, I think it was good for me to see that I don’t look like the image in my head while in a real tutu. (this is just me being real, here. My story, I can say it if I want.)
Obviously, there’s a few “bloopers” or whatever. My dad’s German Shepherd was chasing my cat who decided to saunter over to us. They also decided that right behind us is the perfect place to do this chase. Hah
My Achilles has been hurting, especially since this last cold front came through. I asked Ms. Heidi what I should do about it, and she showed me some different things to do to help it. Sometimes stretching it can make it worse. I was glad she said that, because that’s what I was feeling, but didn’t have any proof of it and didn’t know what else to do. Hopefully it’ll start feeling better. It is fine when I don’t dance, even in the interim. Between steps and combinations. 
My ankles were really weak before dancing. I used to hurt it just by stepping on it wrong, but I could never figure out what was “wrong” exactly. I hadn’t felt it in a while, but when landing a grand jete at rehearsal, I found it again, and my ankle–and Achilles–started hurting. It pops quite often as well. 
I woke up this morning to a text from my cousin. It was pictures of her double jointed fingers, asking if I can do the same. I told her I can, and sometimes in different ways, and told her how I can’t point straight because my fingers curve and how my knees and elbows hyper extend. She told me that she was diagnosed with hypermobility. That it’s genetic, and can actually cause gastrointestinal issues. 
Bingo.
It’s been quite a day of learning and discovering. 
I’ve learned much over the last few weeks, having more time to myself. I wish I could have written more before I hardly have any time at all. 
New things, and I’m sure they’ll be good–just different. I feel good about them, a bit nervous. 
I’m sure it’ll be good. 
It already has been. 

Empty studio

Usually on Tuesdays, I’m only at the studio until about 7pm. This is considered early for me, as most of my classes start at 7 and go til 9. (I get there at 5 because it’s just easier than going home, which is far away. And traffic sucks.) Last night, however, I didn’t leave until after 9.

On Monday, Ms. Munro came up to me during barre and asked what time I could get here the next day. She had a board meeting and no one to man the desk after she left. I told her my class was at 6, but I get here at 5 and I can do it if she’d like. She said not to skip the class (haha) but if I could be there it’d be great. I got there, answered the phones, and manned the desk until Julie’s class started.
There were only 10 people in class, which if I remember correctly was about typical of the 6s last year. The kicker? There’s 30+ people on the roll list.

I was able to do yesterday’s class without my knee brace. I took it easy on the fondus, but I really wanted to at least attempt them so I can get used to it and find my boundaries. I’ve noticed if I work hard to hold my hips square, it doesn’t hurt my knee as much. I also noticed yesterday that it looks as though my shin bone is what’s longer on the right leg. Weird, huh?

Class felt good. It wasn’t too hard, but just enough of a challenge. I noticed myself getting better and stronger when it comes to doing fast frappe’s or degage’s or tondue’s. I still have a lot to work on, but the improvement is nice.

After the hour of barre I stay for, I went back into the office. Andie came in and we looked through recital costumes for her three classes she has. It was quite fun. Looking through all the different options and playing around with music tracks and laughing at the same costume that keeps popping up everywhere. The phone rang a couple times while I was there, but none of the inquiries were complex, so that was nice.

Mia’s class in the pink studio ended at 7:45. Julie had her Jazz class at 7:45 until 8:45.
This got me to thinking.
I could go home, or I could be the one to do all the closing up responsibilities and in the meantime, use the open studio to work on my weaker, shorter leg in my pointe shoes.
(guess which one I chose.)

There’s a portable phone, so I took it with me. No one was in the foyer, no one was there to potentially decide to see what I was doing in the studio. (granted there are curtains I could draw if I wanted. I just forget about them.) I put on some music and just let it play. Starting at the barre, working on doing proper plies and finding how difficult it is to releve en pointe when one leg is shorter and gets there sooner. I did plie releves on my shorter, weaker leg, while holding on to the barre. I did it with the longer, stronger leg as well to see the difference in the two. The shorter leg is impossible to do without the barre, the longer leg is possible but still a bit difficult. (Forget trying to releve without a plie.)
In class on Monday, I realized how much I’ve been struggling to do proper pique turns. They aren’t hard, but I can’t seem to go in a straight line, and I want to make sure I’m plieing enough as well as spotting and holding my arms correctly and having proper alignment and straight knees. I wanted to get more fluid in these, so I can do them quicker as was required in Monday’s V’s class that I struggled with.

My left side is impossible to go straight when turning. I worked and worked and worked on it, trying to make sure everything was being executed exactly as it is supposed to be. It was rough.
I worked on my right side, and noticed I didn’t get on my box all the way. I do for the most part on my left side, but the right is lacking. So I worked on this side for a while, trying to figure out why that was happening and what I could do to improve. I did pique passe’s across the floor to get the proper feel of it as well as placement and staying in a line. I kept switching off between sides, working on this and that. After about 20 minutes, I went back to the barre for more plies and releves. I did them really slowly to get a good feel for the motion and make sure I was rolling through correctly, as well as getting a good, deep plie.
I stretched a bit after and laid there, seeing a cool angle of my pointe shoes, hahaha.

Don’t let the smirk fool you, I’m dead inside.
(But the good kind, ya know.)
(PS. Shirt is from an etsy shop run by dancers. TurningPointeApparel. So great)
I took off my shoes in the office, but not before I got my polaroid of the day from that fun angle of my shoes. Not sure if it came out well or not, I haven’t seen it. hah.
My pinkie toe on my left food is doing this fun thing where it rubs the skin off, kinda, so that’s cute.
Then I noticed that I managed to do this.
That would be a hole in my toe pads.
(thankfully new ones are in the mail)
I watched bits of the Jazz class. Seeing them dance the way they did make me feel all sorts of things. Mainly, that I never want to stop dancing. I want to feel how they must feel while dancing. I want to improve to get to that level.

🙂
He’s a blurry one of my shoes. Ribbons out and all. 

Here’s my feet with Mrs. Alex’s when we were manning the desk. Hehe.
Lalalalalala this is my post and this is the end of it.

Your happiness is yours.

“Are you still on that high?”
My teacher asked me when she saw me today.
I simply said, “Mostly!” to avoid bringing up the thing that had wavered the high slightly.
I knew she knew. I don’t know if she knew I knew.
Regardless, everyone within earshot had no business knowing, so I played it off.

For some reason, I’m a naturally fearful person. I don’t think that I live in fear, per say, but I do tend to think worst-case-scenario and when something happens in which I’m wrongly accused, it tends to shake me up and make me nervous.

Usually I get really anxious or have panic attacks, but this time is different.
This time I’m able to understand where the issue is, where I play into it, and that it truly isn’t my fault. If the others involved don’t see that, this doesn’t mean it’s because of anything I’ve done wrong.
“I am responsible for my actions, not people’s reactions.”

I’ve learned to face what you’re afraid of. To play Taylor Swift and Uptown Funk as much as you need to calm yourself down and distract yourself.
I learned that there’s no reason to be afraid of it if you’ve done nothing wrong, but even so it doesn’t mean that bad things won’t happen to you. It also doesn’t mean that when bad things happen to you they’re automatically your fault.
There’s only so much you can do.
Do what you can, and let it ride out.

But don’t let it steal the good things from you.
These experiences, these great memories, these beautiful things are yours, even if it makes someone else mad. It doesn’t negate that you are deserving of good things.
Don’t shield your light just because someone gets mad that it’s in their eyes.
(ooo, that’s good… where did that come from? I dunno. But I’m takin’ it.)

Moral of the story, I have such incredible people in my life, and I have found myself amongst a wonderful dance family. I can’t think of a time I’ve ever been happier or felt more loved.
Typically when something good happens to me, somehow by the next day I look back on it and feel a deep remorse. I don’t know why.
But this time, I think back to Saturday, and all I have is joy inside.
I see this certificate, the drawing from my munchkins, the pictures…I read the comments and texts from friends, and my heart explodes all over again.

I feel confident that if I were to die tomorrow, I will not have left any moment uncaptured. I’ve made the most of these days, and I hope to have more to fill like these have been.
These are my “good ol’ days” and they are good indeed.

Today was our last Monday class.
I can’t believe that it’s been an entire year already…
We took some pictures 🙂

I love these girls so much!
Rebecca got cut out of the one… 😦 But they’re still great!

Understudy.

When I did theater in High School, I tended to get understudy roles.
Such is the curse of responsible students, and ones who won’t complain until you give them a part.
(and it probably didn’t help that I was insecure and didn’t speak up. How times have changed.)

Point is, I learned so many valuable lessons being the understudy, and here we are ten years later putting them to extreme use.

The understudy is one of the biggest responsibilities.
You have to learn the part you cover, plus be aware of all the other parts. You have to be capable of jumping in on a moments notice, possibly without ever actually doing the role any more than just on the sidelines or by yourself. And all this work could still lead to you not getting to do the role on stage. And you have to be okay with it.
That’s probably the hard part; working your tail off, showing up to every rehearsal, filling in and never getting the fulfillment of actually performing it on that stage.

But all is not lost.

Show up; early even. Be there.
Focus hard, learn every in and out of that part. Leave no stone unturned.
Remain aware. Ask questions if you need to. Keep yourself prepared. Keep the role familiar and fresh in your mind. Run it in your head. Mark it and think it through. Work hard.

Because even if you don’t get to dance the role on the stage during the performance, those couple minutes on that stage isn’t the tell all.

Today in rehearsal, three girls were out of the role I cover for auditions with their new High School. It worked out slick cause it was the girl I typically cover, and the other two that were missing were a pair, so the dance didn’t look awkward. I strapped on my character shoes and danced it like it were my last time to dance it because, chances are, it was.
I was hoping they would be gone and I would get to do it in costume the second run through, but they showed up.
I got complimented on the way I do the role, which makes me feel really good inside. Not because I think I’m better than anyone, because I know I’m really not. But because it means I’m doing my job.
Yeah, it sucks that I put in all this work–more than some of the cast roles in some cases–but that’s my part. I’m the cover; the understudy. I’m not entitled to the role. I’m just doing my job. Covering is my part.
For people to tell me that I do the role well, and that they enjoy watching me, really just puts my nerves at ease. I’m twice the age of some of these girls, ten years older than others, and I haven’t even been dancing half the amount of years they have. Yet I get to dance along side them. I get to be included.
To know that they like it means that I have succeeded, and at the beginning of this, I wasn’t so sure that I would. I was very nervous. But I rose. The impossible became possible.

My back started hurting after the second half, but it’s feeling better than is usual, especially for the amount of dancing we’re doing. What kicked me in the butt today was the IBS. Earlier this week I got really stressed out at work, and when that happens it effects my digestion. I’ll spare you the gory details, but lets just say it greatly effected how much I can use my core. Which is, ya know, important to ballet. There were times I felt like I was going to have to run to the bathroom, or throw up, or when costumes were on I was a bit concerned I might pass out. I couldn’t even finish my lunch, my stomach hurt so badly. The way I felt today is probably the most extreme side effects I’ve had since being diagnosed. Holding it all together proved difficult, but I just tried to breathe. Hyper focusing on something else helped take my mind off of it, which helped me plow through. The still moments were the most difficult.
When we got to the second run-through, Mrs. Julie told us the changes to how the school show was going to go since it mostly effected the Winkie Guards role. (any other it effected were just dropped, not changed.) We ran a bit of it just to mark and iron out before putting on our costumes and doing the whole thing. The moment is blurry now (my brain is mush) as to when Mrs. Julie actually came up to me, but she did, and she said, “Emerson had to leave. Do you know her solo?” to which I said, “yes” she said, “can you do it?” and I said, “yes” and then she said, “Okay, lets mark it.” and we did a couple times to make sure I had the arms and the positioning right. She threw in a “make it big” to get the expression how she wants it and I ran it a couple times then went to put on my costume.

I was nervous beyond all reason. The feet weren’t fluid to me, and I really didn’t want to mess it up. I had never actually ran it before, but this wasn’t the time to be nervous. This was the time to show that I can do this. That you can throw me into a role and I’ll be able to step up. This was the time to trust my training and just go for it.
When it came down to it, I had the timing off a little, which made me not have my feet right, but I had the direction right, and fixed it the first second I had a chance.
No one really noticed. They mostly commented on how well I did the character, which is what matters during shows like this that tell a story.
As soon as it was over and I went to grab my bow (our prop) and join in with the other girls, I knew my little flub would not be what was remembered. Since I was filling in for Emerson, the girls didn’t have anyone to watch for the timing of the part that we begin as soon as Emerson is finished and walking off into the wings before she joins us. It was a complete mess, and I just kind of laughed inside.
No one would remember my flub.
Sure enough, when it came time for corrections, that was what got the heat. They can’t rely on me so much, but have to know it for themselves. I don’t know what else they can say to get it through their heads, but they really need to take ownership and pay attention to know what’s going on instead of relying on me all the time. It’s really exhausting.
(now, this isn’t to say no one pays attention. There are those that do, and they are the ones that I know I can ask questions to if I’m a little unsure as to what’s next, or to come and get me from the other side of the stage if I’m not in the right place because I’m mixing up my scenes. Some of the girls have a great handle on things, but rely on the extra added security, because honestly, who wouldn’t? But they have to know how to function without it. I think it was a good eye opener. Those few girls are really good, and they got complimented today in ways that show their hard work. I was proud.)
Some of the more advanced girls complimented me on the solo. One even gave me a glance when the other guards got chewed. It made me feel good to know that my hard work is churning out results. Now I know that I’m not the best dancer out there. I know I have much to improve on. But all those compliments really mean so much to me. Not to fuel my ego, but to feel like I’ve finally come full circle.
Before, I would work so hard, and still be ignored. Like my best was never enough. This seems to be a reoccurring theme in my life and it is pretty draining. It can sap the life right out of you.
But to be here, and to know that I can work hard, and put forth all this effort, and do my best every day and that it isn’t unseen, it makes every bit of it so worth it.
Because really, every rehearsal is an audition. These directors and teachers glean things about you from it. They form up a running log of what you’re capable of, how you respond, if you’re responsible, how you handle pressure or malfunctions, how you communicate, you work ethic, and they put all these things into consideration in future shows.
I know some politics goes into roles occasionally, it’s inevitable, but I have a full heart knowing that I have done everything I can and that it’s enough. That if I don’t get a full role, it’s not because of anything I did. That they will utilize me where they see I fit and know that I am capable of good things. I know that they know they can put their trust in me, and breathe easy knowing I’ll do what I’m asked and what’s required of me.

Even though I don’t get to dance Crows for any of the shows, and even though Emerson will be back in her solo tomorrow (she rocks it, by the way.) this wasn’t all for nothing.
If anything, I really love being the cover. Being the one that can let the director breathe easier knowing I’m there in case anything happens. Especially on a show like this.

I have done my job.

Before rehearsal. 

After rehearsal.
We’re dead inside.

Annika hacking my phone 😀

Apparently it rained? That’s usually a field…

And this is when I realized I forgot my rainboots at the studio.

Work for what you want.

Yesterday I seemed to be struck with a new dose of determination.
I don’t know where it came from,
I’m not sure what brought it on,
But I would be okay if this became a new normal.

My legs felt like jelly in a way I can’t remember feeling in a long time. I wish I could do this every day so I could get better that much quicker. But, I am grateful for what I do have. I know all too well that all of this can be on hold in the blink of an eye.
I did everything I could to not stop in the middle of a rep. I wanted to push myself and actually do the whole thing.
No room for quitting.
And wouldn’t you know it, I did. I was able to push through and do all of each of the things I set out for.
By the time we got to pointe, my legs were wobbly beyond reason. But I refused to let it stop me.
If I use the excuse I have now, when will I get better? Will I ever? How much longer will improvement take?

So I pushed through. I did the releves, I did the bourees, I did every single one of them. And if I did have to stop for this reason or that, I didn’t quit. I stopped long enough to put my shoe back on after it slipped and got right back to it. Even if it hurt.

I watched my technique in the mirror. I tried to make improvements as I went, tried to make sure I was doing the best I knew how and retrain myself in areas I faltered.
I know these moves. Now I need to clean them up.

Now, there were things that I’m behind on and just can’t do. So, I didn’t risk it. I was a little disappointed in myself at first, I wanted to try it at least… But, then, I realized that I was the only one of us new pointers still in my pointe shoes. Everyone else had taken theirs off or just didn’t put them on for whatever reason.
I just did what I was able to do. Everyone else was doing pique turns with a pique move I can’t remember the name to (where you pick up both legs–one at a time–as you turn) and I know I’m still trying to get my pique turns down. So, I just did pique turns. I worked on those. I could have gone to the barre and done the whole combination, but I didn’t want to cheat of of the piques I’ve wanted to work on for so long.

It took me a little longer than everyone else, but I didn’t want to stop halfway, ya know? I wanted to get better. Jilissa pointed out different things to work on as I went, which I was so grateful for. I really want to get these down. I want to get better. I want to be able to do this. And I know each thing I learn will in turn help the new things I have yet to master.

As I got across to the left side, McKenna said to me, “Remember when you were too afraid to go across the floor at all?” I was thinking she meant starting pointe, but she meant in the beginning.
I remember those breakdowns. I remember those stark moments of paralyzing fear. I remember her kindness in pulling me out of the corner to help me out and meeting me where I was in my knowledge.
I remember.

And now look at where I am.
Going across the floor confidently on pointe shoes, even if I knew I couldn’t do the move fully. Even if I knew I was behind.
Being behind is irrelevant, as long as you keep going.
You have to have the confidence in yourself to know that as long as you keep trying you’re gonna get there.
If I would have given up back then, I never would have made it here.
If I never would have began, I’d still be living in regret.

Instead, I’m moving in the direction of my dreams, getting a little closer each time I tie those ribbons.

My friend Sarah said something in the hallway before class. She told us how she was turning over a new leaf, that she was going to make a point to practice every day. Because she wanted to get better. She said she was a picture of a beautiful dancer with her leg up by her face that said something to the effect of, “Don’t wish you could be her, work to be like her.”
This should be the mantra for all of us.

Work for what you want
Don’t give up, you’ll get there.