Monday, August 1, 2016

Mid-year reflections

At the start of every year I reflect and pick some goals or inspirations. This year I picked the word BALANCE and wrote about it here.

But A LOT has happened since January. 

  • my book debuted with a fabulous party 
  • I started a fulltime day job but didn't quit any of my others
  • I rocked my professional conference 
  • My great uncle died
  • My grandmother who lived with me since I was five died (peacefully in her sleep)
  • I walked in my Masters graduation ceremony (without my thesis done)
  • I started my summer job
  • My house was painted
  • I went to Europe for the first time (and it was amazing)
  • I have made some time to see friends - including going to the Renaissance Festival with my BFF
So yeah. Life has been happening. Good and Bad. However, since early June I have not been in ballet class. The season was over but summer classes hadn't started yet and it was hard. I went to Europe feeling incredibly out of shape. I walked around the Paris Opera and found the Bavarian State Ballet rehearsal hall and it made me ache to dance.  So today, for the first time in nearly two months I put on a leotard and took ballet. 

And it kicked my ass. But I also felt amazing. I know ballet can ruin lives. I've seen it. But I also know that it regularly saves mine. I put on my leotard and I feel powerful. I don't feel dainty and pretty and thin. I feel like a force to be reckoned with. I feel like I am in control. 

I'd be lying if I didn't say that I also worry slightly about the extra bit of fat that has accumulated on the inside of my thighs and the underside of my arms. But those things don't defeat me. They are things to work on, to further improve. That I am CAPABLE of changing. 

I had a great weekend with my best friend but last night I was scrolling through Facebook (WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF?!) and started comparing myself to my high school classmates. My high from BFF times deflated fast and I felt like a failure really quickly. Even as I got ready for ballet this morning, that feeling still lingered. Now, after class (and work), with my muscles already sore and protesting mere existence. I look back at the same Facebook posts and feel nothing. 

Mikhail Baryshnikov once said "I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself." 

Damn. If that doesn't sum up what ballet does for me, I don't know what does. Ballet lets me be selfish and work on me in the studio. When I leave the studio, that better than myself attitude carries over and I can stem the desire to view life as a constant competition. Newsflash: it isn't. Or at least it doesn't have to be. I'm really glad I have ballet to remind me of that. Ballet really is  my balance. 

I cannot wait to get back in the studio tomorrow. 

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