I know that time flies when you’re having fun – but y’all, time has soared by me in the past few months!
To say that there have been some major adjustments made to my life recently would be a blatant understatement. There has been a ton of change. I graduated in May from the University of Texas with my BFA in Dance (Hook ‘Em!), packed up my life, moved to San Francisco, and am now attempting to redefine what “home” means to me. I keep busy. I am rehearsing with The Foundry directed by Alex Ketley, coaching gymnastics, doing administrative work for Liss Fain Dance Company, and attending the SFCD’s year-round program. I have always managed to over-commit myself, and obviously that has not changed in the least. But I’ll be honest with you; I wouldn’t have it any other way.
As this fall semester at the Conservatory rolls to a close, I realize that I have learned more about myself through all this change than I could have ever expected. I’ve learned that distance actually can make the heart grow fonder, but it can also amplify small doubts into echoing aches. I’ve always known that I love to travel, but didn’t know that it could fill your soul up in a way that nothing else can. I’ve learned that home really is a constantly shifting concept. I’ve learned that there is bravery in discovering how to trust your own instinct. I’ve learned that the fear in loneliness can be quieted by a simple nod of acknowledgement. I’ve learned that people change at searing speeds, and also that I’m changing just as rapidly. I’ve learned that there are beautifully inspiring people everywhere and if you’re open to them, they can kick your happiness level up a few good notches.
I’ve come to know and appreciate the unique joy of being independent, hopeful, young, experienced, and comfortably lost all the while. It has all been quite humbling.
If I had to pick one thing that has been most helpful and difficult at the same time, it would be the idea of balance. Finding the balance among various aspects of my life has proved to be the hardest and most rewarding challenge that I’ve faced. From a balanced diet to a balanced relationship between my work time commitments and my personal downtime… it’s not easy. But it’s a type of stamina that I am happy to develop. To consistently remember to equally stimulate all corners of my own private universe requires strategy and dedication. Personally it helps me to read at least one thing a day that is positive, motivating, or purely for fun. It doesn’t have to be an entire novel, but a simple article in the paper or a quote from a peer can really turn my day around. The balance between being a student and a working professional is demanding physically and mentally, but staggeringly worthwhile. I have been working on how the two branches of my dancing can inform each other, how I can be better in both situations; and I feel like I’ve grown tremendously from both commitments.
Earlier on in this semester, Summer Lee Rhatigan said something along the lines of: “extreme energy has never been beaten out by extreme chaos.” First of all, whoa. Secondly, I think that idea has been beneficial and relevant not only in the way that I go about taking dance classes, but also in the way that I tackle all kinds of life’s obstacles. I’ve never regretted vigor or perseverance… I’ve only ever regretted letting my effort yield to my turmoil.
Graduating college and leaving home was complex and intimidating, but since then I feel like I have lived more lifetimes than what is normally allotted for 5 months of life. I can cheerfully say that I trust in the thought that my hard work will carry me onward, and I am grateful to the Conservatory and my Bay Area friends for being so welcoming and inspiring. Now that I am on my own, navigating my way through the world – I feel small, bright, and humming with possibilities.
Best Wishes and Happy Holidays!