a final exhale
drifts off in the wind
scattering memories like ashes
to be visited once again
the blue sky fades away
and everything becomes new
another year is born
from December’s last breath
The new year is on its way, and I think most of us can agree that leaving 2020 behind is quite a relief. Looking back, it is astounding how much can change in a matter of months, weeks, and even a day. To be honest, I learned more this year than I ever imagined, but I grew so much stronger through every fear, uncertainty, hurt, and disappointment. Although it is easy to focus on everything that went wrong, it is important to remember all the things that went right like welcoming my baby brother into the world, moving to a beautiful new house, graduating high school, and attending a university honor’s program. Overall, I feel like this year helped me become a better version of myself, and I am grateful for all of the things that I learned despite the hard times.
One of my resolutions for 2021 is making the conscious effort to write more even if it is only once a week or so. I do not intend to force words on a page, but I know that reminding myself to frequently write (even in a personal journal) will help me become more in sync with my thoughts and emotions…Writing always use to be the thing that I would revert to when things got hard, but I definitely didn’t do that this year which only made things harder. Nonetheless, I want to continue to improve my writing, so I think becoming more active is a great resolution.
That being said, I wrote a little free verse poem in honor of the coming year that I hope you find enjoyable… Here is to new beginnings, and a Happy New Year!
Wow, it’s been quite awhile since I actually sat down to write. To be honest, it was difficult for me to find the words to say with everything going on, and my creativity was almost non existent as I became stuck in what felt like an endless time-loop. Life was (and still is) like reliving the exact same day over-and-over again… I wake up staring at the same wall wondering how I am going to spend yet another twenty-four hours in quarantine. Whenever I would try to write, my thoughts would remain trapped, and the only thing that I could do was stare at a blank screen and blinking cursor until finally deciding to walk away. Inspiration faded, and writer’s block had inevitably taken over.
Instead of fighting it, I decided to accept it and step away for awhile. I did not want my passion for writing to diminish completely by forcing words down, so I waited. And waited. Until eventually, they began flowing again…
I have not forgotten about you guys, and I am going to try to become more active on this space. I love writing, and I am looking forward to many more posts to come. I hope that you are all doing well, and I would love to hear from you in the comments! It has been so long!
Has anything new or exciting happened recently? What have you been up to? Has quarantine been giving you writer’s block as well? How do you cope with it? Thanks for reading!
I hope that you all had a blessed Easter 2020! Although this year was quite different than others, my family still celebrated the resurrection of our Savior, and we had a great day despite the circumstances. I have to admit that quarantine definitely intensified my sweet tooth, and I have been trying to control my chocolate intake all day… Can anyone else relate?
Also, I am sending prayers to those who were impacted by the storms last night and especially for those who lost their homes or loved ones. May they be comforted and regain strength during these difficult times.
Lastly, my new sibling will arrive in two weeks, and I am getting very excited to meet the newest addition of my family. I hope that you all have a fantastic week, and thanks for reading! Until next time.
“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”
This semester was harder than I ever expected, but I learned more life-lessons within the past sixteen weeks than any of the other semesters combined. Looking back, I am not really sure how I made it through everything, but I couldn’t be more thankful for the experiences that helped me become who I am today despite the challenges.
I always use to tell myself that nothing is impossible and that I could do anything I set my mind to if I was determined enough. This helped me achieve great things in the past, but this semester humbled me to realize that some things truly aren’t possible. I was pushing myself harder than I ever had before, and I was setting unrealistic expectations for myself. This year, I took a full semester at the college through dual-enrollment while dancing full time as a professional trainee ballet dancer. Though I had done this before, my academic courses were more difficult this time, and the demands were a lot higher. I was only getting about five hours of sleep every single night just to keep my feet on the ground, and the exhaustion/stress really started to take a toll on my health.
I learned that “you can do anything, but you can’t do everything.”
The problem was, I was trying to give 100% effort at both school and dance because I didn’t know where I would end up or what I even wanted anymore. A professional career in ballet is extremely competitive, and universities are also highly selective; I needed to be perfect at both. It was about mid-October when I realized that something had to change because I physically couldn’t do everything anymore, and I was wearing myself out… I had some big decisions to make. After thinking everything through, I decided to no longer pursue a professional career in ballet after Nutcracker which was one of the hardest decisions that I have ever had to make. Even though it is a huge change in my life, I know that I made the right decision, and I did what it best for me. Since then, I am so much happier, and I passed all of my classes!
Through it all, it truly was bittersweet to walk off campus for the last time knowing that some of my friends wont return in January… From the coffee shop shows, Friday morning laughs, “flying squirrel” (inside joke), study groups, and hot chocolate chats, I couldn’t have hoped for a better group of people to hang with. I made some great friendships, and I am so thankful for all of the wonderful memories! It certainly wasn’t an easy semester, but we got through it together. The Fall semester is officially complete. I can’t believe it, but we did it!!
“Decisions. We can think about things, turn them over in our minds a million times, play out possible scenarios, but really when it comes down to it, you have to go with your heart and move forward. Maybe things will go well. Maybe they’ll turn out poorly. Every decision brings with it some good, some bad, some lessons, and some luck. The only thing that’s for sure is that indecision steals many years from many people who wind up wishing they’d just had the courage to leap.”
It can be scary to make a decision especially if it entails major changes in your life. Sometimes, you are put in a situation where you are given two very different options, and you are forced to choose which path to take. You are not sure which one is “right” and you don’t really know where you are meant to go, so you spend time contemplating the alternatives. Days go by, followed by weeks, and even months. Your gut feeling tells you which path to take, but you are too paralyzed to actually make things happen because you worry that you are wrong and fear the pit of regret. However, you cannot spend your entire life dwelling on the unknown because the truth is that you are never going to be 100% sure of every outcome. It is not possible. You are wasting so many opportunities if you let fear take complete control and if you allow other people to sway your direction in life. Do what you want to do, and go where you feel like you should be. Definitely consider the outcomes, but don’t spend your entire life sitting around waiting because you are afraid.
Make a decision. Make it happen.
Reflection from the week…
*Photo Credits: Claire H.
Excerpts from two beautiful ballets filled the stage last week as dryads instantly transformed into a kingdom of shades.
Right after floating through the dream scene of Don Quixote, I only had a few seconds to recover before jumping into the first shade variation of La Bayadere. I had performed it before, but I forgot how physically demanding it was especially in addition to the corps de ballet work. It is one of the fastest variations that I have ever done, so maintaining precise execution of each step, despite the fatigue, is an incredibly challenging endeavor. However, the encouraging cheers from the audience gave me so much energy, and I finished stronger than I ever had in rehearsal. When I hit my final pose, I couldn’t hold back the giant smile that radiated from my face… It was a great show!
13 hours in the theater. 6 quick changes. 3 performances. 2 dress rehearsals. All in 1 busy day.
I glanced at the bruises forming on my feet, and my body was overcome with a state of pure exhaustion. It was my eleventh hour in the theater, and I stood behind the curtain listening to the constant murmur of the crowd as they made their way to their seats. The final show of “The Little Mermaid” was about to begin, and I was minutes away from tackling another ballet with the very little energy that I had left. It is expected that every performance has the same quality, and the audience deserves the same experience every show because tickets all cost the same. This is where it gets challenging and stressful for us, dancers. At the end of the day, fatigue and aching muscles must be concealed by bubbly smiles and seemingly effortless movements which is extremely difficult. I don’t think the audience ever truly realizes what actually goes on backstage, and the beauty of this art form can be very deceiving by the graceful image that we portray.
All in all, it was great to be back in the theater, but I think ballet officially kicked my butt.
What did you do this weekend? Have you had any performances recently? Are you ready for summer?
I had such a fun weekend performing in Alice in Wonderland, and I am already missing the sound of laughter that erupted from the audience. Acting was a major part of this comical ballet, and I really got to enjoy myself in each of my roles. I have to admit, it was quite difficult to not laugh at myself when I portrayed a crazy maid with an extremely defiant attitude. From pouring salt in my mouth and choking on chili to stomping across the stage with my tongue out at the dutchess, it was hard to keep a straight face with such an amusing role. I honestly don’t know how I did it! It was a great show, but it was also very stressful as we had constant quick changes and responsibilities backstage. Overall, everyone performed beautifully, and I am so proud of the entire cast. I managed to snag a quick photo with these lovely ladies in my deck of cards costume, and I was so happy to meet my friend after the show! I hope the audience enjoyed their experience in wonderland as much as I did.
I see the elaborate tutus hung on the racks and admire the glittering tiaras set in careful stacks. The props in the basket are so very sweet. This show will definitely be a treat!
It is hard to believe that opening night for “The Nutcracker” is exactly one week from today, but I am looking forward to performing in the very first show of the 2018-19 season. I am so humbled to have been cast as the snow queen because it is one of my favorite roles in the entire ballet. As much as I love it, the snow pas de deux is has been very challenging physically and mentally as I try to get as close to perfection as possible. I want to leave the audience in awe this holiday season and perform to the best of my ability. I have one more week. Wish me luck!