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!!
I spent my long weekend in the mountains of North Carolina where I embraced the peaceful solitude and experienced the traditional artwork and culture of the great Cherokee Indians. It was nice to leave all the stress behind so that I could recharge to tackle another crazy month. I will admit that the lack of phone service during the trip was a struggle for me, but the beautiful weather, scenery, and memories definitely made the trip worthwhile. I especially loved exploring the cultural district of Cherokee where I watched some of the native dances and admired all of the amazing artwork. Hand painted bear statues decorated the town, and the detailing of this one in particular caught my eye. It was also fun to peek inside the small shops and see all of the beautifully handcrafted jewelry, baskets, and pottery.
Hiking up Mingo Falls was another highlight of the trip. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting the waterfall to be as big as it was, so I was really surprised when I saw the view. It was absolutely gorgeous, and I am so glad that I was able to see it.
I hope that you all had a Happy Labor Day! I have lots of exciting content that will be released very soon, so I hope that you stick around. Also, Nutcracker casting came out last week, so I will reveal that very shortly as well. Have a wonderful week, and thanks for reading!
How did you spend your holiday weekend? Have you ever visited Cherokee, NC? Do you enjoy the mountains? Are there any special post requests?
We worry about if we made the right decisions yesterday. We worry about our ability to do everything “right” today. We worry about what will happen tomorrow…
That is a lot of unnecessary worrying, and these thoughts are often followed by anxiety which is detrimental to our health. It can be so easy to detach from our faith as we allow these unsettled thoughts to invade our minds, and we often forget that God has a plan. Hence, if we make a wrong turn somewhere down the road, things will always straighten out way that they are suppose to and lead us where we are meant to be. As hard as we try, we will never have complete control over our lives because most things are beyond our control. So why waste so much time worrying? Think about it: We can spend all day worrying about the past, but it will never change. We can spend all day worrying about the future, but most of the things we worry about don’t even end up happening anyways. Be fully present in this moment, and trust in God’s plan for your life. Never be afraid, and don’t worry.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Matthew 6: 34
“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”
This is something that I am really going to work on this semester because I was so lost last year… I spent so much time trying to figure out how to overcome my stress/anxiety, but I think I have finally found my answer through faith. I hope that I can keep my eyes on Him, and not allow distractions to pull me away again no matter how hectic life gets. This is my goal for this new school year.
What is something that you are working on? Do you struggle with anxiety? Are you guilty of allowing worry to overtake your life? Feel free to share your thoughts on this in the comments section, and I hope that you all have a fantastic week (worry free).
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!