once upon a sunset
the world is set aglow
filled with things that use to be
and things we have yet
petals of thoughts falling into existence
once upon a sunset
the world is set aglow
filled with things that use to be
and things we have yet
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!
“Night is always darker before the dawn
and life is the same, the hard times will
pass, every thing will get better and
sun will shine brighter than ever.”
During a time like this, it can be difficult to see the light in the struggle, and negativity seems to surround us in the aftermath of COVID-19… Fear continues to grow, and so many people are left desperate for relief as the impact becomes more widespread.
It is easy to feel consumed in this darkness, but it is our own decision how we are going to react to it. There is still so much to be thankful for, and we must keep these things close to heart despite the hardships. Things will not stay this way forever, and there is always sunshine behind the storm. Remember Ernest Hemingway’s words and know that hope is never lost. It may take some time to get back up, but when we do, we will be stronger than we ever were before!
I just wanted to share this inspiring poem because it is so relevant to what we are all going through right now. I hope that this reflection was moving or gave you a new perspective as it did for me… Feel free to share your own poems or quotes in the comments section, and I hope that you have a great rest of the week!
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!!
“Never fear shadows. They simply mean there’s a light shining somewhere nearby.”
Quote: Ruth E. Renkel
“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.
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).
“The mystic cords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart…should swell into a mighty chorus of remembrance, gratitude, and rededication on this solemn occasion.”
“Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.”
~President Harry Struman
Wishing all of my readers a safe and blessed Memorial Day, 2019!
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 stood backstage staring at the vibrant feather that I was about to pin back into my hair, and I began to remember January’s performance…
This was our moment of redemption.
My bare feet slid across the stage, and my arms swayed to create abstract shapes that showcased the wonders of modern movement. It all happened so fast, and there wasn’t much time to overthink the steps that my body had instinctively began to do. I soared as high as I possibly could, and I felt like I was really able to live in the moment this time. Just like that, it all ended. Looking out into the audience, the six of us stood together and bowed our heads. The applause filled the theater, and our hearts filled with relief; we did it!
It was honor to perform with this incredibly talented group of dancers, and I am so thankful that I was chosen to be a part of this piece. It was such a wonderful opportunity, and I feel like I have grown a lot as an artist by discovering new ways to move. This piece has also inspired my own choreography because I was able to see how unusual movements develop into something truly amazing. Overall, I really loved this dance, and I hope that I have more opportunities to work with brilliant minds like the choreographer behind “Flight.” Thanks for everything!