Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Back To Me.

I just turned a certain age and have really been reflecting on what I've learned in my life:

  • Don’t ever give up your dream if you can afford to stick it out. Your dreams may evolve a bit, but if there is something in your heart that makes you come alive, fight for it even when things are hard. Everyone says that, but I’ve experienced it. I always feel on top of the world doing what I know I was meant to and like something is missing when I am not. 
  • Everything really does happen the way it’s supposed to and for a reason. There are so many things that I have questioned in the beginning and come to find that they were perfectly meant to be. If I hadn’t moved back to Naples and taken a non-performing job, I never would have met the love of my life; if I hadn’t chosen to pass up a certain opportunity, I never would have danced at The Met; if I hadn’t worked on ships, I wouldn’t ever have seen amazing places like Antarctica, etc. I've been hesitant about things in the beginning and they ended up changing my life for the better. Trust your gut and know you’ll always end up where you belong.
  • Age is just a number. On my first contract out of college, our cast ranged in age from 22-50. We were doing the same shows, living the same lifestyle and never really thought much of the age gap because it didn’t matter. It’s a state of mind. My dancing improved way beyond college and will hopefully continue to. You learn more with each contract and carry that experience into the next. 
  • You can start over. I’ve met plenty of performers who started later or returned to it after having families or taking a break or doing a different job entirely. If you want to leave the industry, that is possible too. I feel that skills learned performing and traveling are invaluable and translate to other jobs as well. You can always do something else. Just be sure you’re doing what is best for you. You only get one chance at this life.
  • Work to live don’t live to work. Seriously.
  • If something doesn't feel right or if you know you're worth more, trust yourself and don't do it. 
  • Be nice to everyone. You really don't know what people are going through. It doesn't matter what your job is, where you're from or how much money you have.   
  • Take care of yourself. I didn’t know what this meant until I was in the ER on my 19th birthday with mono and horrible tendinitis in my hip. That was a low point, but I stopped staying out late and waking up early to make it to a 6 hour dance day and started taking care of my instrument.

The truth is... I miss performing. I miss waking up in a different place every day. I miss being in the industry. I miss class. I miss being around people with the same passion. I don't think anything can bring that level of excitement. I can very much still dance. I feel like I'm living a double life. Once a dancer always a dancer.

On that note, I really need to get back to myself and what makes me happy. I honestly haven't had a good dance session in months. I need to start doing things that make me happy, because right now I'm not making the most of life and it is too damn short for that. I really don't have a schedule that allows me to have time for it. So for now I guess it will be a yoga membership and training myself until I can do more. 

One thing I was able to make time for was a photoshoot. I recently shot with Luminaire Foto in Naples. He made me feel so comfortable and confident that I was doing crazy dance poses on the floor by the end of the shoot. Can't wait to see all of the images. He truly has a gift of bringing you out of your comfort zone and working with you to find your best angles and looks.

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