Eight of us sat closely around a table exchanging quotes, laughter, and our plans for the coming week of break. The vanilla mint tea latte sat in front of me with its drizzled chocolate sauce, daring me to chug its steaming contents in one gulp. A month had passed of rigorous practice for our ballet exam and after the high rush of performance, the degree of our tiredness was starting to sink in.
Deciding we were all exhausted and unfocused with the idea of a week break to be productive, we spent class stretching for a few minutes, sharing videos including a cat playing piano (link down below), and absorbing our teacher’s enlightening words of wisdom before she brought us here, to Bulldog Coffeehouse, a few minutes walk maneuvering around dog bombs and slipping around mounds of frozen slush. We toasted to a great half a year, relaxing rest, and an even better fresh start to next term. We were only missing each other’s company for ten days, but it felt like the simultaneous conclusion and beginning of something much bigger. Many of us will be going on exchange this summer to dance across the border and sipping our foamy drinks, we talked about traveling the world and the diverse experiences that are waiting out there in our future.
“And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.” -Charlie in Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Looking at my teacher and all my friends with whom I’ve shed blood, sweat, tears with and whom I’ve shared uncontrollable laughter and encouraging war cries with, I felt so lucky to be a part of a family of such inspirational artists. We may not know where we will end up after we graduate, but we can enjoy every step along the way knowing that there is so much to explore and so much that we can offer to the world as individuals. Life isn’t perfect, but we should never forget why we dance or what brings joy into our lives. Because the more we love life, the closer we get to our happy ending.
Thanks for reading,
Cat piano concert video we watched in the studio, gathering around a little iPhone screen:
I am not competing with others or comparing myself to the world. Life’s journey is not about what is, but rather about what it possible. The belief that anything imaginable can be reached. Isn’t that what makes dreams?
After years of life’s adversities, it is easy to forget how to dream. It is easy to forget the person that we once believed we could’ve become. It is too easy to lose faith and trust in ourselves and slip into a habit of being a chameleon, blending with mediocrity. Hiding from eyes that judge and destroying any chance of ever facing a reflected image of failure.
Unknowingly, we reject those exact chances that can change us, teach us, lead us to new discoveries about ourselves and our abilities. How much have we missed in the shadow of self doubt? To catch a glimpse of our own potentials we must first gather up the courage to give it our all, take pride in our work and effort, risk a fall to leave regret in the dust.
It feels good to work. Nothing can amount to the self satisfaction of knowing that today, in that one moment when you could have given up you chose instead to perform your absolute best. It may not have been perfect, but it was better than what you would or could have done in the past.
New steps and new material require greater concentration and effort, and it’s at times extremely frustrating. But “if it isn’t hard, just comfortable for you, then how will you improve?” You wouldn’t. It would stay constant; it would be like painting over the same lines on a piece of paper from first grade years later. Life is supposed to be a challenge and there are too many more opportunities in every day to waste them on thinking about what we can’t do.
Because keeping our eyes looking forward will get us to our goals much faster, and easier. My teacher told me, “Hard work is the best remedy for frustration.” It is true.
I am competing with myself and with the person that I will become in the future. Life is not about what I can do, but what my potential offers I will be able to do. I believe that what lies beyond the imagination can be reached.
Because then, I am free to dream.
Apologies for quite the sappy piece, today was a great day in the cloud that had been not such a nice week and I felt obliged to record this welcome turn of events.