Have you ever reflected upon life and become panicked or overwhelmed with emotion? Okay, maybe that’s just me, but on a sick day there isn’t much you can do other than think. So I do, only to find that the meditative practice reveals to me the enormous scope of things unknown or out of my control and successfully leaves me feeling mentally paralyzed, or just utterly confused.
In the last years of high school, all thoughts seem to drift towards the future that is both exciting and terrifying. It will be a new adventure with new experiences, but I don’t know even the remotest direction I will be taking on this journey. Course selections must be handed in and career planning has started with lists of potential professional companies – so many options and yet it still feels like limited opportunities because you can’t have it all. Preparations are due and the most difficult choices are deciding between what is smart, what you need, and what you want. All these questions offer no easy answers and all I can do is shut my eyes in hoping the future stalls for a while longer and say, “I don’t know.”
Of course I would love to pursue dance directly from graduation, but at current times we have learned how probable that perfect situation is. When asked what company I would be interested in, I can’t help but think, “It’s not about the companies I want, it’s about what companies want me.” And in truth, that’s pretty much how auditions work. But you still have to plan what programs to take to target certain companies and it’s hard when you simply don’t know, yet.
The future for dancers I think is a particularly scary thought because:
a. Shorter preparation time (once you graduate, it’s off to job searching you go!) and b. Requires 100% health, more or less (injuries, mental and physical stresses can upset your career quite easily). For this a Plan B is required. And this is where academic choices join the chaos brewing in my mind.
Being in a non-conventional school makes planning for university a bit different. Because there are only 20 students in every grade, scheduling desired electives can be very tough. And often I feel so out of par when hearing of other high-schoolers’ achievements in extracurricular clubs, overflowing numbers of credits and volunteer hours, and highly articulated plans for entering the Ivy league university of their choice. I had trouble deciding courses, and still don’t know what branch of study I would focus on, much less the university I would pick as my home for several, educating years.
Dance, school, work, the future. It all feels both so close and far away at the same time. Flurries continue to fall on Toronto leaving behind a fresh, new layer of white covering the rooftops, tree branches, and lawns of the neighbourhood. I see the clean, blank, white sheet the way I see my future. There are no expectations, self-help directions, or hints of the season to come. But there is every opportunity and chance, you just have to find them underneath all the fluff.
In the end, the future will always be unknown and we will always be waiting for the next surprise that life will dish out, so we might as well enjoy every moment for what it’s worth and forget to dwell on anticipated events determined by external forces. Life unravels as it wants, and sometimes we gotta just hang on, grab a buddy, and go with the flow.
After all, “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.”
(If you know the origin of this famous quote, do not hesitate to let me know in the comments 🙂
Thanks for reading this madness.
Have a nice day,