Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it. -M. Scott Peck
The journey has been entertaining. I certainly can’t argue with that. And now, here I am, sitting on the floor, packing up years of my life to place into boxes labeled “Donate,” “Storage” or “Move.”
I have found cards, old homework assignments, papers from college, test prep books full of scribbles and highlighted passages. I’ve donated old dance costumes, stuffed animals and old prom dresses to local organizations for children. I’ve experienced moments of not wanting to let a memory go, and moments of shaking my head where I couldn’t throw a memory away fast enough. Everything I’ve collected reminding me of good times and bad times; moments I was proud of and moments I would rather forget (but keep with me internally, filed under “life lesson.”)
Seeing these snapshots of my life have only reiterated my decision to uproot it all and start a new chapter. It’s time that I find myself back at the barre.
The ballet barre, as defined by American Ballet Theatre, is: The horizontal wooden bar fastened to the walls of the ballet classroom or rehearsal hall which the dancer holds for support. Every ballet class begins with exercises at the bar.
To me, this ballet barre has always represented: Pain, focus, stress, struggle, frustration. But most importantly, it taught me how to overcome pain, distractions, stress, struggle and frustration. It has always brought me right back to where I can breathe through everything and try again. It taught me to believe in my ability and achieve what I never thought I could. The ballet barre helped transform me physically, mentally and emotionally.
For dancers, it’s easy to “get away from the barre” (emotionally, not physically) because the barre is only “where things begin” and we like to think the “real dancing” happens in center floor. For me, I cannot wait to get back to the barre. For me, that is where my real dancing will re-connect, reinforce, revise, refresh and revitalize itself. Working with the barre is not easy; it’s very trying, in fact. But just as the definition says “…which the dancer holds for support” the barre is always there for us to come back to, when we are ready.
And now I’m ready!
I never imagined I would answer, “Going back to school for dance” if you asked me what I’m doing with my life at age 26. I know there are opinions floating around of doubt and “I’m not so sure why she’s doing that.” But I’ve let those be as they are. Once I started to value my life and my time, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it and I haven’t stopped pressing forward since that moment.
I don’t think people listen to their hearts enough. I get sad when I hear stories of people who gave up their passion in order to pay the bills. Your creativity was traded for efficiency. The real world took away what you used to believe in. Make time for yourself and for your passion. Make time. Don’t let people tell you how something will play out, instead… just listen to their opinions and then show them how it will play out.
While rummaging through old memories, I found a poem that was inside my graduation card from my Aunt Cindy. As I read it, I realized not enough people hear these words when it comes to trying to live the life they dream. So here it is, dreamers. This is for you:
With all of my heart and all of the support I can ever give, find your passion and follow it. And if you don’t know yet… don’t worry. You will recognize your own path when you come upon it, because you will suddenly have all the energy and imagination you’ll ever need.