The world is going to want you to be a lot of things. At some point, you’ll have to tell the world, “Shhh… this is what I will be.”
She set her dance bag down and sighed. She had so many questions she wanted to ask. She wished someone could tell her how to feel, but for this there was no answers.
When you are stuck in a moment, anything outside of that moment is a distraction – even the solution.
I watch her body lying on the studio floor. Her 9-weeks exam resting in front of her. She struggles over the spelling of sissone, slipping her pencil through her hand over and over again. Her mind drifts away.
High school: Why must it be so… so… what it is? I watch the kids ask for assistance on their test. No. I watch as they shoot each other glances, roll their eyes, and fish for hints. No.
I want you to work hard. I want you to know you are capable. I want you to know you have all of the power in this world right there within you: your heart, your body, your mind. I will not, I cannot, but mostly…
I will not make things easy for you. As your teacher, I will not commit such a disservice.
Part of my job is to toughen your skin so that when the world tells you that you cannot… you won’t believe them.
I know the emotions that run through us are difficult: Learn to use them for good.
I know you get left out sometimes, and I know you will get embarrassed: Learn to move on from it.
I cannot be your best friend, because there may come a day when I have to be your enemy, and say something you don’t want to hear. I am your teacher. I will always adore you, but I may not like you every single day; like on a day when you’ve decided to try on a new attitude and talk back, or give up, or curse yourself and your ability. Or on a day when all you want to do is make excuses for yourself to not accomplish or do something. I will not like you these days.
We have to grow to be wise. It’s tougher than you ever imagined, yes. Teaching is tougher than I ever imagined. Living is more difficult than I ever imagined. And every time I think, “this has to be it. This has to be as tough as it gets.” I am surprised all over again. Life does that to us. Testing us, always.
It’s a process. And it’s hard.
I won’t always be there to help adjust your point of view, or re-align your knee with your hip.
I carry my lessons with me in my heart, along with each teacher who put them there.
Worry less. Listen to your body. Smile more. Be kind. Look where you are going. Breathe it all in, love it all out. Extend. Feel. Don’t rush. Trust someone. Warm up. Take a moment when you need a moment. Forgive. Watch closely. Be ready when it’s your turn. Say “yes” more than you say “no.” Try. Don’t give up. Reach. Focus. Show up. Be precise. Write. Listen actively. Do what you say you’ll do. Speak. Overcome. Show compassion. Allow yourself to be: upset, beautiful, depressed, excited, nervous, genuine, honest, happy. Participate.
I’m OK with being the “bad guy” some days… as long as you succeed. I succeed. We succeed.
So worth it.