New beginnings. Sometimes it takes some convincing to move forward. Sometimes your heart and soul refuse to cooperate. Sometimes reflection is a necessary evil and sometimes, a new beginning is a breathe of fresh air. All of this is contingent on where we are in the world.
To say 2018 was full of fun and frivolity would be a lie. There were fun times, of course, but an existence of a greater challenge became an extended visitor throughout this past year. Self-doubt, criticism, betrayal, personal challenges felt more like a messy roommate that a moment in time. This is what makes new beginnings all the more important.
I have a new persona on the horizon of my life. A new outlook. A renewed sense of self. A breath of fresh air. I often say to the artists I mentor...you choose your experience in life:
You can choose the Merry-Go-Round. It will be fun and sometimes thrilling. The music will be intoxicating, and you will get the opportunity to enjoy the other people riding wit you, but in the end...it simply goes round and round. The scenery never really changes.
The other choice is the Roller Coaster. It flies through the sky, upside down in tilts, spins, and free falls. It is unpredictable and at times it is so scary, you fear you might actually fall out and die. However, when the car finally makes it back to the station, all you can think about is the thrill of the ride. You forget the fearful moments, or the moments of doubt, or the moments where you have to hold on a little tighter. In the end...what you remember is the thrill of the ride and you can't wait to get back on that ride again.
This past year has been one of the longest roller coaster in my life to date. I found myself repeatedly questioning my choices more than I ever have. I lost a mentor that fueled every part of my existence. I traveled like crazy, created new art (some good, some not so much), I taught courses, I lead groups of humans in various ways, and even spent four weeks in Shanghai, China. It might sound glamorous and yet it felt like I was watching a person from the outside that I didn't really know. I couldn't identify truly who I was in all the circles that were spinning around me. It is just now, after some extreme reflection over the holiday, that I am starting to recognize the person in the mirror.
As I move forward into the coming season, there is no rest for the weary. I will get to collaborate and spend time with artists I look up to and value most on the planet. I have been given the amazing opportunity to create two new somethings new artistically, one for theatre and one for dance, that I am just a tad scared of, which is exactly where I should be. Finally, I will continue to develop my current collegiate program, providing opportunities for the dancers I mentor to become leaders, arts advocates, and performers. All this is will culminate before May 2019 and that isn't even half way through the year. It will be busy, but there is peace in my soul that hasn't been present in a very long time. I am looking forward to the challenge, but mostly I am grateful to see the women I used to be returning to claim her rightful place on the planet. I am starting to recognize myself in the mirror again and I wasn't sure I ever could again.
So dear reader, if you have missed this blog....please know I am coming back to me and you are welcome to join the ride. Stronger and more resilient than before, but also my humble and more incensed. More intent, more peaceful, more reserved, more empowered, and more contented than I have ever known myself to be. If you see me in deep contemplation, don't let it bother you. I am currently excavating a new path for myself. I have no idea what will emerge, but the insight gained in the past year must be processed and recorded. History is our greatest teacher and I look toward the horizon with hope for the future that the path I currently walk will reveal the greater good I am intended to follow.