Today I have decided to begin writing a blog to both document this upcoming year and, as the title of this blog states, challenge myself to a new form of expression. Being a ballet dancer, I am most comfortable expressing myself through movement and writing this blog will enable me to break the boundary and express through my words as well.
I chose today as the beginning of this new year because recently many things in my life have come to an end and today marked a big one. A lot of these ends have come without any clear new beginning in sight. This coming year, I will be working to find and explore these beginnings and challenge myself to achieve things I never thought possible.
Let’s begin with explaining what exactly has ended and why it is such a big moment in my life.
I have been dancing with the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago for the past four years. On May 5, 2013, I performed my last performance with the company without knowing where or when I would be dancing and performing next. The time I spent with the company was crucial for my career. I was given many amazing opportunities and was able to grow as an artist in many ways. I also made so many lasting friendships which I know will continue to grow even while I am gone. However, there were hard times, and ultimately, it turned out, Joffrey was no longer the place for me. I need a change, I need someplace new where I can be pushed again and perform my best. My last day there felt like I was about to jump off of a cliff into an unknown place. Now, being a few weeks out and many auditions and experiences in, I can already see bigger and brighter things ahead 🙂
Also while living in Chicago, I have fallen in love for the first time. When I first moved to Chicago, at the age of 19, I had never truly been in love before. I never allowed myself to be in love in fear that it would interfere with my dancing. Turns out, all it took was one special person to change my mind. I knew there was a connection between the two of us the day I met him. Although my stubbornness had us off to a rocky start, eventually I grew completely and utterly in love. I know now why so many people are afraid of love. It is such a powerful emotion and at times, can completely take over all other thinking. One second it can be euphoric and the next second it could be the most painful form of pain ever felt. Well, I decided I loved him and I wanted to do anything I could to make him happy. We worked for a while, then were on and off, and finally it is done. I do have to admit that I did become attached to him. I had made a best friend and in my mind, I was going to love him and be loved by him forever. Now, it is as if a bomb has exploded in my heart. In the 3 1/2 years we were connected with each other, we went through honest love, betrayal, anger, love again, dishonesty, fear, friendship, anger, fear, love, etc. and today we put an end to this cycle. It is very hard to explain the pain I feel but I know that the both of us will be better off and happier. For a while, I thought I could not be happy with anyone else but him, now I must move on and this year I will explore and see what new forms of love come into my life. He has made a big impact in my life and I will take everything I have learned away from our time together.
Thus, with these two endings, I will soon put an end to my life in Chicago. I have developed a love for this city. The cleanliness, the kind people, and everything it has to offer. Chicago is a city of excellent dance and art, delicious food, beautiful architecture, and something new to explore every day. I can’t say I will never be back, but in 3 months, I will be moving away for a while.
So follow my blog and come along with me through a year of exploration, reflection, training, health, and growth! Tons of new things are coming my way and I am looking forward to sharing those experiences with everyone.