Sunday, 25 January 2015

No Regrets?

I'll admit that this post is partially fueled by watching the US Figure Skating Championships yesterday afternoon and all of last night. But really, they just gave me the push I needed to write on a topic I've been thinking about a lot lately-- regret.
I know regret has absolutely no use for me in my life. I know that it is just negative energy I am harboring and using against myself. I know that if I just let things go, I would feel a lot better. But right now, I need to dwell on my regret a little bit. Maybe writing about it will be therapeutic...or maybe not. We'll see.

I regret not returning to my school in 2013 to continue my journey to become a professional ballet dancer.
It's not so much that I made the conscious decision to 'quit' dancing, but that summer I returned home injured (yet again), burnt out, and completely discouraged by the lack of attention I'd gotten/development I felt I hadn't made at my summer intensive. I told my mom that I wanted to take a break for the rest of the summer and see how things felt. When it came time to return to school, I didn't feel ready. I was still hurting, more mentally than physically at that time. So, I didn't go. I worked at the dance studio I grew up in, teaching pre-school classes and enjoyed "normal life" (aka a life not revolving around ballet) for a while. I would proudly announce that I wasn't attending my school anymore, that I was unhappy dancing, so I was going to turn my life around and find something that made me happier.  
Slowly but surely, I began to miss it. Dance magazines that I'd long stopped paying for still found their way to my doorstep, only for me to browse through them and see multiple people I know personally in each issue. I went to see performances at my old school, and the electricity in the air was exactly the same as the countless times I'd performed. I felt how everything was the same without me there, but everything was so different at the same time. To this day, I can't go to a performance without crying because I feel a gaping hole in my life without ballet. At first, I was mad about this. I was mad that my teachers didn't teach me to be a person outside of being a dancer. I was mad that, no matter if I decided to quit ballet at age 19 or age 50, I would feel a paralyzing loss of identity. But now, I just feel sadness. I am sad that I'm missing opportunities in a life I could've had. I'm sad that I can't find any other activity, hobby, or job that gives me a sense of purpose and meaning in my life. I'm sad that a lot of people who I loved and still love dearly are moving on in life and I feel like I'm on a raft in the middle of the ocean, helpless, unable to catch up.

The ship has sailed, but a part of me still holds on to that dream. It may even be a good thing that an injury prevents me from taking dance classes at the moment, even though I crave them, because they remind me of what once was, and what could have been. They allow me to escape back to a time where I was so sure of myself and where I was going. However, the return to reality after that escape is even more painful.

There are other things I regret, like returning home from Australia early and not saying things that I really wanted to say, but the regret I feel pertaining to dance is by far the one that impacts my life the most.

As I mentioned earlier, when I first 'quit' (I keep putting that in quotation marks because I don't think I, or anyone else can really QUIT dance), I boasted about the full, happy life I would lead without dance governing my every decision. I look back on that, and I see that it was foolish. I can't say I blame myself for being that way, but I can say that I was overly optimistic about how easy finding a new passion in life would be. I thought that once I had free time, a new path would fall right into my lap and I would be on my way to success and fulfillment in another area. 
But that's not how it works. Passions are sometimes once in a lifetime, and maybe my only true passion was dance, and maybe I'll feel a little less "me" without it for the rest of my life. 
In the meantime, I'm trying to enjoy life for what it is.

To end this post on a slightly happier note, there are plenty of quotes that help me find solace in times like these.
"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are." -E.E.Cummings
"I hope you live a life you're proud of. If you find you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again." -F. Scott Fitzgerald
 If you have any thoughts or regrets you'd like to extinguish in the comments, feel free. I will be glad to hear any stories to make me feel a little less like a ball of gloom. I hope you're happy where you are, wherever that may be.
xx Kim

No comments:

Post a Comment