Hi, guys. You know when people write those inspiring essays about learning to say “no”? The ones where they champion the freedom, the health, the peace that comes with signing up for just as much as one can handle without tipping the scale too far toward swamped? Those people who have figured out how to be “good busy”, where they are toeing the line between active and buried and their hustle is inspiring? Yeah, I am not one of those at the moment.
Since last summer it seems I have not found the space to lighten my own workload. Personal ambition and love of projects are shaming me into a cycle of “yes! oh no, burn out, repeat.” It’s a loop I’d love to break open, a ride I long to jump off of.
When I was 10 my family when to Disneyland. Not knowing how fast the coaster would be, my mother dragged me onto Thunder Mountain Railroad with my brother, sister, and father, so that we could “enjoy” one ride together as a family. I spent the entire
hour? 8 minutes jumping out of my skin, clutched to her flank and begging I’m not sure who to stop the ride so I could PLEASE GET OFF. In a completely non-morbid way, lately life feels a bit like this. On the inside I am screaming for everything to stop, but I can’t quite get myself to press pause.
M and I were discussing my overbooked schedule, trying to determine, as he puts it “the low hanging fruit” to be knocked from my priorities. Dancing, we agreed, come first right now. Have you read this article about adjusting ballet class to train a modern day dancer? Until then, cross training runs in at a close second. Another job for which I am counted on and given money to complete is that of PR & Communications Assistant. While it is work I enjoy- writing, designing, marketing, creating, sharing- my cluttered life makes the weight of this job feel overwhelming. But no less important. So then it’s on to school, a degree I am desperate to finally complete (hopefully) just over a year from now. Ambitious me decided to take on an internship for this semester. “I’ll write a history of the Company in honor of our 40 years! It’ll be great! It’ll be fun!” Ha. Past Keeks is unkind to Present Keeks. Diving into the archives and interviewing famous Festival Ballet faces should have been so enlightening. Instead it’s getting shoved into my stress compartment, entombed by this other commitment or that. Of course then the fun projects pile up, but how can I reject a Cinderella guesting the week after our season ends, a fashion show with Anthropologie on International Women’s Day, or a women’s initiative choreography project? Extracurricular creativity feeds the sooooul. So what’s left? Subbing for some of my favorite schools here and there? A trip to the theater because you got awesome tickets to An American in Paris for Christmas? International travel plans? Friday night rituals with friends? Monday tea dates? Sundays with your best friend (which are mostly gone because you are performing all the dang time (which is actually a “yay!” because that’s your first love but what about your love love?!). This is all before grocery shopping, laundry-doing, showering, keeping my house clean, my plants alive, attempting to see my family, and you know, all of those other human things. I don’t know how to solve this problem, which I firmly defend as a good one to have, but I do know that I am nervously laughing on the inside, ready to burst, all. the. time.
This is not a refreshing post wherein I solve my life’s problems. It is a simple rant about the hurriedness of life for what appears to have been far too long now, and my personal ambition’s apparent need to continue a vicious cycle. Thank you for letting me spill in this sacred space, which by the way, I have also been missing quite a bit, and will never categorize as “low hanging fruit”.
If I were looking at myself as someone else I would say, “Slow down. Keep going. All the way…stop. Relax. It’s okay. Turn it down. Cancel it. Take your time. You will get there. You will make it. It will still be there when you are ready, and if it isn’t, something else will be waiting. Do not fear.”
That’s all for now, xx.