Below is something I wrote on March 30th, 2010 last Spring semester of college. I slightly edited it to improve the writing. I hope you enjoy reading. =)
“You have turned my mourning into dancing”
I’m tired. My semester is more than half over, and I have put a whole lot of effort into it thus far, and want to continue to do well and finish strong. Yet sometimes the homework is just too much. The weariness catches up to me and I don’t feel energized and excited about learning. I just feel like I need more sleep.
It’s hard to take life one day at a time. It’s necessary to have day-planners that help us know where we’re going in life and how (especially for people like me, who can be organization-challenged daydreamers), but still we have to step back and accept that a lot of the time, regardless of how well we plan ahead, life will make us dizzy. We’re trying to learn to be beautiful dancers, and we want to learn to twirl, but it’s making us sick and it’s giving me a headache. Like dancing in a brand-new pair of Pointe shoes or ice-skates, it’s blistering our feet (or our lives- our vitality, our strength). It’s leaving us running (or dancing) on empty.
It can get to a place that is just plain tiring- but there are little miracles in the midst of it all, like a new tune to dance to when the familiar music is fading. Last week there was a day when I thought I just couldn’t take the physical toll of my PE class. My foot was paining me badly after I somehow accidentally and unknowingly injured it (fortunately it recovered over Saturday night and was well on Sunday), and I was over-exhausted from exercising too much outside of class. That class period, due to several factors, we did no exercising. We just sat and talked about health. Hallelujah? I think so. On Monday, I was scheduled to take an exam- and though I’ve spent weeks preparing for it, I still longed for a few extra days time to study. Today the teacher announced that we could take the test on Wednesday morning instead. Something to smile about? I think so. When I’m overwhelmed, it often feels that I will bend and break.. but there is hope. There are little, eye-opening moments of joy all throughout the hard times.
You see, it isn’t really isn’t all bad.. to dance is joy, even when our muscles ache and our feet are blistered. Maybe we need to dance to a different tune, to open a window in the dancing studio, or re-slick the ice in the skate arena.
I realize- it’s not so much about “getting somewhere”. It’s not about a cap and gown at the end of my education, nor is it about receiving a letter grade at the end of the semester. Life is a process, and there is much to learn and grow and receive from now. There is much to sing and be happy about now. The mirrors in the dancing studio may need to be cleaned so the world glints a little more and we see what we’ve been doing all along: not just preparing for the platform of the stage we are readying to dance (for the public eye- careers, families, life choices, stages, people, places), but experiencing the joy of learning to twirl on full. Until then, it will feel like we’re running on empty, but meanwhile our strength is expanding, and our dizzy heads are calming, and we’re learning to take it all one step- each dancing step- at a time, rather than rush through the whole sequence of steps. We know many of the steps that we will dance in the future. We’ve run through the choreography in our minds a thousand times; but we still have to have a great dose of patience and go through each step until we’ve got it down to graceful perfection.
Meanwhile, when we truly can’t take it, if we hold on just long enough, the music changes, a window opens, and the newly cleaned mirrors reflect the light that was there all along.
– Hannah Kingsley
~ Thank you to Shannon Kubiak Primicerio, who’s book The Divine Dance inspired some of the pictures in my head. 🙂
Photo credit: Alissa Czisny, 23-year old winner of the U. S. Women’s 2011 Figure Skating Championships
Above: Here is an inspiring, dance-related video of Alissa Czisny, who won the U. S. Women’s 2011 Figure Skating Championships. Ice-skating is one of the few sports I actually enjoy watching (and that I’ve actually participated in). Alissa was one of my favourites through the competition; I was so glad she won! I hope you are inspired by watching her performance. =)
Watch another of Alissa Czisny’s skating programs for the 2011 Championships here.