Sunday, January 30, 2011


Let me just preface this by saying this past week was one of the most glorious things I've ever experienced.  I love the actions, people, and places.   There will be a blogpost full of all the wonderful things I got to see and do and the awesome people I met and grew closer too.  But tonight's post is a little different.  Tonight's post is about exactly what the title says: insecurities.  Let me explain myself.

This past week was so amazing because I was at Festival (a nickname for a weeklong series of workshops, classes, competitions, and parties for regional college/university theater programs).  Because our campus is so small, we will never be able to host Festival on our own. . . which means we were all off campus for a (marvelous) week.  A week which I didn't have as much money as I hoped for, to buy food.  At one point, I lasted two days on nothing but a bag of beef jerky and a bottle of rootbeer, both from a vending machine. So tonight, back on campus, tired after rehearsal, I was standing waiting for my dinner when a strange thought hit me.

I could just not eat.

No really - I could.  Yes, my stomach was full of pain and gurgling.  Yes, it had been hours since I'd had anything and I'd been virtually fasting for the past week, but so what?  How many nights had I just fallen asleep, my stomach clenched and empty?  How many hours of workshops, work, rehearsing, and exercising had I done on half a power bar (generously offered by a friend) and an apple?  I've been working so hard on my body: it was so tempting to find another way.  To maybe be thin.  To just. . . not eat.  All I had to do was walk away without my order. . . who would say anything?  Maybe I'd be thin this way.  Maybe.  Maybe.  Maybe.  And then the rational part of my brain kicked in: the part that knew I needed sustenance or I'd get sick.  That I never wanted a THIN body, I wanted a lean, healthy, strong body.  The part of my brain that pulled up the image of Boyfriend's face if he ever found out I had an eating disorder.  The dance teacher's who told me I was fat, whose hard words were never enough to make me starve.  The friends I'd just walked away from, who had tried to keep me fed this week when my money ran out.  I waited for my order, and I ate. . . just like I'll continue to eat, because I know it's what my body needs.  But it was so hard to do, as I stood there running my hand on my hip bone, noting how much more bone and less hip there was. . .

As I ate, I realized something: I've made lots of progress over the past year and a half.  I really have, as I grapple with my demons.  But insecurity is a slippery thing.  On a bad day, it slides in on the air I breathe as I walk to class.  It's as easy to slip on as a favorite worn t-shirt, and heavier than a thousand pounds of chainmail.  I thought back to the week I had, already consigned to memory and realized it had even slipped in there.  It was my companion on my dance floor, the last night of festival: everyone dressed to kill, dancing and singing their hearts out.  I was wearing a brand new dress, and had done my hair and my makeup.  Then someone leaned over to me, and opened their mouth: "holy crap, is that you?!?!?  You look great!  I didn't even recognize you. . . "

And for a second I was three feet tall, a little girl in her big sister's clothing.  Why didn't you recognize me?  We've gone to school together for almost two years. . . I'm pretty to you, now, behind a dark dance floor and shimmering make up.  So you weren't sure who I was.  Ouch.

Or when my friend/Festival roommate choreographed a dance: it was fun and we all sang along to the song, laughing until 2 am.  There was a little part of me that was scared to laugh too hard, in case I made it all disappear. . . the way a strong wind rips smoke apart.  They would turn around and realize I'm here.  And I'm no fun.  I'll go back to my room and everyone else will stay together, all night. . .

Silly thing, insecurity.  I laughed and no one sent me home.  I'll eat and still stay fit.  I can dance and be beautiful and go to class and be plain, as long as I am myself.

Hopefully, in another 18 months, it will be easier to remember that.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Super Fast, Super Important Weekly Gratitude

Hello Blogosphere!

I'm so happy it's Weekly Gratitude time!  I'm very tired, so this will be quick. . . but I truly have so much to be grateful for this week.

*I'm grateful for the way my list day at home went.  I'm grateful for moving in to my warm, beautiful dorm room with my mom's help, the cheerful sounds of my C.A.'s music in the hallway.  I'm grateful for dinner at Rick's with mom, and chatting online with my bestfriend in the world as I settled my things.

*I'm grateful for the most amazing assortment of classes EVER.  Every single day, I have dance and theater.  My only two non-performing arts based classes are Comparative Religions and Honors Colloquium.  Both of which are awesome classes that I have been looking forward to for a long time.

*I'm grateful for dance.

*I'm grateful for how smashingly well Ballet 6 went.  Just as our class size doubled I was able to distinguish myself from the pack.  And it simply felt amazing. . . the whole class.

*I'm grateful for Modern 6.  It's the most advanced modern we have until senior year (with very, very, very rare exception) and it was so inspiring.  I didn't realize how much more I could push, but now I do!

*Festival.  This is going to be one of the most awesome weeks of my life.

*My girls: saturday we spent hours in the mall (something I've never done before.  I know.  weird.) and then went to Dev's house and soaked in her hot tub. . . in January.  At nine o'clock at night.  Meanwhile, one of the wonderful girls I live with took my laundry (which in my hurry that morning I forgot) and air dried it in my room for me. . . so all I had left to do this morning was fold and pack for Festival.  And my wonderful C.A., who is also President of the club I'm Secretary for took over one of my duties, so I could concentrate on getting ready to go.

*Cell phones.  I understand the concept of letters: I think there is something beautiful and romantic about them.  But I truly don't know how I would manage a long distance relationship without at least hearing his voice.  I guess I'm a true child of my generation. . .

*Pretty, fun accessories that I can purchase on gift cards and not have to spend money on new outfits.

*Lovely readers.

*The chance to explore my craft(s).

*My faith.

*Falling asleep with my cellphone still in my hand. . . and actually sleeping all the way through the night.

What are you thankful for, my friends?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Do More Than Exist.

A lovely idea, no?  I think it's the goal of every perfectionist, performer, and artist. . .

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Weekly Gratitude

A lovely lady by the name of Tatiana came up with the idea of Weekly Gratitude: where bloggers could join her at the end of every week in writing out the things that they were grateful for that week.  I think this is an absolutely swell idea - especially the part where everyone who participates gets to put a little icon on their blog announcing it.  It holds us all accountable to each other - accountable for our own  happiness and thankfulness.  Reminded that our attitudes are our own. . . so I'm going to add the icon and get crackin' on the bloggin'.

Without further ado, here is my first Weekly Gratitude:

1.) The luxury of a nice long winter break, which will be ending in just a few hours.

2.) The luxury of higher education. . . people who do not go to college do not get winter breaks at 20.

3.) That I am able to afford said higher education through a complex system of need based financial aid, academic scholarships, performance scholarships, federal loans, and my mom's help.

4.) The last two days with my family.  Yesterday was me, Sister, and A (my older brother) along with our partners.  We went to dinner and stayed out until the restaurant closed around us.  Laughing, eating, joking telling stories, and finally hugs goodbye in a light snow.  Then today was me, the Kid, Mum, and Boyfriend.  The Kid and I went to church, and then we all went out and ran errands - I know, not exactly an action packed last day home.  But it's amazing how a mundane task with extraordinary people becomes a pleasure.  Then we went out to a sort of late lunch/early dinner.  The food was really good, our waitress was cheerful, I tried a frightening Bubble-Tea-inspired drink, and again we laughed until we cried.

5.) The first dinner?  Last night?  That was paid for by gift cards we received for Christmas.

6.) The Patriots game.  Yes, I realize we lost.  That our bitter rivals the Jets will be continuing in the playoffs.  However - I am a rabid sports fan and you know what?  I am really lucky to be rooting for a football team that has been in the playoffs/making records/kicking ass for 10 years or so.  That's half my lifetime, man.

7.) Boyfriend.

8.) Mum, the Kid, Sister, and A.

9.) The life I'm returning to at school.

10.) Each of you wonderful people who read and support my blog.  Especially you who follow!!!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I'm Really Excited To Make Breakfast.

No, seriously, guys.  I'm really excited.  I'm getting up tomorrow to make breakfast tomorrow for me and mom, and while the kitchen still needs cleaning up from dinnertime my tummy rumbles just thinking about it.  My plan - in it's simplest form - is to make omelettes and toast.  Western omelettes, with montery jack cheese, mushrooms, and peppers.  Whole wheat toast with butter and homemade raspberry jam.  And we'll have orange juice too!

Then it's off to run errands, pack for the weekend, pack for school. . . lots to do, and I'm already hoping I'll have enough time.  Tonight while I'm sleeping, my camera battery will be recharging so I can take pictures of the winter wonderland I live in, to share with you lovely folks!

'Till next time. . .

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Hang Of It.

I think I'm starting to get the hang of it.  The whole make-your-blog-look-nice-so-people-might-enjoy-it thing.  Thanks to LOTS of trolling through other's blogs on numerous blog hosting sites, some lovely tips from Alivia, hours and hours on picnik, I have managed to improve my blog space a bit.

I would love if you could leave me feedback in the comments about the new look?  Especially if you'd be so kind as to click through the new Pages (the pictures to the right)!  Anything constructive would be great - love it, hate it, please change blahblahblah - would be awesome, since I'm still experimenting!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Dear 2011, Let's Be Friends.

I am really excited for this year.  No seriously, I am!  I know every year people say the same things "This year is going to be my year."  "I am so excited to turn a new leaf!"  "Hooray for fresh starts!"  But this year really and truly does feel special to me.  There is just so much to look forward to.  So many things I'm excited to do and be part of.   Here is what I'm looking forward to in 2011.

Spring Semester 2011.  I know.  I know.  I really do know.  I am a giant dork - but I can't help being excited about my classes this semester.  I'm in Level 6 for both ballet and modern!  And I'll be taking Pointe Technique and variations.  I'm also supposed to drop in on Jazz 5 while I'm at it!  I'm curious about Dance Composition - everyone I talked to who had the faculty member I'll be learning from loved the class.  And I'm finally in Comparative Religions, a topic that I've always been interested in. . . and Honors Colloquium looks like an absolute ball.  I love the idea of the class, I love everyone I know I'll be taking the class with, and I love the Prof.  Perfect combination!

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, usually called "the Kennedy Festival," or just "Festival."  It's a week long gathering of colleges and theater departments from all across the region.  Months before the actual festival, respondents are sent out to colleges and universities, to watch musicals and comedies, dramas, and tragedies.  The best of them are called to Festival to perform to large crowds and compete for the chance to go to the NATIONAL Festival.   The drama I was part of was held - meaning we're on the list of possible performers, and will be finding out soon if we get to compete!  There are workshops and master classes in every kind of stage craft you can imagine - stage combat, make up, etc.  There are mini-auditions for mini-productions.  There is a lot of laughing.  I am SO excited.

Two weddings.  The first one is this February, when this amazing couple tie the knot.  I know the ceremony will be a complete tear jerker, and I have seen the bride's dress.  It. Is. Stunning.

The bride for the second wedding is my life-long friend.  I've known her since before I can remember - and I am so excited for her mountain-top wedding to her Marine Corps sweetheart.  A sweet summer wedding for one of the sweetest - and toughest - women I've ever met.

Then there is Spring Break.  I have never in my life been outside the country, and this year I get to!  I am flying first class (thanks to some generous and loving relatives!) to Trinidad and Tobago for Carnival!  I'm going to be part of the street parading and celebrating as part of the band (meaning group, not musicians) Tribe.  This is my costume!  And I'll be spending the time with two of my closest girlfriends!

A few days later, I turn 21.  Not such a big deal, since I don't drink. . . but somehow, it still feels like an important, big girl, moment.

Hopefully, I'll be earning my Associate's Degree.  *Crosses Fingers*  I just have to sort out one last class.  One. Last. Class.

Finding out where I am spending the next four years.  Right now I've applied to Fordham University/the Ailey School, Barnard College, and my own current school.  I would be happy at any of the three, although right now Barnard and right-where-I-am are the most likely options.  It's a matter of finding out where I can get in, and what I can afford, and what will be the best option long term - financially, emotionally, etc.

Starting to rehearse with a real, professional company!

Getting more of my work published . . . I think it's about time I treat writing as well as I treat my other passions.

A summer job I'll love, taking care of two of the cutest children on the entire planet.

Hopefully celebrating another anniversary with Boyfriend.

Moving into a new house, with a new start.

What are YOU looking forward to in 2011?