When I wrote this post in January, I had my sassy-pants on. The light at the end of my academic tunnel felt far enough away, that I could speak loud and proud about being an artist, without actually having to deal with the reality of finding work anytime soon.
Flash forward to April, and I just cast eight dancers for my thesis choreography project that I’ll be presenting in the fall of next year. It was really exciting to finally see the light at the end of this grad school tunnel, but at the same time, it was a little unnerving to know that I am in fact nearing the end of the tunnel…
It got me thinking about the difference between dancing in the academic setting versus dancing in the real world. I really have no idea what’s out there, and while I think I have an idea, and a pretty good idea at that, I’ve only ever been a student dancing for grades. My sense of satisfaction and personal accomplishments come from earning good marks, and getting recognized through extra opportunities outside of the classroom.
But what does all of this mean once I have my degree and I’m just another girl who knows how to plie with fierce efficiency?
I see my friends who have recently graduated, living out in New York City trying to work odds and ends jobs while they dance here and there when a temporary opportunity presents itself. The thought of this being MY reality however, is a little unsettling, as I have been going at this consistent pace of 589 mph since I unpacked my bags two years ago. I don’t know that I COULD accept a job at a coffee house so that I can perform once a month and call myself a professional dancer.
In about a year however, I will have two degrees and a fierce passion to continue contributing to the dance community, but where?
I’ve been struggling with my own neurotic thoughts, panicking a little bit as I watch my friends about to graduate try find work, or rather, struggle to find work. It hit me hard that their struggle would soon be mine, and because I’m so young, I’ll most definitely NEED to be a starving artist…just to add a little beef to my resume that doesn’t include “university” at the end of it.
And then last night as I lay in bed, it hit me, CHILL OUT, GIRL!!! You can do nothing more than just stay in the moment, do the best possible job with what’s in front of you, and deal with tomorrow when tomorrow comes.
And I may even take Dumbledore’s suggestion; I might in fact have a cocktail and take a break from being the cat lady for an evening. My kitten, Sophie will be okay if I step outside of the apartment for a few hours to have a little fun. While ANTM is a great way to unwind, so is laughing over a drink with my close friends.
So if you’re out there panicking over the future that you have no control over right now in THIS moment, chill out, grab your bestie and enjoy a cocktail. Life will be okay.