There are three types of relationships in this world – all of them are wonderful (at times), and work to fulfill a specific role in your quest for balance.
1. Relationships with people who share common goals.
Your school friends. The people you go to class with every single day. The people who know when you’re having a good day or not, based solely on what your makeup looks like. The people applying for the same 9897 jobs as you.
2. Relationships with people who work within the same field, but don’t share (immediate) common goals.
The Dumbledores, Mr. Oklahomas, Ms. Weight Sensings, recent grads, and younger comrades in your life. It’s all the same talk, just at different points along the continuum of (professional) life beyond higher education. There’s very little competition in these relationships because a hierarchy definitely exists (…as in, you’re eventually either receiving advice/letter of recommendation or providing one…) These are also the people who often have to switch hats to accommodate – like professor/turned advisor/turned friend/turned choreographer all within an hour. These are the people I feel the most supported by – they totally understand what’s going on at any given point, and then know just the right thing to say to get me off the couch and into motion. I basically want to be these people when I grow up. Thank you!!!
3. Relationships with people who have absolutely nothing to do with your chosen field.
I know this might sound a bit crazy, so try to bear with me. There are these…people out there who don’t actually wear spandx’y clothing on a regular basis, or who don’t
give a flying-F about the concert versus commercial dance Venn diagram. I know…weird…
These are the also people who are like, “Oh, you won that super competitive dance award? Congrats…go take a shower, you smell like an animal.”
Buzz kill. But also…life awakener! (…yes, that’s now a thing…)
These are the people who remind us that there’s an entire world outside of the dance studio, and that it’s okay NOT to be in the dance studio from time to time. When we psycho-Dyvas get all crazy in our heads about these daunting deadlines and artistic goals, we need these people to pull us out and give us a reason to smile (beyond knowing Martha Graham Dance Company will be at Jacob’s Pillow this summer – or Jacob’s Ladder as my family insists on calling it…)
My man friend, the Ethnic Prince (who has been waiting for an honorable mention since I started writing this blog…here it is, sugar buns!) immediately caught my smeye (smize/smeyze…get it?) when the first he thing asked upon hearing that I was a dancer was, “Oh so like, you must study dance theory, and shit?”
YES!!!! And shit!!! No, I am not a stripper! No, I am not on Dancing With the Stars! Yes, I’m totally really smart! DING DING DING!!!
What the Ethnic Prince has taught me is that these “other people” we have in our lives don’t necessarily have to understand what we do in the studio, they just have to appreciate it and value our commitment to it.
Dear General Society: If you are going to pretend that what I do is a make-believe profession, then you and I are not going to be friends. If you are going to admit that maybe you’re a bit jealous that I can not only tell you about the mechanics of the body (and how it moves through space), but then make beautiful things with those bodies in space, and then articulate in words what I saw those beautiful bodies doing in space…then I’ll definitely consider making friendship bracelets for the two of us. Sincerely yours, KapDaddy
We all need balance, people. We build community that not only shares common interests and values, but mutual support. There are times when it’s necessarily to feel a little competitive with your peers (not like, break their kneecaps competitive, but enough to light a little fire under your butt), times you need to bounce ideas off of someone who’s already been in your shoes, and then there are moments when you need to sit with your other friends and laugh about that one time you got in serious trouble for drinking (…spilling…) pickle juice in the pool when you were eight.
Your LIFE AWAKENER!!!