redefining place

As I gear up to move back to New York for graduate school I feel something so indescribable, not happiness, not relief, but the feeling that I am more than what happened to me when I felt my first shock of failure. Sometimes things happen that are beyond your control and it isn’t failing, it is time spiraling, leading us toward the next great adventure…

The Places We Go.

January 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

I was always dreaming big. I wanted to get out of my hometown. It suffocated me. It felt stuffy and rigid and stuck. Like everything was backward. I was the big fish in the small pond. I traveled to Europe thanks to a dance scholarship to the Czech Republic living in the city, Ostrava, on its eastern border. There I danced in the ballet academy being coached to perform the black swan variation from Swan Lake and the pas de duex from Romeo and Juliet for the Gala. I wanted a job so bad. I wanted to stay there, but they didn’t want me. ‘

But I wasn’t ready to give up.

I moved to NYC living there for two years. I think I changed there. I felt small. I was small. I was insignificant. I was nobody. I was worthless. I did not have the body to be a ballet dancer in NYC. Technique, drive and talent was not enough. I did not look the part and so I gave up. I tried to find another niche. I tried jazz and hip hop where I could hang, but I did not love it.

I was working so much that I did not get to dance that much. My dream felt like someone else dreamed it. How could I ever have deluded myself into thinking I could dance? What a waste of a life. I did not take care of myself, I did not feel like I was worth it. I hated myself. I hated my life. I begged my parents to let me move home, but they refused saying it was not a good time for them. I sunk lower and lower into a depression.

The places we go when we are alone. The places we go where no one can find us.

I moved home. I was not the same person. The dry wind hurt my eyes and cracked my skin. My hometown felt so big. I felt so cold and alone with the wide open spaces. Too wide. Too open. I don’t really remember my first week home. I said I was jet lagged and stayed in bed. My curtains were closed. My door was closed. I closed my eyes and hoped everything would go away. The terrible memories in NYC. That concrete jungle that chewed me up and spit me out.

I started summer school. I mean, I might as well get on with my life. The ONLY classed that were a still open when I registered was intro to theater and something else that i don’t remember. The class was held in HBT. I had no idea where that was. I circled the theater at school 3 times until I figured out that HBT stood for Howard Brubeck Theater. I walked inside. I knew I was home. I mean, I could not remember that last time I had been in a theater. I missed it. I was supposed to go to another class in another room afterward, but I did not want to leave. The next class in the theater was an acting class. I ditched the class I was supposed to go to and just sat in the back. I ended up adding the acting class and being scared out of my mind to get on stage and perform. I could not break out of my shell. I did not even make any friends in the acting class because I didn’t talk. But I watched everything. I absorbed most things….. and I wanted more.

During fall semester I tried another acting class. I talked and made friends and broke out of my shell. I loved it. I auditioned and was cast in the first play of the semester….. I mean, I had no idea what I was doing, but I loved the process of rehearsal and performing. I finally had a goal.

The places we have traveled affect how we see things. I don’t feel suffocated or stale here. And I don’t feel like the world is too big for me to handle. Now when I drive in my hometown I have a destination. When the warm air blows on my face it comforts me and I know I am home. I can breathe here. I can finally speak.