I took ballet classes for ten years as a child and have retained a love of it all of my life. I am so grateful to my mom for doing that for me, even though she almost prides herself on not exercising. Christmas, to me, always means The Nutcracker. I danced just about every role as a child and the music always brings me back. The first time I walked into the studio, after 30+ years (!), I felt like I had come home; the mirrors, the piano, the barre exercises…. All of it felt so wonderful to me.
In the six years since my marriage ended I have had to redesign my life in every way. At first, I didn’t know where to begin. I was paralyzed by the responsibilities that were now solely on my shoulders and the need to figure out how to pull it off. Where to start? What was I even qualified for now? I had no idea, so I just started trying different things.
Over the next few years I had 8 jobs (sometimes 4 at one time), was laid off 3 times, lost my home, went bankrupt, lost a relationship and eventually had nowhere to go. Now, that’s starting over! After I started my business and it was going well, I could relax a little and enjoy myself (I make it sound quick and easy, but it was quite a road I traveled before I could relax). What I found, was that the things I turned to were the same things that interested me as a child. I began to paint, to write, to sew, to collect fabric, make beautiful things, pull out my old piano music, read, read, read…..That’s me in the photo at the top wearing a ballet skirt I just made, from fabric I had on hand from years ago.
How did I get so far away from “myself” in the first place? Life, I suppose. I got wrapped up in my marriage and the interests of my husband, I had to work work work and got caught up in a corporate swirl for awhile in my 20’s and 30’s that swallowed me. I had my babies. I got busy, like we all do. Then, when life fell apart, I was consumed with survival. My thoughts were on how to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table, not making ballet skirts and painting. Now that I can breathe, I can feed my soul again. What a joy that is!
I’m seeing how, after going through so much loss and having so much stripped away, what I turned back to when I could do anything I wanted, were the things that fed my soul when I was small. I was still me inside, even though everything else had fallen away. The big lesson I learned was that when you don’t know where to turn, or where to begin, sometimes it helps to look back and remind yourself of who you were.
* As a little side note, I am in the process of developing an 8 week workshop that will be presented both live and made available online tentatively titled, “Women In Transition – or – Now What?”. I will post more soon…..