Catch

We are wrapping up week 4 of the Professional Training Program, putting us at the one month mark for the nine month program.  Let’s check in:

Do you remember that shoulder injury I suffered in November?  The one that took me down for 3 months?  And how joyful I was when I was allowed back in the air?  While my previously injured right shoulder doesn’t feel at risk in the slightest, although it does have a tendency to get tight, I found myself overcompensating and trying to protect my right shoulder, and starting to injure my left shoulder.  This mentally pulled me back quite a bit.  I don’t muscle through push ups anymore, and I spend a lot of time massaging my left shoulder and working on stabilizing exercises.  This has been a frustrating process.  I want to remember what it means to be injury free, but I fear that may never happen again.  The only thing I can do is learn as much as possible about muscles, tendons, and proper stretching technique, and LISTEN TO MY BODY.

Physically otherwise – last week I was in a pretty doubtful state of mind.  I felt like I was going backwards.  I could do leg lifts up until my audition, and I could knock out ten pull ups like it was nothing, and spending 10-15 minutes in the air in one go was a piece of cake.  Since the program started, emphasis has been on technique and detail.  Sure, pull-ups were easy, but  was I engaging the right muscles in the correct order?  I was being forced to slow down and think about my movements more.  I’m developing muscles I wasn’t aware of.  Last week, I was having a rough time making it through 3 pull-ups, but that’s because I was very slow and controlled through the movements, engaging the muscles carefully, disengaging ones I didn’t need, preventing swing, arching, and other potentially hazardous efforts.  But last week, this wasn’t how I was thinking.  Last week I was holding back frustrated tears and tearing myself apart for taking a step backwards, as I felt it to be.

Since then, there have been a couple of light bulb moments as I learn in even greater detail how to engage muscles for efficiency of movement, and while I still can’t do a straight arm straight leg straddle up, I’m feeling the progress.

All month I was also struggling with my nutrition.  A pro-athlete diet is complex, and I can’t seem to eat enough food.  So, I started looking at what I was eating every day, and trying to figure out why, and what my body really needed.  I calculated my grocery bill for the last month and nearly fainted. Being vegetarian and athletic means paying extra attention to food.  In an average lifestyle, it can be difficult to get the proper nutrients daily.  I was becoming lethargic, moody, and starting to experience tummy issues.  I needed a change.  I’ve increased my protein intake and lowered my fructose consumption, and I’m adding a little more carbs in the morning.  My favorite snack has become peanut butter and apple sandwiches.  So far, my energy has been returning, but I still have a few kinks to figure out.

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Emotionally, I’m still a little bit of a roller coaster.  I’m reminding myself to breathe deep and that I am my own worst critic.  The major thing that is getting my through it is the group.  There are 11 of us, and everyone is sharing their frustrations, fears, excitement, and energy.  When I’m getting down on myself for my ballet work, I turn to another and say “I don’t understand.  This sucks,” and there are sympathetic looks and words of encouragement.  We are all bringing unique gifts to the group, and from the start created an open atmosphere, so sharing those negative feelings doesn’t feel wrong or embarrassing.  What I love is that we recognize the small victories in our classmates.  Joanna is really working on her pull-ups, just to get one.  And every time she tries, people are cheering her on from across the room.  Progress is not unnoticed, and that is vital in keeping our faith in ourselves.

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I’m sure we could all do this alone, but I’m also pretty sure I would be more burnt out at the one month mark if I didn’t have them beside me.  Having a strong group seems to be everything right now.  I trust them to catch me.

This Word – I Do Not Think it Means What You Think it Means

Relax

This has been a word that is used repeatedly over the past three weeks, primarily in my improv classes, but at least once in every facet of my day-to-day, both training and at home.  “Relax your neck, relax your shoulders, relax your spine, relax your mind.”  When you are learning to move with grace and efficiency, every bit of tension becomes obvious.  And, as things get harder, more of our bodies and minds tense.  I can do three pulls up, and then I’m told to relax my ribs, and my neck, because I’m straining through those parts of my body as though lifting them higher internally will raise my entire body to the bar.  During improv, if I hold emotional or physical tension, I cannot give in fully to the graphics being dolled out to us.  There is too much internal clatter.

The idea of relaxing so much of my body – you would think that would help me feel at ease elsewhere; that I would exist in a floating state as I leave the classes.  Instead, I feel drained.

I want to relax.  Lately, I have been feeling like a ball of rubberbands – each idea or task stretched tightly around another, and if you fumble at all, I’ll go bouncing around the room.  Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I come running home between classes to make dinner for the youngster.  I’m out late for training, and when I return I’m exhausted, starving, and unable to sleep.  My mornings are either spent at the coffee shop, or now doing marketing research for my other job.

I desperately need time to myself, and find myself snagging minutes of it whenever possible.  For instance, this week, I have taken short breaks while doing my research and homework to begin knitting something new.  (The trapeze boots have been finished, and the pattern typed – on to the testers!).

 

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This business of relaxing – it’s awfully hard!

Why I Quit my Job and Moved to Colorado to Become an Aerial Dancer

Here I sit in Boulder, were I have been calling home for the past two weeks.  I unloaded my possessions and launched myself into the most intensive training regime I’ve experienced yet.  I spend around 30 hours each week in the studio, and more in my own home continuing the conditioning, as well as 15 hours each week working at a coffee shop that requires me to be up before dawn, and add to that the marketing I am doing for another performer, and I’ve got a full load.  It’s wearing me down – my muscles almost constantly ache, my mind is persistently active, considering the next task at hand, I cannot eat enough, and I still have a child to take care of.  When I’m not running a mile a minute, I’m a complete zombie.  And somehow, with all of this activity, with the pain and exhaustion, I find myself happy.  I feel strong, I am gaining confidence, I am in love with my new home, and I have faith that the end result will be completely worth it.

The training schedule goes like this:

Monday: 1.5 hours Ballet, 1.5 hours Open Gym

Tuesday: 2 hours workshop (nutrition, and later will be kinesiology), 2 hours technique (currently Sling), and 1.5 hours Fabric 3/4

Wednesday: 2 hours improv (Skinner Releasing), 1.75 hours Fitness, 2 hours Performance Seminar, and 1.25 hours Student Company

Thursday: 1.5 hours Aerial Fitness, 1.5 hours Pilates

Friday: 2 hours Improv and aerial dance history, 1.75 hours Partnering (Contact Improv)

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 1.5 hours Advanced Static Trapeze

Danielle, our sling instructor, has asked us all to keep journals throughout the next nine months of training.  I have a personal journal, as well as this blog, so I thought adding another one would be too much.  So far, I have written one entry, but it turned out to be a pretty powerful entry.  Danielle asked us to think about why we are here – why aerial dance?  Why do we care this much?  Why are we willing to test our physical, mental, and emotional limits for the sake of dance?  And for each of us, there would be a different motivation.

That evening, I opened a new notebook, and the lined page stared at me for a good long time.  I picked up my pen, wrote the date and prompt at the top, and put the pen down again.  Why am I here?  Why did I quit a stable job in Evanston, Illinois – a job that was less than a mile from my home, with benefits and paid vacation, that allowed me to bring my daughter in when I needed to, that paid reasonably well and in which I got along with a fair number of my coworkers – why did I quit?  Why did I quit, pack up my entire life, throwing out or giving away 90% of my possessions, break my lease, and decide to spend the next two and a half months on the road, searching?  Why did I have a plan for every letter of the alphabet, but really only cared about plan A, which was to audition and get accepted to the Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance Professional Training Program?  Why did I give up familiarity and stability to become what I have always attested I wasn’t – a dancer?

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I sat there thinking about it, with the quiet pressing in around me, at my glass dining room table, with my notebooks and papers spilling out around me.  And I thought about something I wrote in my application essay.  People listen to music; it’s an auditory experience for everyone.  But for me, I see it.  I see how I could twist with the melody, the rise and fall of equipment with the crescendos, transitions from the ground to the air and back.  The bodies rigid lines and writhing grace.  I hear the music and the music paints visions on my eyelids.

I am here because I need to move, because every time dancing has been taken away from me, I find myself falling into a spiral of anger and depression.  I never considered it dancing – it was moving.  It was an extension of what I needed to be doing.  In Milwaukee, just before I turned 21, I saw an advertisement for swing dancing at a restaurant/bar downtown.  I asked my friend, Liam, if he would be interested in trying it out with me.  He was thrilled.  Together, we leaned on each other through the struggle with time, feet, and dancing with a partner, and we both fell head over heels in love with not only swing dancing, but the community that came with it.  We started dancing as often as possible – a minimum of 2 nights each week, but sometimes as many as 5.  I loved the energy and the release from dancing.  I laughed often and created a circle of friends that was the strongest I’ve ever had.

When we moved to Chicago, I felt really disconnected from the swing dance scene.  I found most of the venues to be pretentious and uncomfortable.  I would occasionally head back to Milwaukee for dancing, but that eventually phased out.  I spiraled downward, into a bad bout of depression.  It was in this time that I discovered aerial arts.  Initially, it was a method for staying fit and meeting people; I never dreamed it would become such an integral part of my identity.

After my breakup, when my depression was at it’s worse and I was getting fed up with myself (not to mention how fed up with me my friends were getting), I needed a change desperately.  I allowed a friend to introduce me to blues dancing.  After my first night out, I was hooked.  This was it!  The music was soulful, deep and resonant in me, and I could move softly or dramatically, pull in elements of swing or allow it to be an entirely different manifestation of movement.  I was only dancing once a month, but it was the perfect anti-depressant.  I brought a couple friends along, and soon I had built another circle of dancers I could connect with, laugh with, and most importantly, share a moment in movement with.  It was then that I started dancing with my eyes closed, when I surrendered completely to the music and the dance.  There were a few leads I craved dancing with, because they would put their hand around my waist and we would be so close I could feel their breath on my skin, and I would close my eyes and trust the communication through our bodies to carry us.  It was the perfect moment when everything else ceased to exist, and more importantly, a moment in which I wasn’t alone, but had someone sharing it with me.

It’s only in the past year, perhaps having something to do with blues dancing, perhaps just a natural progression of my need for movement, that I started to stray from the “circus” path of aerial.  I would spend hours searching YouTube for videos of aerialists, looking for inspiration for my own choreography.  But I was bored with what I was seeing.  It puzzled me.  The aerialists I was watching were technically magnificent, they were graceful and articulate in their movements, but something didn’t pull me in.  And then I would find the video that I would watch over and over and over again, seeing new things each time and coming away with reams of inspiration.  What was so different about them?  i would watch their fingers and their toes, the way the small appendages were given as much intent as the large ones.  The “ta-da” moments were almost imperceptible, to be replaced with a languid fluidity that said to me “My apparatus is my limb and not my tool; it is a part of me.”  That, I thought – that is what I want to do.  I want to dance like that.

Really, it wasn’t until I was choreographing my audition piece for the Frequent Flyers that I understood the potential of what aerial dance could be for me.  Aerial dance being different than circus in ways that are still be defined – in ways that I can help define with my work.  I had recently been dumped by my partner of 5 years – and granted the last 2 of them were really shaky – it was still a shock to me.  I felt like i had nothing left to be in Chicago for – no partner and my job was making me miserable – so I packed my bags and resolved to go “ELSEWHERE,” and the only thing I knew for certain then was that I wanted to be an aerialist, and more importantly, an aerial dancer.  My audition piece was crucial.  So, I channeled all of the heartbreak, the anxiety and fear and depression, into my piece.  I work-shopped the crap out of it, until I was a huddled mass of human puddy on a mat, trying not to cry too hard.  I put my trust in the fabric, and by doing so put it into myself as well.  It was the moment when I needed it – I needed to fly, to move, to dance.  I could close my eyes and breathe, and in turn began to heal.

By the time I completed my audition, the heartbreak was mostly gone and a brand new direction had been found.  I was on a path that made me feel strong.  Not entirely secure, but my existence and happiness is literally tied up into the air.

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I am here, I am flying and dancing, because I allowed myself to finally surrender to what I needed.  I need to move, I need to stop thinking and stop feeling and find the moment, the tension and resistance and completely give in to it.  My apparatus is my partner, supporting me, loving me, sometimes hurting me, but always teaching me to be stronger, to be supple, and giving me a means for movement.

After what I’ve been through finding this about myself, the next 9 months seem like a walk in the park.

(Now, ask me in two months if it’s still a walk in the park, and the answer may be *slightly* different)

What Does an Aerialist Knit?

Circus is pain.  There really is no way around that.  It hurts.  As an aerialist, when I watch other aerialists perform and I see them do certain tricks, I visibly and uncontrollably cringe, knowing how painful it is.  The first time I saw Cirque du Soleil live, I watched the cord lisse artist do something that I absolutely hate doing, and then she took another step toward masochism, and I received an annoyed look from the audience members in my vicinity as I shuddered and said “No! How can you stand the pain??”  (Not loud enough to disturb the show, just loud enough for anyone within a 3 seat radius could hear my commentary).

So – it hurts.  I am constantly covered in bruises and burns, many of which I don’t remember acquiring – which goes to show how desensitized to physical pain I have become.  This is the norm.  I frequently have people give me weird looks, like I’m either into something more kinky than they can imagine and don’t really want to, or I’m the victim of abuse.  Yes, if you consider my significant other a static trapeze, that alternately tries to concuss me and suspend me in ropes, then both assumptions are accurate.

Some apparatuses are more painful than others.  For instance, cord lisse and I do not have a good relationship.  Every time I climb the thing, I return to the ground covered in bruises, and I’m not about to attempt that climb where the rope gets wedged between the toes.  Nope.  Not my style.  The lyra and trapeze are also painful – you are pushing your body into steel most of the time, with fabric being one of the more comfortable apparatuses, albeit the easiest to burn yourself if you aren’t careful.

But what does this have to do with knitting?

I’m giving you a little background into my motivation for circus inspired knitwear, specifically for something that I cast on Monday night and hope to have completed by noon this coming Sunday (such lofty goals I have).

Monday afternoon, I was at open gym, following a Sunday afternoon static trapeze class.  A classmate and I decided to – how do you say it – accustom ourselves to certain positions on the trapeze.  This type of masochism is best described using a phrase a lyra instructor gave me – burning the pain away.  You put yourself in the most painful positions you know of, and hold them for as long as possible in order to consciously desensitize parts of your body so you can do those maneuvers gracefully in a performance.  Circus is pain, right?

So this classmate and I decided to hold our ankle hangs as long as possible so it stops hurting so much.  We took turns hanging by our ankles in minute long segments, cheering each other on and pushing each other to that minute mark each time.  She had ankle guards on, and I was barefoot.  I made it 1 minute and 40 seconds before I couldn’t handle the burn anymore.  My ankles are still a bit red and raw from the attempt, and wearing shoes the next day was excruciating.  There are these things called trapeze boots that a lot of trapeze and lyra artists wear to protect their ankles and feet, particularly for things that ankle hangs.  I’ve always felt like it’s cheating, but have started to realize that I don’t always have to muscle my way through things.  My technique shouldn’t be solely about strength, but also about efficiency, and I can continue to “burn the pain away,” and I can also work on fluidity of motion.

So, what does an aerialist knit?  Not having a lot of money right now, but more yarn than I really know what to do with at my disposal, I am attempting to knit a pair of trapeze boots (normally made from leather), in hopes of protecting my ankles next Sunday, in which class we learn none other than drops to ankle hang.

 

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I’ll let you know on Monday if my attempt works – am I hobbling or will I have a new pattern to reveal?

Decompression/Recompression

My life is best described as a flurry.  Not quite a full-force blizzard, but close enough.  It’s just hectic enough to make people wonder if they should come out and build a snowman with me, or huddle under blankets by the fireplace, safely in their own abodes, letting me rampage on my own outdoors.

Today marks the one week anniversary of our official arrival in Boulder.  One week into classes, into work, into my new life.  I came off the tail of a grand adventure with no time to breathe before launching into the next – but if you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you’ve probably already guessed – this is how I roll.

I hate being bored.  It drives me bonkers.  Makes me angrier than if someone ate the last of the ice cream the day that a bus splashed dirty street water on me as I was walking toward some really bad news.  Boredom is generated and controlled by no one and nothing but yourself, so I take it as a personal failure when I feel bored.  The world at my fingertips, and I can’t figure out what to occupy my time with?  That’s ridiculous.

I’m almost settled into the new place.  I have to figure out how to get my desktop hooked up to the wifi in the apartment, and there are a few lingering boxes, and I’m not quite sure how to store my yarn with the limited space that I have, but I have to think that I’m almost finished settling in, or I think I might just snap and spend the rest of my “free” time sitting in a corner chewing on boxes.  I went on a tear through my boxes, knowing I saw the cord for my cameras and tucked them somewhere that made sense, but now I can’t seem to find them in any of the places that make sense, nor any of the places that the Mad Hatter would consider appropriate.

I’ll edit to add pictures when the item is found, but until then – stories, because words are still important to convey my experience.

I had one week between the end of the Aerial Dance Festival and the start of Burning Man.  One week, with no obligations, very little money available to spend, a child, and a car.  There is a lot you can accomplish in one week, and still I wish we had more time.  Ellette and I picked up our friend Ari from the Denver Airport on Thursday, which was the earliest he could fly out to meet us, and we started driving West.

Excitement was high at this point.  Freedom and a roadtrip have a habit of creating that feeling.  (4 days later we were extremely happy to have arrived at our destination where we could take a break from being in a car, and being stuck with no one’s company but our own).

We drove through the mountains towards the Grand Canyon, because I gave Ellette free reign over our destination, and that’s what she chose.  Knowing we had time to kill, however, led us to stop when the desire took hold.  Utah is a beautiful state, and I highly recommend taking a leisurely drive through it.  There were so many view points, that we eventually had to put a cap on how many we would actually stop for.  They were gorgeous.  I really don’t have any other words to describe it.

To break up the immobility of sitting in a car, I tried to handstand my way across the country.  I did a lot during the trip, but completely forgot once we got to Burning Man.  I did remember to do one when the man burned on Saturday, and had someone photograph it for me, but that was the only handstand accomplished.

The Grand Canyon was more breathtaking than the last time i was there in 2009.  That time was just me and a guy was I on-again-off-again dating, and the experience was just not very enjoyable because of outside emotions.  This trip, i had a clear head and a clear heart, and Ellette and I loved exploring together.  We climbed everything we could get a grip on and resolved to return in the future for a longer stretch of time, with better gear, so that we can hike and camp and experience it closer.

We continued driving West after that, through Nevada until we reached Black Rock City.  We had a minor detour at a town called Rachel, which is located on Extraterrestrial Highway and caused us to stop by the presence of several flying saucers.  The town had a couple of trailers and a bar.  We stopped for a drink, chatted with the bartender, and left a dollar bill taped to the ceiling with our names written across it.

And then Black Rock City.

My birthday was spent in the line, waiting to get in.  I enjoyed meandering up and down the line of cars, offering chocolate covered doughnuts to other burners.  It wasn’t until I received my first hug on the playa that I realized what I needed this year.  It was a long and close hug, each of us holding on tight and welcoming each other home, and I settled in to it.  All of the anxiety, jitteriness, and excitement started to quiet, and I could feel my breathing deepen.  This was to be the burn of hugs.

It had been just me for the summer – no significant other, physically removed from my close friends, and constantly bustling through my adventures, that I had forgotten how nice it is to share a moment with another individual – a hug, a handhold, a side lean.  And here I was, tossed into a crowd of 60,000 people all ready and willing to hug the breath out of me if I just asked for it.  I found myself seeking out that contact – giving camp mates hugs every morning, holding on long and tight with each one.  I wanted to forge connections, I wanted stories and laughter that would sustain itself off the playa.

Ellette and I didn’t leave camp as much as we did last year, but I’m alright with that.  I got my chances to explore, even having an entire night out on the playa, as an adult, jumping from camp to camp, meeting new people, biking into the deep darkness, chasing a vision of people and lights, and falling asleep briefly inside of a giant genie bottle, only to be woken by gentle chatter just before sunrise.  My companion and I wandered to the 7am burn, where we watched two larger-than-life lovers locked in Embrace turn to dust and smoke as the sun came up.  I wandered back to camp, only to doze off on a couch on top of a school bus before making it to my tent.

We had such a brilliant time and built a few lasting friendships, along with meeting more lovely people than we can ever keep straight.  We have little stories tucked into our arsenals that simply cannot exist in the blogosphere appropriately, and we’ve come back very satisfied.

Now, entering the default world on our return.  I had been curious how decompression would strike us.  Ellette is like puddy, adapting fluidly with the changing situations.  I have been keeping my focus pointing forward as I knock to-do’s off the list, hoping that the brunt of depression would be deflected by being in the studio 30 hours a week working on what I love.

And then I realized that I’m craving human connection.  I’m craving sitting in the dust watching the sunset, a cold beer in my hand and good conversation afoot.  I’m craving quiet moments standing close to people as we share our thoughts on a towering art structure.  I’m still finding my footing here, carving out my place and setting my schedule so spontaneity is a possibility, and lacking the freedom I had all summer is taking it’s toll.

I realize also that I haven’t knit in over a month.  This could be contributing to my feelings.

Photos to come, I promise. I see that reading through this all a second time isn’t quite adequate in describing the thoughts and feelings coursing through me right now.  If only I could think like the March Hare for a little while to find that elusive cord…

The World Keeps Turning

I haven’t yet checked the date of my last blog entry, but I know it was quite a while ago.  There have been so many wonderful adventures in the interim, and so many things that I really wanted to say to the world, but I was in a car, in a rush, in a fit of giggles, and completely out of reception.  I logged in to Facebook a couple of times when we had service passing through the mountains, and I managed to squeeze out a couple of Instagram photos, but uploading an entire blog post was a little too heavy for what the universe was able to provide.

I do want to fill you in on all that is happening, and time is slowly being made available to do that, so bear with me.  I still have to pull the photos off of my camera, which is currently somewhere in my new room – which is completely filled with boxes from the move.  Not to mention, trying to find the cable I need to get those pictures.

Anyhow, immediately following our roadtrip across the Southwest and the week long alternative existence that is Burning Man, we landed in Boulder on Monday, sometime in the afternoon.  I was feverish, sore, tired, sick of being in a car (with people), and locked out of my new apartment.  It was really hard in that moment to keep my chin up, but I did it!  I took care of some lose ends while I waited for one of my roommates to get home, and my possessions arrived finally, which meant that I would indeed have a bed to sleep on that evening!  This was a glorious accomplishment after spending almost two weeks sleeping elsewhere, and over two months sleeping in places that were temporary.  There is something to be said for sleeping in a bed that is yours.  It helped me feel home.

The very next day, still sickly but no longer feverish, I got Ellette to school, unloaded more from the trailer, and then went to begin my new life as a Frequent Flyers Pro-Track Aerial Dance Student!  I was excited, nervous, and exhausted.  I refused to let my anxiety take over – which is a pretty big thing for me.  Normally, I would be a paranoid mess, wondering if anyone would actually like me, and how I would make a fool of myself, and being a total clutz on the equipment.  This group of ladies that I am spending my days with though – pretty amazing and supportive, and what charms me most is the ease to talk about their own insecurities.  Turns out – we all have them.

Today is the third day of week 1.  I’m already feeling more comfortable and sure of my place here.  Now, it’s a matter of finding balance.  I’m rushing around still trying to move in, feel settled, handle the adult things like paperwork, money, groceries, and whatever else it is that adults are supposed to do.  Every morning I’ve been waking up, eager to attack the chaos around me, and every evening I go to bed, thinking I’ve hardly accomplished anything.  As I write this, I can tell you that I do see the progress I’ve made – my bathroom is almost completely set up, laundry from the Burn has almost been completed, several boxes have been completely unpacked and put away, and most of my paperwork is complete.  Tomorrow I start a new job, and hopefully this all works out.  What I must remember is that I cannot put all of the things on my to-do list for one day.  That is not at all possible.

I’ve been thinking about this past summer, and how alive I have felt throughout it all – jumping from place to place, working on neat little projects, meeting so many new people, and watching my path unfold in a very positive direction.  I jumped, knowing that it would be difficult, exhausting, and frightening – that sometimes I would feel disheartened and the struggle would seem too much, and that sometimes it would all be too good to be true – and totally expect the former to be more common than the latter but the end result would be totally worth it all.  I didn’t realize that I was running from anything until I got here, and after the feelings settled, I saw that Chicago had been such a terrible mess for me, dragging me down through depression for so long, that in the end, even after spending a year or so planning my move, the decision to jump was impulsive, and driven by the need to get far away as quickly as possible.  Not knowing where I was going to end up, just knowing that it would be somewhere else – and hoping it would work out.  I was running, pretty hard and pretty obliviously to what it was I actually needed.

Throughout the travels of the summer, my friends really stepped up to support me.  They let me crash on their couches, share their meals.  They showered me with hugs and laughter.  A couple would send me daily texts to remind me they were a phone call away and thinking of me, and I surprised myself when I needed to call them for that support, when the traveling had gotten to be too much to handle.  Friends in Chicago jumped in collectively to help me pack up the apartment, before I even had to ask, and it nearly brought me to tears.  They were there through the heartbreak, through the anxiety, and sharing in the victories along the way.

And even then, it wasn’t until I spent the week at Burning Man that I figured it out, that I stopped running from one place and instead, consciously picked a direction, controlled my flurry of emotions, and confidently began walking towards a goal.  I’m still processing the experiences that lead to this revelation.  All I can say for certain is that I feel the difference.

Blood, Sweat, and Tears

This week has been an interesting one.  A little difficult, a little exhausting, and with a fair amount of self-growth.

I started the week pushing myself pretty hard, like I did last week.  I’ve got more bruises than I can count, some blisters on my palms, and scrapes on my feet. But the shoulder pain I started experiencing last Thursday just wouldn’t go away, and with my previous shoulder injury, that was the most worrisome. The last two days, I’ve skipped my last class of the day, going from four classes to three.  This has given me time at the house alone, time I’ve been using to reset my system.  My shoulders are feeling good again, and I’m figuring out all those grown up things that need doing.

My new roommates and I have all signed our lease here, but we can’t move in until the end of the month.  This means that I am currently in the city I will call home, but can’t quite call it home yet.  And for some reason, this is creating a bit of anxiety.  I’m trying to remind myself that there are a few more adventures to be had this summer, and at the end of it, we will in fact have a home to come back to.

I am looking forward to coming back to begin training.  I have so many ideas and reams of notes.  I just have to remind myself to take breaks once in awhile.

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