If there is one thing that I am continuously being reminded of, it is the fact that so little is in my control. This is hard for me to accept. I'm an oldest child(need I say more?) The need to control things is a part of me that I fight on a daily basis. I believe that many in the arts are "control freaks." It's hard not to be. Day in and day out we put ourselves out there for public scrutiny. Thereby, and I'll speak for myself here, I find it hard to let go of things that I cannot control. I have a desire to be perfect, for that is the way I am wired not only because of ballet, but because of my "Type A" personality. I really need things to go my way. Fear not, I don't allow this to dictate my daily life.(completely) I do keep myself in check and surround myself with people who can smack me around from time to time when needed.
As a dancer, I learned early on when I began auditioning for ballet companies, that in this line of work, things were totally out of my hands. The only thing I could do was be prepared as much as possible in order to hopefully be what a director was looking for. It is a scarey and completely vulnerable place to be. When I did finally earn my job, I could breathe for the first time in years.
When I began coming to my decision to be finished I weighed many things. One thing I realized was that since I knew I wanted to move into the world of theatre, I still needed to be able to dance. I needed to be able to be competitive with other dancer/actors and there is so much talent out there. I knew I wanted to move to New York to pursue this while I was still young. But the main thing I needed was and still is this: I needed to protect my ego. I needed to come to this decision myself. I needed to be the one that said, "Thank you. It's time that I bring this chapter to a close." I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to make this decision.
I have always been a person who isn't afraid to share things I'm going through. If I had kept this to myself all season, I would have gone crazy! With the sound counsel of friends, I did give myself enough space from the ballet during my summer break in order to be confident in this.
I wanted to give the people I work for the respect that I felt they deserved after our long standing relationship by not waiting until the last second to tell them. From the introvert to the extrovert, I believe we all need the support of those around us when going through pivotal moments in our lives. I wasn't afraid of losing roles because of my decision. I was and am afraid of not having the support of the people who made the decision to give me a chance in the first place. I feel confident that I made the right decision to tell my employers before the season began.
In closing, I can only say again how happy I am to be able to feel that I played at least some of my cards right. Whether it be that it satisfied my innate need to control my life, or it just helped me to see that honesty is still rewarded, I am glad to have had the chance to handle it in this way.
There it is. My public confession as a control freak.