My whole life I have gotten extremely excited whenever I see live theatre of any kind. Consistently, I have felt this way when I've seen stage plays and musicals. I have always envied the people on the stage and hoped to someday make it up there myself. I have felt this way during my professional life when I see dance performances as well. If I was feeling burnt out with work or lacking inspiration or drive, seeing people dancing could pick me up and give me the added push I needed to get back into the studio.
Last season, as I was coming to my decision to finish up this phase, a weird thing happened. As I was attending a performance of the women of Kansas City Ballet, and I found myself completely enjoying what I was seeing simply as an audience member. It really unnerved me. One could point out that this was a performance of women-one that wouldn't necessarily invoke my jealous desire to be on stage, but in the past it hadn't been the gender of the performers that made me excited to dance. It was the dance itself. This was completely different.
This has continued into this year even more so as I've announced my retirement. I have a new found appreciation for the work of those around me. I am finding myself inspired to dance, but now it comes from a more outward focus. I watch my coworkers-both new and veteran, and I am excited to see them where they are at each stage of their own artistic development. I am excited by their accomplishments. It's really helping my competitive nature.
This new experience is bittersweet. It tells me that I am naturally letting go of something that has been a part of me for so long. It doesn't take my love for what I do away, but it does make me a bit sad at times. I don't feel I am doing a good job at describing how I am feeling about this, but I accept that. It is a new and deeply personal evolution from who I was into who I am becoming.
I hope this means that I am continuing to come to peace with my decision. I've said many times now to friends and family that I need this to be my best year. I need my head to be on straight. I need to be excited about the future but really live in the moment and take everything in. I don't want to look back and have any regrets about how I finished. I am still my dramatic self. I know this year will have it's ups and downs like any other year, but I hope that this new found inspiration of enjoying those around me will continue.