It's the people you meet and the memories you make with them that will carry you through life. I believe this with all of my heart. Tonight, my visiting friend and I were the guests of two dear ballet supporters (to be more clear, they're overall arts, life and practically EVERYTHING supporters.) They have always been so generous and kind, and I have loved the moments I have spent with them.
I am touched by the gift of hospitality that some people have. These gentlemen are no exception to that rule. I strive to be like them. They can make you feel comfortable and cared for, and I always leave feeling inspired and more intelligent than when I walked in.
How does this fit into the subject of my "retirement?" It's simple. Leaving a job isn't just that. After being in a place as long as I have, leaving my job also means saying "farewell" (or at least "see you later") to the people who have helped to craft my memories and personal development in this home. When I look back over my career, there are a handful people who I can call "angels" for lack of a better word. They have taken me under their wing and have supported me not only by coming to see shows, but also by taking an interest in my life on a personal level. I always love to get to know who people are and identify them by their personalities-not simply by what they do. I love it when others share this same interest in me.
Sometimes in life people such as my friends from this evening are given to us, but sometimes we have to seek them out. "Seeking" isn't an actual practice. To me, one can seek by opening oneself up and being receptive to the kindness of others. This said, it takes two people to maintain a relationship. When/if kind people are brought into our lives, we need to not just accept their kindness but actively participate and learn from them. I would be honored to learn to be a gracious gentleman like these friends.
Their tutelage has been every bit as important to my growth as a human on this journey as the classes, rehearsals and performances I was privileged to have during my time in the company.