Tonight, over dinner with my beloved teacher, she shared more advice. I feel that I could listen to her for hours.
She reminded me how as dancers we are lucky to get paid to do what we love. This is a view I have long shared with her and those around me. She spoke also about the other side of the coin that we often forget. Part of getting paid for doing what we love is coming to acceptance that we are also getting paid for all of the other times when we aren't doing what we love. Those are times such as when rehearsals go too long without seeming productive, the people we work for may seem difficult, we may not get the parts we want, etc. Life isn't fair.
It's not only this way in dance. There isn't a business out there (that I can think of) where one can be 100% happy every second of every paid hour. As dancers, we often get ruffled by the unpleasantries of the business, but as my teacher wisely said, we signed the contract for the junk as well as the pleasant parts.
I feel that if I as an artist can continually remember this, it will make my career (and has) so much more pleasant. I must add that I'm growing ever more ready for different "unpleasantries" in my next adventure. Some that come to mind are: unemployment, day jobs, auditioning (except I'm going to enjoy that remember?!?) However, it's the ones that I don't know about yet that I'm intrigued by. I have no way of knowing what they will be until they plop into my lap. Then, I'll have to make the decision to once again take the bad with the good and learn to enjoy life, or become angry and miserable. Who wants to be miserable? The choice seems simple, but I think that more often than not, we as humans choose the negative. It may be an easier choice to make, but the long term effects are terrible on the soul.