Tuesdays are strange. Since September I have had most Tuesdays off, usually not by choice. The way my schedule has played out among my four or five jobs, Tuesdays have always been left open to the possibility of background work or an audition. And due to my pretty tight budget, lack of work does tend to make an impact. Other than one day in October when I had a very lucky filming day on The Good Wife, I haven’t had a single union background gig. So all in all, I have been starting my unintentional day off on the wrong foot. Oddly enough, Tuesdays tend to end in great triumph, usually due to the motivation to make a potentially anxious day as productive as possible. I overcompensate and the motivation for a blog post like this begins.
On this morning in particular, my alarm clock was a pile driver at 7am from the construction site across the street. They have been starting earlier and earlier recently and the noise from the rhythmic pounding has been shaking the walls of my apartment. This morning was the final straw. I called 311 and filed a noise complaint with the weary-sounding operator who said they would look into it in 2-3 weeks. After doing some healthy bitching to Ben, I rose and decided I could make the best of it by getting out of the apartment. I noticed my dance studio had an “open level” ballet class at 10 that I usually didn’t get up in time for. So I thought I’d give it a shot. Word of advice to my fellow “singers who move well”: any dance class that is not actually listed as a beginner level, is FAR from beginner. Intermediate is a quantum leap from this:
This ballet class was an instant throwback to my high school days when I was all about the ballet dancin’. I realized half way through that I hadn’t been in a legit intermediate/advanced ballet class in SEVEN YEARS. Gah!! What surprised me though was my mind and body’s ability to quickly recall the slew of French and absurd body positions. Though I was pretty far behind the other girls, I by no means fell on my face. I actually looked pretty damn good for being off the horse for seven years. I left feeling on top of the world, instead of angsty and ready to eat my emotions at Dairy Queen (I mean, what? That never happened). So I will try to impart some of my newly discovered hope from today, in case it is helpful to anyone reading…
Check out the past 10 years
When I got home, Ben and I had a terrific phone conversation about looking back on the past 10 years of your life. When I turned 20, I sat down in my dorm room and typed out all of the significant events and people I had met which since I was 10. Think about it. A LOT of stuff goes down between 1o and 20. Ben, having experienced all of ages 20-30 had the same shock thinking about this decade as well. Day to day or week to week progress can feel so minute sometimes, so frustratingly insignificant, but check out what it has added up to. At 25, did I ever think I would be able to hold my own in an advanced ballet class and have the ankles of an ox from hiking for five weeks? NOPE. Three years ago I wouldn’t have even assumed that. Just as exciting are the things I planned which did happen. I’m in NYC, pursuing acting, and “pounding the pavement” as I planned.
A little bit of silly background on this section. I picked up a book the other day from a store on the Upper East Side called “Choices.” Teehee. I grabbed a book which at first glance appeared to be helpful for my lesson plans. It is about the inner child and daily affirmations. I do an exercise each week with my 3rd grade all-girls class which involves them writing something positive about themselves in their journals. At second look later that day, I realized I had accidentally bought a self-help book about MY inner child. Thanks, subconscious. I took it as a sign and have been glancing through it lately. The most thankful image it has given me so far is the idea of “planting seeds for a healthier future.” I don’t have the best foundation to build a healthy lifestyle on, especially from childhood, but that’s neither here nor there. We all have things that have happened which we can easily use as reasoning behind our reactions to things, even if they have diddly squat with what’s going on. I do it CONSTANTLY. (Similar to how every time someone on LOST gets called out on doing something mysteriously angsty, they have a flashback explaining why that character has trust/love/daddy issues. Yes, I’m watching this right now.) It’s easy to feel you can’t move forward because you were stuck at some point in the past. But this idea of seeds has perfect. You’re not changing your life today, just getting things started. Give yourself some credit. Things that seems small now are important, even if they don’t make complete sense right now.
Flourish! What an awesome word!
After my ballet class today, I went up to the Upper West Side and wandered around for some coffee. Joe and the Art of Coffee by the way is GRAND and delicious. Columbus between 84th and 85th, go for it. While walking afterwards to Trader Joe’s, my eye caught a vitamin bottle in a passing health food store which said “FLOURISH!” I thought, “What an incredible word.” And so I decided to make it my mantra of the week.
I haven’t been able to use the phrase “According to the dictionary…” since a 6th grade paper, so here I go. I’m grasping the opportunity. The definition of flourish first up on a google search is: