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Hanging Up The Tutu

If you follow my blog regularly, you know I don’t get serious too often. Ever, really. A lot of bloggers are naturals at this stuff, but it is actually a real challenge for me to write about something serious, especially when it is about me. Humor is safe for me, while anything outside of that realm makes me feel extremely vulnerable. But, with everything going on during the week of a Becca on Fire, I not only have a little extra confidence in my fingertips, but I also feel that it is the perfect opportunity to open up a bit to my readers. So, here goes my attempt to inspire.

Before I began writing this post, I sat with a blinking cursor on the left side of my screen and the “about me” page of my blog on the right side of the screen.

I’m only good at funny. That’s what I do. It is easy to be funny. For me. Shit, this is going to be more of a challenge than I thought. I can’t even inspire Jack to poop inside the litter box, so what can I possibly have to write about inspiration? Oh well, just write.

After all of that staring, I noticed something about how I describe myself. Take a look at my “about me” page. I begin by proudly acknowledging a very important part of what makes me Becca. I was a dancer.

becca cord in a tutu

Before I was writing I was a confectionery delight in pointe shoes.

For seventeen years, I was first and foremost, a dancer. Make that a great dancer. A passion that consumes you for such a long period of time is hard to shake and even harder to accept that you must shake, which was apparent by the blurb I’d written. So, I guess I should more accurately say that what I was looking at was a statement about what used to make me Becca.

Before anyone ever put the notion in my head that making a profession of performing arts was “impractical,” I never thought twice about any other course for my life. I entered college as a dance major, was an important member of the college dance team, and had every intention of performing until my age got the best of me (at which point I planned to teach). Everyone knew me as the dancer even if they didn’t know me at all. That is how integral it was to my identity.

After about a year in college, I began to realize that the performing arts program I was in was not up to par with my experience level. This is not a case of my comedic ego either, the program was simply a joke. A cop-out for lazy freshmen who would rather mock an art form than write an essay. On top of that, my parents continually dropped not-so-subtle hints that I may want to consider a different calling. Something more lucrative.

It infuriated me that they didn’t get it. Get me. It infuriated me even more that I pretty much had no other option but to drop the program because of its lack in advancement. It was holding me back as a dancer. It infuriated me, because everyone would think I gave up on my passion to become an office drone (at the thought of which nauseated me).

snoopy in business

Street art doesn’t lie.

Before I knew it, I was a performing arts drop-out and a month from being another indifferent graduate of the school of business. What happened? I over analyzed every incoming external influence telling me to cash out before I lost big, that’s what happened. That, stirred together with my own doubts and insecurities as a dancer. I didn’t want to start over at a new university, but I also couldn’t stay enrolled in the Ballet 101 classes that I took when I was three years old.

I had  become the one thing that I had almost forgotten I’d sworn not to be, Miss play-it-safe.  Sure, I’d find a job. That job would pay well enough for me to live as comfortably as I always have. People would see me as “successful”, but I wouldn’t stop thinking, “Is this it?”. I would eventually become that forty-year-old woman still bragging about how many pirouettes she could do twenty years ago while shamefully dodging conversation about her soul draining day job.

So, back to my “about me” page. Obviously, even five years since I have laced a pointe shoe, I am still coming to terms with “dancer” no longer being my main identifier. While I still have strong emotions associated with that time in my life, l do not regret the way everything panned out. I’ll tell you why. Then you can forget that I ever wrote anything so comically disappointing and go back to envisioning me in my underwear.

You see, had I not experienced this loss, I wouldn’t be here writing this. That’s right, I am tying this into writing, because that wasn’t predictable at all. The fact of it all, is that I could have made a career out of dance, but then I would have never known the dispassionate alternative that I experienced for several years after stepping out of that studio for the last time.

It is my strong belief that I would have eventually become complacent and dropped my dancing career out of pure inability to truly appreciate my love for it. I have been writing again for almost a year now, and because of this, I have the appreciation for writing that I never knew how to have for dance. And now I know what it is like to lose it.

So, while I no longer see dance in my future, what I do see in my future is a passion that is equally as important to me in a different way. Think of it in terms of relationships. You love and you lose. Those losses teach you to appreciate love for what it is. You then find love again in places that you never expected. You become enthralled again when you thought you never would. This time, you know to hold on to it. You know not to abandon it or take it for granted. And you won’t.

becca cord signature

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