|One of my images from our trip to Machu Picchu|
|Exploring the historic Plaza de Armas of Cusco, Peru|
I wanted to talk a bit about what I've been up to, and at the same time create some relevant content for you guys. In my thought process while prepping to write this piece, it clicked for me that it was time to talk about getting out of our comfort zones. There are many ways to get out of your comfort zone. For instance, I am an expert traveler. But only when it comes to domestic travel within the United States. I haven't been out of the country in 6 years as I've focused on building certain aspects of my career. For me, I could have stayed comfortable and had my honeymoon in the US. But that idea, while easy and relaxing, would have been completely within my husband and my comfort zone. We threw around the possibility of traveling somewhere international, but in a more developed country with lavish, comfortable accommodations. This option would have been slightly out of our comfort zone, but still offer us some ease of mind and relaxation to celebrate our union. But if any of you have gotten to know me over the years while reading Life of a Freelance Dancer, you know that neither of those experiences are close to my style (nor my husbands).
|Enjoying art in the Parque Esulturas in Santiago, Chile|
I remember back when I first fell in love with ballet. I didn't know much about what I was doing, aside from the knowledge that there was this amazing school where kids were selected to dance in the mornings and afternoons (the School of American Ballet) and got to focus on dance like I had been focusing on math and science. I also knew that I was a little behind, but felt I might be able to catch up if I did enough research and worked my ass off. I pulled open the January 2000 issue of Dance Magazine and decided to ask if I could audition for the summer intensives I had found with either the biggest ads or in the biggest cities (because, ya know, the bigger the city or the bigger the ad, the better the company?). I was lucky to have a supportive family and an even more supportive teacher and school director to help me follow my uncultivated dream. I jumped into the deep-end fast, and nobody stopped to second guess my ambition. And I guess a lot hasn't changed since then.
|Enjoying the centerpiece of our honeymoon, Machu Picchu|
But in typical Barry fashion, I had my eyes set on jumping into a pool of water with no definitive bottom. At the time, I just did it. But I can explain this decision more clearly now. I innately knew that there were two ways to grow as a person; in small, safe building steps or in one fell swoop with great potential for success or failure. I made the choice to put a lot of money on one number, instead of buying a handful of inexpensive scratch tickets from the lottery.
|Dancing thru a tour of Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires|
There is so much to learn from putting oneself out there in multiple different aspects of their lives, especially as an artist. It is the job of an artist to offer unexplored perspectives to audiences for acceptance, discomfort, and expansion of their own values and life experiences. If one doesn't want to push themselves outside of their own comfort zone, it is our responsibility to share our experiences and challenge them to grow. In life, we are often presented with three different options. Ones that allow zero growth, little growth, and great growth. Those choices that often offer the greatest growth can be the most painful, challenging, and uncomfortable experiences. Like a caterpillar bursting out of its cocoon as a butterfly or like a mother giving birth to a child, these experiences are likely very frightening and often painful. But the rewards from stepping into the unknown, discomfort and pain in growth, and expansion of mind, self, and being can reap benefits, rewards, and joy that couldn't be understood or experienced in one's life otherwise.
|Taking in standing atop the amazingness that is Cusco, Peru|