|Overexposed and ringing in the new year with great friends|
|Pre-professional division students at the School of Pennsylvania Ballet (Photo: Alexander Izaliev)|
So, just a little background. With all of this wonderful news that I’ve gotten in the last week, I had two horrible experiences with Megabus. If you don’t read this regularly, I commute from Philadelphia to New York City multiple times a week to teach at Steps on Broadway, Broadway Dance Center, and Greenwich Ballet Academy. Early on Friday morning, in freezing cold temperatures, our bus never showed up. And, shortly after, on Tuesday night, there were a series of fiascos that prevented our bus from arriving in Philadelphia until 4 am in the morning. I had to teach for the School of Pennsylvania Ballet at 9:30 am that same morning. I was put off by this organization both times and they refused to acknowledge their issues or compensate me for their poor practices/lack of service. This stress, coupled with exhaustion and the flood of positive news somehow threw me back into the throws of anxiety that I experienced previously. I found myself negatively fixated on my exhaustion and the challenges of having limited time in any one place. And I found that I was again telling myself that things will get better when I actually make it into a certain realm of success. Then, this afternoon, out of nowhere, I had a realization. I realized I needed to reframe my thinking because I want to take in all of the amazing experiences that I am having and be as in the moment as I possibly can.
We are very lucky as human beings that we have intellect and the ability to analyze things that are happening in our lives. I firmly believe that one of the best analytical qualities that we share is the ability to reframe life experiences in order to make a dialogue fit in better with our story. Sometimes, this works to our benefit. While, at other times, it can be very detrimental and lead a person to spiral into dark, dark places. But if we can take control of how we frame our life and career experiences in our minds, we can benefit greatly from this. Of course, this is as long as we are being honest with ourselves about where we are and how things are going.
In my current situation, it was almost a bit too natural for me to look at recent happenings and tell myself that things are difficult because I haven’t yet succeeded in reaching my end career goals. Mind you, this is ridiculous to consider at the age of 33. Additionally, I was digesting more stress from the challenges of dealing with the negligent Megabus company and the added exhaustion those issues brought on. I found myself walking to the gym before I jumped on the Bolt Bus to teach at Steps on Broadway tonight telling myself that everything will be glorious when I actually make it big someday. And then right then and there, almost as if I had been hit by a bus, I realized that I wasn’t looking at the situation from any rational perspective. I needed to reframe my thinking.
|That moment at 3:34 am, when your Megabus driver gets off the bus to ask a homeless person for directions :-/|
So, now as I sit here on the Bolt Bus (goodbye Megabus 😂 have I made my point?) heading to Steps to teach, I realize that I should be proud of my success. And that my success sometimes puts me in situations that require me to travel a lot, to lose sleep, and to spend time away from my loved ones. This isn’t a greatly negative thing. It is an aspect of becoming successful. And if I can’t come to grips with that in this stage of my career, I may find myself in the same type of burn out situation that I was in at the end of my performance career. And, I don’t want to go through that again.
If you can use my exploration of the idea of reframing thinking to have a more positive outlook on your own life and career goals, I feel that you can benefit from this, as well. Dancers are naturally overachieving spirits. We are always looking to reach the next level of success in many areas of our lives. Whether it is casting, rank promotion, technique, health, or anything else, we tend to be extremely critical of ourselves. When you start to feel out of sorts, if you can reframe your thinking you may recognize that you have already achieved what you are seeking and that you just haven’t taken note that it is happening or already has happened.