Moving Forward Using All My Breath…
Okay, so I said radio silence through Saturday was probable, but I’m up and running earlier than is usual for a Thursday, so I have time for a quick entry.
Every now and then, I reach a turning point in my life. I think we all do — the proverbial fork in the road.
In truth, I think we usually reach them months, sometimes even years, before we acknowledge them.
I’m not sure when exactly I reached mine, but at some point I did. At some point, a while ago, I chose a path.
I wrote once about my decision not to branch off my ballet-related ramblings into a separate blog. I still have no intention of doing that. What I do intend to do is re-structure this blog.
When I started out here, I was a first-year psychology student, fresh back in school, and still working at a job I hated (actually, this blog goes back to before I even returned to school, but that’s another story). My primary obsession, at the time, was cycling. My primary goal in life was to be a homemaker. I didn’t really have any central focus, though I thought I did. Ballet was a blip on the radar — something I missed fiercely every time I watched anyone dance, but similarly something I guess I could only imagine doing in a far-away Somedayland beyond the margins of imagining.
Obviously, a lot has changed.
First off, while taking care of my home and husband remains an important priority (the cat won’t feed himself — oh, wait, yes he will, if I leave the Food Closet open…), “homemaker” is no longer my primary career goal. Early in our relationship, Denis predicted that this day would come. Because I am stubborn and kind of an ass like that, his prediction made it much harder for me to admit it.
Yet here we are: I no longer think of myself as someone whose primary career goal is “homemaker,” although I still think that’s an important job. It just so happens that I’m not very good at it, in part because I am constantly doing other things that have coalesced into an entirely different, nascent career path.
Four years ago, I thought of myself as a kind of apprentice homemaker. Now I think of myself as a dance/movement therapist in the making, a hopeful choreographer, a researcher, and perhaps someday a neuroscientist.
Four years ago, I was also in denial about my bipolar disorder. Obviously, that’s changed (and it’s changed in part because dancing has made it feel survivable).
Even one year ago, I had bike-racing goals. They were nebulous, but they existed. I don’t anymore. Bike racing and ballet are, to an extent, mutually exclusive. They are antagonistic activities. Training to race tightens all the muscles that ballet needs loosened; ballet, meanwhile — well, ballet might build a better randonneur, actually, but racing demands a high degree of specialization. So I don’t plan to race for the time being. Maybe someday; maybe not.
One can choose either to be a bike racer who dances in a casual, recreational kind of way, or a dancer who rides in a casual, recreational/transportational kind of way. While not that long ago I wouldn’t have been willing to admit it, I have, in fact, made a choice, and the choice I’ve made is to be a dancer.
I’ll undoubtedly still knock out occasional centuries though, and I’d still like to roll a 200k, just to know that I can. But my life with the bike will no longer be about being stronger, faster, harder.
Cycling for transport remains a major component in my life. I don’t see that changing. Likewise, I expect to continue to care about and advocate for forms of transport beyond the private motor vehicle.
The upshot of all this is that I’ve decided to restructure this blog — in effect, to start over fresh, redesign my system of categories (which is, right now, so complicated it isn’t even funny), and let it reflect the direction my life is taking now.
I’m also going to shelve the vast majority of my older posts. Not that I think history is unimportant (that’s why I don’t plan to delete them); it’s just going to take me a dog’s age if I try to go back and re-organize everything. I feel like I’m at a point in my life at which I want to wipe the board clean so I can start working the next problem.
So there you have it. I’ll be tinkering with things for the next couple of days, and I hope that I won’t break anything too badly. This feels like a cleanup project of such epic proportions that, admittedly, a part of me wants to say, “Screw it,” burn my digital house down, and just start over. I’m choosing (with great effort :P) not to do that, but I can’t promise I won’t completely hose things up by mistake and have to start over anyway.
Regardless, going forward, I’m going to let this blog take the direction it’s been taking anyway. I guess it will mostly be about ballet. There will also be bits of research, occasional reviews and travel-related entries, some stuff about cycling, excursions into the realms of bipolar disorder and ADHD, and possibly some other ramblings. I shall re-structure my categories accordingly. Oh, and as always, there will be recipes. I’ll resurrect the old ones as I have time.
In the end, this blog reflects my own journey — the process of becoming myself. I suppose its history is as complicated as that process is. I hope you will forgive me my grand and sweeping changes.
So that’s it. To borrow the words of the great Sam Cooke, “It’s been a long time comin’, but I know a change gonna come.”