What I’m Thankful For

This next one isn’t a person but it changed my life.

I’m thankful for dance.

When I was 13, I had very few friends and very little self esteem. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I couldn’t play an instrument, I wasn’t good at sports (especially anything involving running), and I had no hobbies besides reading by myself in my bedroom. My parents were mostly busy with all the sports my siblings did so I was just given some books and left to my own devices. One day, I decided that I wanted to do ballet. Actually, it wasn’t like it just hit me one day. I don’t know where I got the idea or when I decided that I wanted to do it, I just did (I didn’t even really know what it was, I just wanted to do it). So, I took it upon myself to do a little research into local dance studios and voila! there were quite a few nearby. I picked one, called them up, took a tryout class, and next thing I knew, I was taking ballet lessons. My parents went along with it because there was hardly ever anything that I wanted to do that bad.

I am so thankful for ballet. It changed me and it changed my life. I don’t have words to say how much. It taught me so much that I can’t even list here in this blog. Sure, I’ll never be Misty Copeland but there is no doubt in my mind that ballet is a powerful, wonderful, beautiful thing and I wish everyone could love it as much as I do. I may not dance as much as I used to but my love for dance will never die. It runs deep and is truly a part of who I am today. Thank you ballet. Thank you Ms. Felicia. Thank you Ms. Ann and Ms. Norine and Ms. Lindsey and Ms. Michelle. Thank you Marius Petipa. Thank you Balanchine and Cechetti. Thank you.

Me in 1st arabasque Jan 2012 (photo credit: Thai Chu)

Me in 1st arabasque
                                       Jan 2012                                          (photo credit: Thai Chu)

Me and a fellow dancer Jan 2012 (photo credit: Thai Chu)
Me and a fellow dancer
Jan 2012
(photo credit: Thai Chu)

A really fun photo shoot I did  Jan 2012 (photo credit: Thai Chu)

A really fun photo shoot I did
Jan 2012
(photo credit: Thai Chu)

An old photo shoot 2011? (photo credit: Thai Chu)

An old photo shoot
2011?
(photo credit: Thai Chu)

All our tutus 2011? (photo credit: Thai Chu)

All our tutus
2011?
(photo credit: Thai Chu)

 

Weekly Writing Challenge: Moved by Music

As a dancer deep down inside, I’ve always felt a wonderful connection to music. It makes me want to move and groove. I’ve always liked to try to pick out different beats in the song and think of how you could mix up the tempo of a dance to fit the different and less obvious beats and rhythms of a song. For this writing challenge though, instead of picking a song I would dance to, I decided to pick one that triggers an emotional memory for me.  Music can be so powerful, especially in relation to memory. Music is perfect for immortalizing the emotions of a moment, which, for those of you who know about the brain, is what really makes a memory stick. The song I’ve chosen is actually a hymn titled Be Still My Soul. I was originally planning on staying away from hymns and religious music for this challenge for various reasons but I just keep coming back to this one (don’t worry, this isn’t going to be an I Love Jesus and God lecture).

 

Back when I was in high school, my sister-in-law was pregnant. She was the first one of my siblings to be having a baby so it would be the first of my parents grandchildren and my first niece. It was definitely an emotional time for my family. During an ultrasound, the doctors discovered that the baby’s brain wasn’t developing. She would go full-term but likely only live for a few hours. After the initial shock and pain, we accepted this and were looking forward to being able to cherish the few hours we would have with her before she passed away. Then my sister-in-law got sick. The baby passed away before birth and those few precious hours were ripped away from us. For me, still a young girl trying to understand life, this rocked my world and shattered a little part of my heart. She was named Kymberly and we held a small funeral for her. To anyone who has attended a funeral for a child and seen a casket so small, you understand how heartbreaking this is. One of the hymns we sang (only one I remember from that day) was Be Still My Soul. It wasn’t even really singing, more like all of us pleading to ourselves and promising ourselves that it would be all right while tears streamed down our faces and our voices cracked. For a long time afterwards, I couldn’t hear this song without tears coming to my eyes. To me it is a personal comfort, a promise, and a small, intimate memorial to the beautiful niece that never got to see this world.

 

Lyrics:

1) Be still, my soul: The Lord is on thy side;

With patience bear thy cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In ev’ry change he faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: Thy best, thy heav’nly Friend
Thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

2) Be still, my soul: Thy God doth undertake

To guide the future as he has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: The waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.
3) Be still, my soul: The hour is hast’ning on

When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: When change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

 

Song:

Link for the Challenge:

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/11/04/weekly-writing-challenge-music/