A Love Momentarily Forgotten

While procrastinating studying for my psych midterm tonight, I turned on some music and just danced around the limited space of my dorm room and poured my heart out onto the tile floor.  It had just occurred to me how much work I need to do before wednesday morning, and I just needed to forget about it for ten minutes.  I don't know why I decided dancing was the best option when usually I resort to watching TV or reading blogs online.  I was shocked; I haven't felt that free in a very long time.  I didn't know how I felt.  A pit was growing in my stomach and my usually stoic exterior began to crack.  I called Justin because I was scared that the realization that I don't remember anything from the psych lecture on language was going to cause a breakdown.  I just attributed to feeling odd to the end of fall break and the impending workload.  But after I sat back down to study, the song Falling Slowly came on Pandora, and all my emotions began to make sense again.

During high school, the studio wasn't just a place I went after school.  It was my home where I had friends who knew me not for my intellect or ambitions in life, but knew me for my passion for dance.  The studio was a safe place with teachers who pushed me to never be satisfied with just good enough and friends who didn't care what my ACT score was.  It was a beautiful break from the competitive world of IB, where I could be myself.  I will never stop being grateful that I went to a dance studio that is so loving and nurturing.  

Halfway through my junior year of high school my mom passed away.  A lot of things changed in that period of time, some of which still hurt and some of which I am so thankful for.  After her death, my relationship with dance and those with whom I danced changed drastically.  Dance was no longer just a thing to feed my drive for perfection and a challenge.  Dance became necessary to living, necessary for me to express everything that I was feeling at the time.  The studio became my solace, a place where I could throw every last potent emotion onto that wooden floor, and know that it was going to be okay.  No one judged me or pitied me too much-- I have never felt more loved in a place in my life than at that studio.  Relationships were made because of dance that have forever changed my life.  

But tonight, I realized sometime in the past year I lost that.  Dance classes became graded, I started caring too much about what I look like, and even worse, trying to be as good as the people with whom I take class.  On the one hand it has taught me to be a stronger dancer technically.  But that will never be worth losing my one true passion in life.  Dancing around my room, slamming limbs into beds, desks, and dressers, reminded me that I don't have to keep my emotions bottled up only to explode every month or so.  I have an outlet twice a week in my ballet class, or whenever I need it in my room.  

But this post isn't just about me.  Everyone enters a point in their life-- college especially-- when passions get left behind or, even worse, become an obligation.  What kept you sane at one point or even simply just made you smile has left your life entirely, and a hole has opened up within you that you don't know how to fix.  While there is certainly sometime beautiful about doing what you love for your livelihood, there is some magic in letting passions stay for your own personal benefit.  

Dance will always be there for me when I need it, and will bring back all the feelings of safety and care so that I can express every last feeling that needs to find it's way to the surface.  But I have to let dance become that for me again.  Perhaps stepping into the ballet studio Thursday, I'll see what happens...


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Meet The Author

I'm Madysen, born and raised in Nebraska but now living out my dreams in New York City. I moved here to go to Columbia, but living in New York has become so much more to me. This blog is a space where I can share my experiences of reconciling my midwestern upbringing with the life I live in the city. But even bigger than that, this blog serves as a space where I can try to understand where I fit into the larger social world, where I want to go in life, and how I want to go about pursuing all of these endeavors.

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