Remember What You Love and Why You're Doing It.

Last weekend I had tickets to see Compagnie Marie Chouinard at The Joyce.  If you've talked to me at all since that night, you'll have undoubtedly heard how brilliant the performance was.  But that is not the point of this post.

Earlier this semester, I decided that I was going to give in to my love for the arts and pursue a career in Arts Management and Administration.  I could not live with myself if I did not keep the arts in my life in some fashion, and intellectually, I know that I have something (just don't ask me what) to add to the field.

But as I live in the Columbia Bubble, the path I've chose seems more and more remote.  I mean, I'm an African Studies major with a concentration in Business.  I don't know what I'm doing, and I'm certainly not learning things in my classes that will directly help me with my chosen field.  The more I'm removed from the arts world, the more of a fraud I feel like.  There are many times I feel that I've chosen the wrong path.  I mean, I'm an introvert attempting to enter an extrovert's world.  I don't have the experience that other people do, I hate making phone calls, and I'm not the best at small talk.  I've been feeling very confused and concerned with my career choice lately.  And the worst part is that I have no idea what I would do otherwise.

But here is where the night at The Joyce comes into play.  I had to take the subway from 116 to 23rd street, about a 40 minute subway ride.  However, I had gotten onto the express and was running late so I didn't have time to wait for the local.  Therefore, I ended up walking 5 blocks uptown from the express station.  I was excited for this show, but I had no idea what it was about.  Plus I was going to see it by myself, which is another story all together.  I spent the train ride picking at my nails, excited to see the show, albeit slightly annoyed to have changed out of my pajamas and slightly apprehensive about my career choice.

The Joyce is in Chealsea, and I had been down there numerous times to do work for my internship with A/I/M at New York Live Arts.  I know this part of Chealsea ridiculously well.  This alone started to ease the tension built up from half a semester of stressing about the future.  I was hurriedly walking the five blocks from the subway, trying to convince myself that I belong, when a woman stopped me.  She looked very confused and asked me which direction was sixth avenue.  Unlike the many times before, I knew exactly which direction and how many blocks over I should tell her.  There was no hesitation, because this neighborhood felt so familiar and like a home to me.  I felt like I, perhaps, belonged in this little sector of New York that is full of dance.

The I arrived at the theatre, and knew the ropes there as well.  This was only my third show at The Joyce, but I didn't feel lost anymore.  I sat down by myself in a sea of hip 20-50 year olds, and felt like I was surrounded by French, Spanish, and other typically-seen-as-cultured languages.  I read through my program notes and prepared for the show.   Unlike other instances of seeing shows alone, I didn't feel so out of place.  My lack of significant other or friend didn't make me an outcast.  In my mind, I was doing work-- I was researching for my future career.  I need to see as much and as varied dance as possible if that's the direction in which I want to take my life.

In short, the performance was beyond words, and that only sealed the beauty of the night for me.  This was only my third dance performance of the semester, and it secured in my mind the need to see more dance.  My life got so caught up in the Columbia Bubble that I forgot why I want to go into the arts world.  Not only do I love seeing art in all genres be performed, but I also feel more at home in a sea full of people who appreciate and critique art than anywhere else in the world.  I have the passion, the experience, and the ambition.  But none of those can last if I allow myself to forget why I've chosen this path.  But that's the same for everyone.

If you get caught up in college and the academic aspects of your passions, then they fail to excite you any longer.  And if you lose your passion in the process of reaching the end goal, then what is all of your work for?


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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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