Monday, May 19, 2008

Dancer in a Daydream

Perhaps one of the most heart-warming sights is to watch little children performing. Whether that be dancing or singing (which I had the pleasure of witnessing both this weekend), the experience is second to none.

On Saturday night, Mila had her very first dance recital at the Academy of Performing Art's annual Night of Dance. I was unbelievably proud. And unbelievably nostalgic.

The last time I was in the Nauset Middle School auditorium, I was the one on the stage.
One of the few thoughts I had as I sat, transfixed, watching the older classes pirouette across the stage was that I miss dancing. I miss the feeling of flying with my feet on the ground, the familiarity of my jazz shoes, the leather stretched perfectly around my toes. I miss being able to touch my nose to my knees and to fall into a split. I miss dancing so hard that the sweat falls into my eyes and my legs turn into pillars of water.

I started going to Tara's African dance classes during the winter, but I miss jazz and ballet. I miss the fluidity of the movements and the stretching before hitting the dance floor. I'm tempted to sign up for a summer class, but with all the craziness of summertime on Cape Cod, I'm not sure if I'll be able to fit it into my schedule. I told myself I would never work three jobs at once ever again, but that may be happening this summer. What with Coastal Community Capital during the day, possibly waitressing several nights during the week, and change-over cleaning on Saturday's, I'm hoping that I'll still have a few precious hours for soaking in the sun on the beach.

Right now, the future is full of possibilities. I have more that I want to write about, but I will leave that for another time.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Leap of Faith

I have not been updating regularly. I really have no excuse for this except that I am not at all happy with my writing lately. I feel stale...stagnant...stifled. I think it's because I'm too happy, too content in my life. I have no strife and conflict to birth creative genius. Isn't that twisted? When my life is good, my writing is bad. When my life is bad, my writing is good. Don't I love a good paradox.

I originally created this blog because I wanted to keep my journalistic skills sharpened even in this haitus from my beloved newspapers. Unfortunately, that remains to happen. Perhaps that is a contributor to why I am hestitant to fill this blog with useless ramblings just to have to create a new one for "professional" purposes.

I miss reporting. I miss having a hand in bringing the news to the public. I miss interviewing unique people. I miss telling stories that inspire and inform.

I know that I didn't spend $80,000 on a useless degree that will sit on the shelf collecting dust. I know that eventually I will be able to actually get excited to come to work; I will once again glory in the rush of meeting deadlines and baske in the noisy, crazy, frantic atmosphere of a newsroom on production day....

I miss journalism. Everything about it: Moving stories and ads around the page layout trying to make everything fit like a puzzle, staying up until 3, 4, 5 in the morning running on nothing but caffeine and adrenaline, finding inspiration for columns in the extraordinary ordinary. I miss even the things I hated, like tracking down interviews at the last second because a junior writer dropped the ball. Come to think of it, I'm just starting to miss college in general.

Two years later it's finally hitting me. Part of it may be that I wasn't able to go back for a visit this past year. So many things have changed at Waynesburg that I'm not even sure I want to go back. Somehow, I fear that my memories will drift away on the morning mist if I walk through an unfamilar campus. New library. New dining hall. New science building. New faces.

I got wind that Mark Perry is going back to Chicago. Yes, many things have changed.

Sometimes I fear revisiting old haunts because I'm afraid that I will be the one haunted. Haunted by the ghost of my former self. Waynseburg is not the only thing that has changed over the past two years. As much as I wouldn't recognize it, I wonder of the campus would recognize me? It's scary how places can stir up memories that have long been forgotten. Much like music, parts of our souls are tied up in the places we live, the places we grow, the places we love.

It's strange to think of who I used to be then. It's strange to think of how short two years are and yet what a long journey it has been. Where we begin is where we arrive....

Some things never change and some things change too much. Where is the balance point? Maybe there is none. Maybe we are only meant to embrace the life pulsing within us only to spread our arms and leap off the edge...

Sunday, May 4, 2008

More Than a Conqueror

This past week, I have been bitter, frustrated, anxious, and angry. All of my old habits that I thought I had already conquered, all my old antagonism toward my mother, toward God came back with a vengeance. Ugh!

I find it interesting, though, because I knew exactly what I needed to do. Probably one of the most frustrating aspects of being in that place of anger is having all the head-knowledge of Christ and either not wanting it, or not being able to surrender to it. That's where I was. And it took much prayer, will-power, and two pep-talks to bring me back to this place of joy, peace, and contentment.

I am amazed at how quick the turn-around time was on this. In the past, it would've taken me days, maybe even weeks, of stewing on whatever-was-pissing me off and even after "getting over it," still holding on to some small portion of my bad emotions just in case I need to pull them out for fire power at a later date. I feel so victorious! I know, more than ever, that I am destined for something greater than this mediocre life, something greater than living for the weekend and putting in my good Samaritan act every once in a while. I know that God has a plan for my life that transcends being a "good little Christian girl."

This walk with Christ is not easy. In fact, it's the hardest thing I've ever had to do. In the words of G.K. Chesterton, "The Christian ideal has not been found tried and left wanting, it has been found difficult and left untried." There are some who believe that once in the grip of salvation, life all-of-a-sudden become easy. No. Life all-of-a-sudden makes sense, but if anything, the path just becomes steeper.

So why choose this? Why choose anything that is difficult? Because anything worth having is difficult. Any victory won is only sweet because it was gained with, to use the cliche, blood, sweat, and tears.

I don't know how this story will end. I don't know if I'll end up living a life of comfort working for the Kingdom here on Cape Cod or if I'll be dodging the bullets of the Janjaweed in Sudan. I don't know and I don't need to know. I know God and I know that His grace is sufficient for me.