2 parts life, 1 part writing, 1 part dance- stirred, shaken,and slurped

Thanks so much to everyone who is reading the blog- I hope you’ve all enjoyed the vacation as I have…Oh, who am I kidding, I’ve just been busy attempting to survive in the city and running an unpaid blog falls lower on my to-do list without financial incentive, even if I admit, I do enjoy writing it.

I am meeting with a professional blogger (someone who gets enough readers that companies pay for ads to be included) who will look over what I have so far and make suggestions, so there may be big changes to come.

Yesterday I had a conversation with an old college friend who came to New York about a year ago about how the first four months or so in the city are really really hard.  Not to sounds like a broken record, but it’s true. She is a really talented theater major who isn’t currently doing anything with theater, much like how I am not so involved in dance.

Life is hard for a pirate wench! (sorry Lauren, that this is the only picture I have of you on my computer!)

I have found myself on more than one occasion, riding the subway home from a job I’m not interested in, just trying to concentrate on my breathing because I feel close to throwing up due to my strange hours, company, eating/sleeping/exercise habits. Sometimes I wonder if I should just cut my losses and go back home, declare myself a New York failure, and move on. Then I realize that I have no car anymore and I don’t want to deal with buying one so I might as well stick it out (I did say I was lazy). Trying to prioritize is hard when living here is simply hard- what I tend to feel I need as an aspiring artist tends to go by the wayside when compared to what I need to make rent.

I really hate the cop-out for out-of-shape people who say ‘I just didn’t make time for myself’. Doing a set of jumping jacks or cruches is one-hundred percent free and takes less time than it does to order a coffee from Dunkin Doughnuts (at least if we’re talking about the one on 66th street). I do understand though, more than ever, what a chore it is to GET yourself to the gym, park, studio when you’re tired from working a job you likely don’t care too much about, or even, one that you enjoy but leaves you a little drained. I tend to find that as a writer,I adore going to events, researching, taking notes, and constructing loose drafts of what I plan to write, but the ACTUAL sitting down and writing anything with the intention of publication is being led to the guillotine. In that sense, I wonder if I am really meant to pursue journalism. I find it so much easier to write here than to write a review for a real show (mostly because I have to put a prett positive spin on everything, regardless if I liked it or not). Being a columnist with the freedom to write about a topic that is of interest to you seems more up my alley, but a dance-related columnist position is a hard thing to come by and maybe I should be grateful that I am able to work in the writing/dance world at all.

Trying to find purpose in life is something that not everyone ever finds. I refuse to be one of those people but I am unsure of how long I can keep up trying one thing, decide I don’t like it and have to start a new endeavor on the bottom rung of the ladder. I sometimes think about one of my favorite writer/actor/comedians Ricky Gervais

hard at work or hardly workin' david brent?

(the Brittish guy from the original ‘The Office’, ‘Extras”, etc.) who didn’t really achieve much of anything until he was in his thirties so I’m trying to be patient with myself. What I’m really afraid of, is that I was lucky to find what I’m really supposed to be doing- working as some sort of dancer- early in life and have walked away from it.

I am still starstruck by the city- I had a moment walking through Central Park where I could see the skyline in the distance and I had that cheesy stop-and-pause moment of joy thinking about how much of my life has been spent dreaming about coming to New York and now I’m here. Is it a decent price to pay that I’m here and maybe not doing what I really love yet? I think I had this ultra-happy moment not because of architecture, but because I was coming from a theater dance class at Steps.I am still out of shape but I had such a wonderful time- there is so far, nothing that brings me more joy than a good dance combination (though I have found the best bagel and cream cheese in the city- even if it is three dollars). I really miss daily class, or at least daily exercise. I can’t lie and say that I miss grand ronde jambe or fondu at the barre (devilish erercises in ballet class) and I rarely miss my pointe shoes. But I think there is still something about the dance world that calls to me, even if it may not be classical ballet at the moment. I’ve only taken a handful of classes thus far, and in all but this past one, I left feeling good about going but miserable about myself. It was this theater dance class that gave me the best of both worlds, so musical theater may be something to consider for me. Someone very unwise (Dr. Christian Troy from Nip/Tuck) once said, ‘in youth there are no mistakes, there is only research’- which I don’t agree with. I believe in no regrets- even if you don’t take care of yourself for a while, or screw up a job interview or a relationship- we all do what we do and you can’t take it back so why stress over what could have been? I think about where I would be right now if I hadn’t let my health go, if I hadn’t been burnt out on dance- and I’d still be miserable in Jersey instead of slightly stressed-out and confused in new York. And I don’t think this outlook is limited to youth- people can change their lives at any age. It’s hard to say that I need to do whatever makes me happy because that would mean skipping work that pays my bills- but whatever makes me challenged and …I can’t think of a word that seems to fit.  Maybe when I find the job, I’ll find the word.

These streets will make you feel brand new, the lights will inspire you

3 thoughts on “2 parts life, 1 part writing, 1 part dance- stirred, shaken,and slurped

  1. I remember thinking many of the same things in my brief time living in NYC so long ago. But I continued to think those same things when I left the show and took a job back in St. Louis. I think the line about “research” is a good one. (By the way, you still have a car. No takers on used cars at the moment.)

  2. Follow the inspiration, Jess. Stay focused, stay open, and keep writing about the process. Finally, TRUST that you are exactly where you are supposed to be at THIS moment. That trust is where you will find your purpose…

    …and if you’ve already found the best bagel and cream cheese in the city, then you’re way ahead of the curve!

  3. My sister is in town for a week before she heads off to Japan to continue pursuing her “purpose” in life (ice skating/dance, whats the difference) and she asked me and my brother what we were doing tomorrow. My brother answered, “Going to work. That is all we working people do. I go to work and then come home to get ready to go back to work. Sometimes I do some more work once I get home. All so I can buy things I don’t need… things that I never use because I am always at work.”

    So, maybe a stable job is not all its cracked up to be. haha.

    But all joking aside, I think the purpose of life has much less to do with what you are doing but instead your mood and state of mind when you are doing it. Sounds cliche, but its just the way it is.

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