Season’s greetings, everyone! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. It’s now December, and one of my favorite times of year: the holiday season. People are nicer (usually), sweaters are cozier, and lights shine brighter, both literally (especially in New York) and figuratively (I know, gag me, but you know it’s true). The holiday season is a time to give and share with others, spend time with family and friends, and feel thankful for all that we have. It’s also a time to eat delicious foods! On that note, I apologize for my absence (again). Whether you’ve just stumbled upon my blog or have been following me for an extended period, know that I am so thankful to those of you reading this, despite my few disjointed and haphazard posts as of late. I don’t really have an excuse this time, just that I got tired and busy and was focused on other things. Lately I’ve been feeling a little stuck in terms of where I am in my life, and I feel like I’m coming to a bit of a crossroads as this year comes to a close. I’m questioning a lot of things about myself and the choices I’ve made, and honestly it feels a little whiny for me to post on here about it, because I know there are so many larger problems in the world right now. However, I’m doing it anyway, because I think I owe it to myself and what few readers I have to be completely honest.
Food and dance have always been the two most important things in my life, and both have served me well so far. Food, obviously, keeps me alive and fuels my body for dance, and dance feeds my passion for movement, performance, and working towards goals. The two have always felt pretty balanced for me, and I like that. But lately, I’ve been struggling. I feel like I’m losing my footing a little bit in class, and worrying about what I eat a little too much. It’s gotten to a point where the scales are no longer balanced; I’m thinking about food so much that my dance training is suffering. I’m not trying to sound like a victim, but it does feel like it’s a little bit out of my control. In an effort to fix this issue, I’ve stopped posting recipes, hoping that would help even things out. It has, but I definitely have further to go. I love food, but I know that obsessing over it can be dangerous, and I want to be able to keep the joy without worrying so much. Part of this comes from being very health conscious, having experimented with different diets, and knowing people on many different diets. This is good in some ways because it has given me such a wealth of information, but also bad in that it has planted certain ideas in my head about “bad” foods that I have made strong efforts to avoid as a result. I also successfully lost a significant amount of weight in my senior year of high school. You’d think that would make it easier, but it doesn’t because I always have this fear that the weight loss is temporary and if I slip up just a little bit, I would be back to being the biggest dancer in the studio. I know how much I hated that feeling, and the rational part of me knows that I would have to do a lot more than have an extra serving of a so-called “bad” food at one meal to do that, but the other part of me is too afraid to believe that’s true. And even though I feel more confident having lost the weight, that confidence disappears when I step into the ballet studio. This is in part due to the more body conscious attire required for ballet, but also because I am surrounded by many talented dancers, a large majority of whom are several years younger than me and therefore smaller in stature. In the closed off bubble that is my consciousness, I seem to forget that, yes, they are talented, but if I’m in the same room, doesn’t that mean I’m talented too?
I haven’t even approached the subject of this blog, and how I have waffled (haha…food pun) between continuing it or quitting it, how much I enjoy it versus how hard it is to be consistent and build an audience, not to mention staying motivated and constantly coming up with new ideas for material. I know that I want dance to play a big role in my life, but I also want writing about and photographing food to be as well, because it’s something I really have a passion for. However, it’s hard to do that when I’m constantly worrying and second guessing every step I take and every bite I eat. But I’m not giving up.
The new year is the perfect opportunity for me to rethink my approach to both dance and food, and rebalance the scales in my life. I’m going to try and expand my palate while staying healthy, but not denying myself the foods that I love. Everything in moderation, as they say, and a little indulgence now and then isn’t a terrible thing. I’m going to continue my daily yoga and meditation practice in an effort to train my mind and body to let go a little more and not obsess so much when there is no need to. Lastly, I’m going to be more confident in the studio. I will not be caught up in comparing myself to others; I will focus on my own improvements and victories and not tie my feelings about my physical reflection to my self worth. I am more than my body alone. It will take time and effort, but I am ready to start the process and to change my life and myself for the better.
So there you have it. A long, self indulgent post detailing my textbook young adult struggles in the big city. I know, yawn. But I really felt like I needed to write that, both to ensure I actually do what I say I will in this post, and just for therapeutic benefits. Because having written that, I already feel better. I feel less alone and more grounded in myself, and hopefully by chronicling my experience, I can help someone out there who is going through something similar.
On another note, I’m aware this isn’t the most well crafted or grammatically sound piece of writing, but if I spend hours editing it, I’m afraid I’ll lose my nerve and it’ll never get posted at all. So here goes! Wishing you all a calm and delicious holiday season and a healthy new year.
PS: Just because I’m having an existentialist crisis doesn’t mean I won’t be posting any more. I’m definitely going to try to get some recipes up for y’all ASAP, but I’m not going to force it. So be patient and bear with me, please.