Friday, July 31, 2015

On feeling like I should be 24

I'm in my last year of being in my 20's.  I feel like I've grown so much in the last decade I've been working as a ballet dancer but, I tell you, it's just now I feel ready, right now, to take on the job and the world.  I feel fully formed and experienced enough to go out there and find my place in it..... and yet, I can't help feeling like it's all too late.
How I feel now is how I thought I would feel at 24.  Self-assured, experienced, confident.  Let me say first of all that the world of ballet is very different to a conventional career.  Twenty-four probably sounds premature to the majority but a dancer's career is very short.  There's no university and you dive straight in to working professionally (if you're lucky) at the age of 18 or 19.  From then on you really don't have very long to make an impression and move up the ladder if that is what your ambitions are.  Many dancer's give up before they reach the age of 30 for various reasons; lack of financial security, injuries, the gruelling nature of the work etc. Very few make it to 40.
I didn't want to make this post about ballet but it's hard to explain my thoughts without giving it some kind of context.  Something that seems very much at the forefront of my thoughts right now is a lack of time.  I feel like I've enjoyed my twenties, done some good work and had a really good time, but now, I want to cement something, to do something definitive and memorable whilst I still have the chance and to make the most of the short time I have left of my youth.  When I was younger I don't think I ever looked farther ahead than 28.  I think in the back of my mind I thought my best work in this career would be done by then, and I would move on to the next phase of my life, hopefully moving in to an exciting new career.  Then I hit 28 and I still felt like I was 22, and had no where near achieved what I wanted to achieve yet.  The scariest thing is the realisation that I can't fit everything in.  The travelling and the second career and all the dancing I want to do, not mention starting a family.  In case you couldn't tell I've always been a bit over ambitious and a high achiever.   I can imagine a lot of women feel this way, that they haven't achieved enough yet in their careers and they face the burgeoning approach of soon being at the age they might want to start a family.  Probably I set myself too many big goals to reach and am now realising that there's no way I'll be able to get to them all.  Yet when I sit back and think about it, I suppose I'm glad for the ambition because it's dragged me to do all the interesting things I've done on the way there.  So maybe achieving the goals isn't what truly matters after all.  Perhaps you set them purely to give you a road to follow in the hope that it will lead you somewhere eventually, but the most important thing is that the journey will be interesting.

Till next time!


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