“So What’s Next for You?”

I get this question a lot when I’m at the studio. I ask this question a lot! It’s a standard “catch up” question among ballroom dancers to find out what event you’re working toward. But it’s also become an awkward question because my answer is “I have no idea.”

I’m slowly figuring out how to cope with not having a real answer to that question. I’m working on setting non-competition dance goals to keep myself busy and motivated (keep an eye out for an article on those!). Teacher doesn’t want me to give up on competition goals though, even if the next one is six months out or more. Usually encouragement and support from Teacher would boost my motivation to find any and all creative solutions to my financial dilemma. That’s how I managed to afford my 2015 comps!

But something is holding me back. And considering I just wrote about why I crave a challenge beyond just dancing, I want to explore why I’m having trouble motivating myself to find a new path to the fuel that feeds my inner fire.

You guys don’t mind me using this platform to psychoanalyze myself, right?




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Life Isn’t Fair – Based on a True Story

I was prepared when the phone rang this time. Teacher asked how I was and I said “I’m not sure…because you’re calling…”

Teacher was calling to inform me of the surgery necessary to repair the fractures in his wrist. So much for a clean break.

Surgery meant a longer recovery time. So for the second time, a goal has been crossed out and the future shifted back into obscurity.

There will be no Best of the Best at Ohio Star Ball for this dancer.

I initially wrote this post right after Teacher called me that second time. But I wanted to hold off on sharing it until after my first post-surgery lesson with him. Because the title is 100% true – life isn’t fair. But it is still worth pursuing.

In the middle of processing the second dream lost, I couldn’t articulate why anyone should bother if it all could be taken away without cause. So I waited until I had some time to process and then reconnected with Teacher and started working toward new plans for my ballroom future. I thought getting back into the swing of things would help inspire the words I would need to encourage and motivate you despite the random smackdowns life would give you.

It didn’t.

I still feel like life is just totally unfair and I’m still struggling to keep myself motivated.

But screw it, here is what I wrote anyway.

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How to Cope with Loss – Part 5: Keep Busy!

Read the whole How to Cope with Loss series here.

No lessons this week. And I’m not positive, but I think no lessons next week. Teacher needed surgery to set the fractures in his wrist so they would heal properly. He’s under strict orders to rest and not work for at least a full week.

As for me, I’m fighting a creeping darkness. So many of my plans have been obliterated. I’ll go into that more in a separate post. For now, I’m trying to just stay busy.

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How to Cope with Loss – Part 3: Steps Back Toward Normal

I’m working through this ordeal a little faster than anticipated. I think I have my personal growth on my ballroom journey thus far to thank. And the fact that I am not going through it alone. Teacher is proving himself to be a true partner. Not that I had doubts, but I’m not comfortable depending on others. I am currently in a state of fluctuation, fine one hour, depressed the next. Hopefully, my see-sawing moods didn’t affect the readability of this post too much.

Read the whole How to Cope with Loss series here.
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How to Cope with Loss – Part 2: “Supposed to” Days

In Part 2, I find myself starting to adjust to the idea I won’t be going to USDC, although it is still surreal. But the event hasn’t even started yet. This coming week is full of to-do’s and supposed-to’s that are no longer part of my story. But they remain, like cruel calendar reminders that pop up when my mind starts to relax and forget that plans have changed.

Read the whole How to Cope with Loss series here.

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How to Cope with Loss – Part 1: Mourning the Untimely Death of My Future Self

We’ve all experienced great loss in one form or another. The cancellation of my trip to USDC is a great loss for me. As a way to cope and heal and, as always, to expose my darkness to the light in the hope of someone relating, I’ve decided to document the aftermath in a blog series. This is Part 1. I have no idea how many parts there will be ultimately. As many as are needed, I suppose.
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