"I have already lost touch with a couple of people I used to be," wrote Joan Didion in Slouching Towards Bethlehem. I sit now in a kitchen faded to night, and think about the years. I forgot to mark, in this place, my second anniversary here in New York. I still remember this now-ancient post that I wrote in my final days of my New York internship so long ago, saying, "For some reason, I feel like I'll be back here." And yet, I barely know that fortune teller who I once was; what of that easy confidence? It is gone. In it's place is still confidence, but an edgier confidence, borne not of innocence but rather hard-won from the professional, intellectual, and emotional challenges that I've encountered since leaving home for graduate school, since moving to New York City.
From my experience, two years in a place is enough to fully become onself there. By this time anywhere (Northwestern, Google, Duke) I'd learned the ropes, developed legitimate opinions about how things ought to be done there, and felt that I could start taking chances. I believe it is time for me to start making a difference here in New York City. About three weeks ago, I felt this sea change coming. There is always this odd little sensation of restlessness, and recklessness, that comes over me every once in a while. The last two times it happened, I made major decisions: To leave Google for graduate school and later, to move to New York City for dance. I recently told friends, These decisions were the ones I was most confident about, ones that were not passed to me but rather ones that I took up for myself, and yet they are the ones that immediately led to my most unhappy times, times when I felt most challenged...and that ultimately led to my greatest lessons. Those are the times that led me to leave behind the other iterations of myself, to forget who I used to be, and to become someone who I wanted to be even more.
Mirko and Edita, world champion dancers, said upon their retirement, "Don't trust what you obtain easily, because the journey will be not interesting." I hope that what I am coming into now will also be interesting. It means another difficult journey. What that is, I don't know yet know, but I'm ready for the transformation.
I am also hobbling now without my sexy shoe - slowly, so slowly! - in my sneakers, trying to roll through my foot without actually pushing off of it. The day after my massage I woke up to find that my feet looked exactly the same as each other (i.e. no swelling!). So I start to ease myself back into exercise. I am acutely aware of every single sensation emanating from the entire structure, as distant as my left foot is from my head. It seems that one part hurts, then another, then it feels warm, then it relaxes, and sometimes I feel nothing at all. I still doubt that I will be able to dance for some time, weeks, perhaps. Balance, one day at a time, will be my key to a new, injury-free life.