Jennifer A. Chin (cswallow) wrote,
Jennifer A. Chin


Life these days is fast-paced and flying. I feel I barely have time to sleep, much less sit down and update this darn thing. But it's finally Friday, and I don't have to leave for dance practice for another 20 minutes at least, so I figure I should take this time to meditate a little.

I just received a copy of the BLAST DVD of last year's show - finally! I watch it with mixed feelings - a part of me feels removed and distant, while an other, very strong part of me remembers exactly what it was like to be up on that stage, or standing in the back of McCormick Auditorium, watching BLAST rock out on the stage as they "Took a Road Trip."

This past month has been full of many journeys - to DC to visit Steph for New Year's, LA to see Bonnie, Monterey with Ravi. It's been hectic, and yet there have been moments of utter stillness and beauty. If those trips have taught me nothing else, it's that there really are some friendships that, despite what your parents tell you, will never leave you.

Another thing that strikes me as I watch this recording is how different the dancing that I'm doing now is from this. That performance vibe is gone, the social dance vibe of BLAST has become significantly less, and now I'm so much focused on technique and presentation. My coach had to remind me the other day to think about the music - about what it is that I love about dancing. It shocked me to realize that I had forgotten. I feel it in the briefest of moments sometimes, when I'm waltzing, when the music is loud and sweeps over me. But so often I'm thinking about holding my center, about using my feet, about staying with Ivan. I am certainly dancing better competitively than I ever have before. Tomorrow is the first competition of the year, and I think Ivan and I will do well. And yet...

It makes me restless, sometimes, and lately I've begun to feel like I'm being moved through life, instead of moving myself through life. A restlessness moves within me, and I look back on months ago. I think I was less sure of where I was going then, but I think that uncertainty gave me a fearlessness, a certain happiness of spirit that I'm sure I have lost. I need simply to rethink my priorities, to know myself again.

On Wednesday I heard Martin Amis speak at Google, and I remember some of that spark. I felt that spark when sitting in Glenn Sucich's class as he lectured on "Paradise Lost" and I felt it during late nights in the Loft. He was distinguished, weather-worn, articulate and eloquent. He spoke of validation in writing, the difficulty of representing the suffering of characters when you yourself are not suffering, of the way your unconscious will sometimes write entire scenes for you - you open the gates and let the descriptions shine. The audience asked smart questions, and he answered them thoroughly and with the certainty of word that comes from many years of deep and probing thought.

Arek came for lunch on Thursday and we talked a little bit about Amis, book, and high school friends. Again I marveled at the ease of conversation that comes from long acquaintance.

I don't mean to say that work has left me in the dark. On the contrary, I find myself stretching everyday to meet new challenges. I'm working on projects unlike anything I've done before, and I'm managing things. I answer questions because I actually know what I'm talking about. I can feel myself becoming more confident, better at time management, and I look forward to what I can do. At the same time, I feel that restlessness, the need to do more, to do more different things. I cannot quell it.

What does it mean when you begin looking for the answers in the future? When you say "I just need more sleep and I'll feel fine". Or when you think "this weekend I'll relax." I certainly don't intend to complain - I know already that I am spoiled with the things I do each day. Rather, I think this feeling is important for me to discover what it is that I really want from life. Each day that this feeling builds, I consider more and more what I should change to be happier with where I am. And each day I think I adjust more and more toward what I want. I know that eventually this emotion will come to a head, and I will understand better what I need.

So these things being said, I know certainly that I need dto make time for things left undone. My Milton paper. Julia and Robert's quilt. And in the next couple of months my life will continue at express train speeds; I only hope that when I get to the end of it I won't wish that I had spent more time looking out the window...
Tags: ballroom, business, crafts, friendship, google, high school, northwestern, relationships, travel - usa and canada, writing
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