With the help of an excellent practice partner, I'm finally getting myself back into dance. My feet hurt, my ankles hurt, my brain and my pride hurt - I can't seem to put anything in the right place. But yesterday was better than two days ago, and I'm hoping today will be better than yesterday. In that way, coming home is also helping me to become myself again.
After I graduated from Northwestern, I recall that my biggest challenge was learning to define "success" for myself in the absence of clearly delimited benchmarks like grades and class rankings. At the moment I have no structured work (remote consulting doesn't lend those performance incentives that Google did) and no routine. Living with Ben and having more free time than him has meant that my routine begins to follow his - I get up when he has to go to school, I eat dinner when he gets back from class. There's a certain ease to it, but it feels dangerously like the orbit of a planet. It is a far cry from my packed schedule of the last three years.
The thing is, I'm not sure that I prefer one over the other. One left no time for my creative mind to flourish, no time to develop as a dancer or a caring member of my family. The other seems to leave me listless and tired, more afloat than supported. I'm not sure this is a question of time balance either. This time it presents a question of goals - who do I want to be, what do I want to do with my time, and now that I have this overflowing basket of tools and experiences from life, how will I use them to find satisfaction? New York is less than a month away now, and I must decide before I go.