Suck it in. Remember to stand up straight. God, why am I so tall? I just look awkward. God, please don’t let Ms. Porter say anything to me today; I don’t know if I can put up with getting yelled at today. Just get it right, get it right!
Those were the thoughts that went through my head every time I stepped into ballet class. After dancing for nine and a half years, I had no self-confidence and it took every bit of strength in me just to make it through class without crumbling into tears. It was a blessing in disguise when I was forced to quit due to injury and a need to focus on schoolwork, because I was able to discover the valuable things I had learned from all those years, just without all the inner turmoil.
To replace my dance schedule, I began to work for my dad’s company, working as his assistant. I did invoice work, putting numbers into computers, reprogramming computers, and doing other miscellaneous work. It was hectic, but it kept my mind off the fact that I was never going to dance again.
At home one night, my dad made a comment to my mom about how the lessons I learned at the ballet studio were starting to come through more and more. I was curious as to what he meant. He said your teacher wanted you to get things right the first time, and you always did. You never asked questions because you picked it up so quickly and you were able to copy actions immediately after seeing it for the first time. When at work, I show you how to do something once, you go back to your desk, and then you do it again exactly the way I did.
Then things began to sink in. I had left behind everything that I had made my life be for 9 years, but what I learned didn’t leave me.
One of the most valuable lessons I’ll ever learn, I had to learn the hard way. But by learning it the hard way, everything else has been made simple. I get things done the first time, and I am therefore able to move onto other things quickly or go back and help others that are struggling.
It is a nice feeling knowing that I can help people. It gives me back the confidence I had lost over all those years stuck inside the room with a cross, demanding dance teacher. I believe that by getting things right the first time, it leaves me open to learn so many more things, about other topics, other people, and about myself.