Starting over sucks. Especially when you feel you are making progress and then are forced to quit what you’re working on due to finances or some other challenge life decided to throw at you. In my life experience, every time I start making progress in anything, whether it is the languages I am studying or dance or returning to the USA and trying to find a job that will support me, I am always starting over. And it is INCREDIBLY frustrating. I am quite honestly getting sick of it.
Ever since I was a little girl, I have only ever wanted to dance professionally. Of course that didn’t work out due to my own lack of discipline and also because I listened to everyone else and have tried to please everyone except myself. I believe this is part of the reason I am always starting over. I have not developed the discipline I needed to truly make it as a dancer. After a while, it really starts to wear you down and take a toll on your mentality and self-esteem. This is something I am learning to overcome.
Starting aerial dance again this year has been a challenging few months, not only physically, but mentally as well. I have not danced properly since I left Korea in 2015, and I can tell. I have lost much of my flexibility and strength that I had obtained in Korea (I was dancing about 5 days a week, 2-3 hours at a time). Let’s just say I was starting to see definition I never thought I would see. It was exciting and motivating! But returning to the USA, then moving to Japan again, then returning to the USA again in 2018, really showed how much I do not have discipline. The entire time I could have been doing dance covers, training myself in strength and flexibility, or whatever else to be ready to dance when I was again provided with the opportunity to take classes.
Yet that is probably the beauty of starting over. I have another chance to develop that discipline not only in my dance, but in my overall fitness and nutrition, as well as other areas of my life. Starting over again after five years has also allowed me to fully understand what goes into aerial dance and the proper way to do things, because although I was making progress in Korea, I was getting injured often. It is not that my teachers were not good at what they did, I just probably did not understand it because, well, it was in Korean. Now I have been able to properly address any muscle discrepancies I developed the last time I practiced pole. I am also learning that slow and steady is the best; which is really hard for me as I am the type of person that is an all or nothing and I want results right away. Starting over is allowing me to get to know myself better by learning to take things slowly and to appreciate the progress I am making, even if I cannot see it.
I still have a long way to go to get to where I want when it comes to not only aerial, but also my other styles of dance. Sometimes it is good to start over because you discover things you missed before. Sometimes it is good to start over because then you can have a more solid foundation. Sometimes it is good to start over because in starting over, maybe, just maybe, you can learn to truly love yourself and the progress you make each day.