Wow – what an incredible year 2011 has been for me! Looking back, it’s amazing that so many memories, so many experiences, so much growth has occurred within what seems like an unbelievably short amount of time. Probably my most significant marker to remember this year by is the complete renewal of enthusiasm and confidence I found in myself. The years 2009 and 2010 had their own moments of joy and success, but they seemed few and far between, and overall it was two years of my life that – for various reasons – I was unable to enjoy to their fullest. As for how that translated into my dancing…let’s just say that I wasn’t at my most glorious, and my dancing suffered, without a doubt.
It’s not until now that I can say without hesitation that the past year has had me seeing a complete turnaround! In actuality, things started getting better in Fall 2010, but it feels really right to say that 2011 was the year of initiative, of second chances; of new beginnings and new goals; and most importantly, it was the year in which I regained the confidence that had slipped through my fingers and away from me two years before. Subsequently, my dedication and determination has soared exponentially – and now, I find myself closer than ever to my dreams, just inches away from the next step that will get me closer to achieving my goals. It’s an incredible feeling.
Believing in myself fully is not the only good development to happen this past year. Other people started believing in me more, most important of which is my ballet teacher. I started sharing my goals with other people, because I no longer felt ashamed of them, like I was shooting for too much (by the way, there is no such thing – do not ever let anyone tell you otherwise!). I lost weight – and I’m still losing weight – and I trust myself that I will get to my required weight, something I had difficulty trusting in before for some irrational reason, and which I now know will happen because I know it is in my power (and no one else’s) to make it happen! I discovered that my body had changed, regardless of the weight loss (I speak here of my facility changing, which is to say my arches, knees, etc.) and ever since my teacher pointed it out, I have been ever-more motivated because I know it is possible to change and improve and do more, always. I learned an unforgettable lesson backstage during a concert when I was in tears because I thought I had let my teacher down with a less-than-perfect performance and she told me I had to “stop eating myself up”; while on the topic, I might mention that probably ever performance will feel less-than-perfect – such is the hazard of being a perfectionist, but it has it’s benefits; it is only important to remember that you are your own worst critic. I broke my foot and struggled through the process of recovery but not without gaining incredible inner strength as an outcome (I can easily say I came out stronger for it in the end, cliché as it sounds). I started teaching, which has been a fulfilling and educational experience already. I started this blog!
I made the decision to really go for it, and I took the initiative.
And look where I am now!! I am preparing for YAGP, raising funds to go study ballet in Austria over the summer, getting ready to audition for the best ballet academies in the world later this year. I am surprised by how much I have accomplished in 2011, and I couldn’t be more proud of myself for it. Without a doubt, 2011 was a huge year for me.
This past year didn’t change me; I’m still who I am. I’m just an improved version of myself. I’m Noa 2.0!
But enough talking about this past year! I’m excited for this year, for 2012 and all it has to offer. I can’t explain this feeling I have, but it’s a feeling of trust – for myself and for my future. I just know that 2012 is going to be a momentous year for me, with a lot of significance to the rest of my life. Simply put, I am beaming with enthusiasm and fervent energy, I feel vivacious and ambitious and excited, and I am confidence, dedicated, and determined! How could anyone doubt that I will find success this year with that kind of attitude?! I am just thrilled that I feel so happy!
By the way, I don’t mean to imply that I don’t have my ups and downs! Far from it, I am not a superhuman, and we all have our bad days. But what is important and what we really end up remembering, as is evidenced by this post, is the overall trend.
Yesterday I had a bit of an off-day myself. My friend Remy Lamping, who is training at the Bolshoi and who is totally inspirational, chatted with me and said some things that spoke true and made me feel a whole lot better! It seems like our bad days are the days in which we tend to forget about all this stuff – so maybe what we should be doing is always keeping these thoughts tucked away in our mind. As we go into this new year with passion and an unbreakable will to achieve our goals, let’s keep in mind some of these ideas that came up in mine and Remy’s discussion last night:
- Don’t let anyone tell you your limits or hold you back. if you want to do something, do it, and if they really believe in you they will support you.
- You have to keep a good head on your shoulders and think clearly, know your goals. they are actually not that far away, if you take the right path
- We will all get where we ‘need’ to be, it’s just that on the road to getting there, there are bumps along the way and we can’t necessarily see far enough out into the horizon to know that we will get to the right place…but we just need to trust that we will, because we will
- There are still girls who have everything handed to them on a silver platter, but they never know how hard it is for people like us, and that makes success for us so much sweeter, knowing that we did all the work to make it happen (note: this is not to suggest that some people don’t have to work to get where they are – everyone has to work hard; but there is no denying that some people must work harder, and I do believe that having to fight battles and break through barriers to get to your goals brings with it a much stronger sense of reward and achievement)
- It is no good worrying about things that you can’t change. there’s nothing you can do about it, so worrying is just going to make you unhappy
- Don’t eat yourself up
- There is always something greater to strive for
- Haters gonna hate. Potatoes gonna potate 😀
- You can’t make people love you – you can only stalk them and hope for the best 😀
Obviously, we had quite the deep (and, erm, interesting!) discussion yesterday! But while talking through it, we realized all these things to be incredibly true and applicable to our lives. So as you go through 2012 – the good and the bad – remember the above words of wisdom! And, most importantly, never give up!
Happy New Years! May all your wishes come true and all your goals be achieved (I know mine will)!
To read more about Remy, check out her blog.