It took me a good month or so to get adjusted, but now I feel as if I’m living (and loving!) my day-to-day life; I’ve settled into the routines that suit me, I know my way around this part of the city quite well, and I’ve made a lot of progress not only in ballet class but also with my Russian language skills!
I’ve also gotten to know more people around here, which has been so fulfilling and has given me so many more dimensions from which to evaluate my life and how I feel – I mean, the thought that is most often on my mind is still ballet, but I’ve discovered how freeing it is to just spend time with friends and let my thoughts drift to other topics like nail polish, boys, and whatever else happens to float our boat at a particular moment. I won’t lie, though, somehow the conversation always turns to food…that’s ballet life, for you, I guess?! Hahaha, we find it quite funny, though.
The last three weeks have been an altogether different experience from my first month here. My first month was great, so don’t get me wrong; but only when I started feeling back to my normal self and ‘alive’ again three weeks ago, did I truly realize how much better I was starting to feel! I’m not surprised it took me an entire month to adjust – new country, new language, new foods; new demands, new teachers, new people; a very different schedule from what I’m used to, a complete upheaval, modification, and improvement of my mindset, and more intense demands – it was a huge change, so huge that I’m almost impressed by how well I’ve handled it 🙂
Also within the last few weeks I seem to have finally arrived at a comfortable compromise of a morning routine to get ready for class. I was making an effort to go to sleep by 11:00 and wake up by 7:00 so that I had eight hours of sleep. I felt like it was very much needed, and it’s something I place a high importance on. However, waking up at 7:00 left me rushing too much and yet still feeling not warmed up enough before class. I decided a couple weeks ago to start waking up at 6:00, after going back and forth in my head arguing about what is more important, sleep or a good warm up. I decided to give waking up earlier a try and see how I felt, and I like it so much better! In an ideal world, I would get my sleep and my warm up, but I had to make a compromise. I’m happy with the way I do things now, and I’ve been doing better in class thanks to having more time to prepare in the morning. Now I only wish the boys would stop making so much noise at night! You see, they don’t have to wake up until 8:30, and they tend to ‘forget’ that even though they can freely stay up until midnight, we need our sleep. Is it really so hard to use headphones instead of playing music out loud?! *Sigh* Boys will be boys!
Anyway, life has finally been feeling like normal life, and not like something out of the ordinary. Out of the ordinary is fine, really great sometimes – but not when it becomes the ordinary! So I am glad to be settled in at last.
This week in particular was rather eventful! One of my closest friends here, Catie, has been having a lot of pain from an old hip injury – so much so that she was unable to dance, and the choice was made for her to return home so that she could receive the physical therapy she needs, and because it was quite pointless for her to sit and watch class every day! I’m glad that her hip will get better now, but I am so sad that she’s gone! It was great while she was here, though, and we managed to become great friends and to make many lasting memories even within the short time we knew each other.
Last Saturday we threw a surprise party for Catie and Runa (another girl who returned home because of some injury, although Runa will be returning, while Catie will not). It was special because instead of cakes and cookies and whatnot, we had a bunch of fruit! And you know what? The was the first party we’ve had that everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy! Everyone felt good eating the fruit, it was so delicious, and no one was left hungry and alone! It was definitely a success. To add another element of fun to the night, Line and I took Catie out for dinner before the party while the rest of the girls cut the fruit and got things ready. The restaurant was great, and it was a really wonderful last night out with our little threesome. I think we also succeeded in surprising Catie, which is always an added bonus when that’s what you’re actually trying to do! Look how cool we cut the fruit:
Catie only actually left on Thursday early in the morning, so we said our real good byes on Wednesday night.
I forgot to mention that on Saturday during the day, we had a master class in modern from an American dancer, Noah Geller (I think that was his name). Most of us watched the class, since only a few people from each upper course were told to participate. It was alright, but nothing I’m too excited over giving more than a mention to!
Earlier in the week, on Tuesday, my entire class went together to a local dance shop here called Modern. It’s not a normal dance shop – it’s more of a seamstress shop! They make leotards there but they also sell other stuff. My class went together in order to get measured, because we’re now designing our own leotard! Whether we will use it for the exam is not yet clear, but it’s still so cool to choose how we want our leotard to be as a class together with our teacher and have them custom-made for us! The color will, I think, be some sort of light purple, which I love, and the style I am unsure of. But it was very exciting and I am looking forward to already getting them!
The entire week was rather quiet at the school, because all of the kids in grades 1-5 had a holiday, leaving only us (courses I-III) to rule the school and study the whole week through! But we didn’t have to be jealous, because we also have a short holiday – this weekend, we have Monday off as well as the usual Sunday, giving us a rare and most-appreciate two-day weekend! You can bet that by Saturday we were all eager for the end of the day and the start of the weekend, and the impatience seemed to spread over to the teachers as well.
Today, a group of us got the special weekend off to a good start when we went to Rita’s house to celebrate Hana’s birthday! Her birthday was actually about a week ago, but we thought it would be fun to actually have a little party. It was 7 of us, and Line, Rita, and I were the only non-Japanese girls. The whole brilliance of the party was that the Japanese girls were going to cook Japanese food and bring it to the party. That was really cool, and it all tasted so good! We had steamed cabbage and carrots, some sort of rice dish, and several kinds of onigiri (rice balls – well, triangles, in this case!) For dessert we went a little crazy, and piled the table high with ice cream, cookies, crackers, and chocolates, and washed it all down with some unique tea flavors Rita had. We had so much fun that we lost track of the time, and before we knew it, it was 7:00 pm and time to start heading back to the internat (we got there at 1!)
Silly me forgot my phone in my room, so I was unable to take any pictures. However my friends got plenty, so as soon as they give me the pictures I will certainly share them on here 🙂
After today’s fun (and overindulgence!), you can bet that I’m ready for a good night’s sleep and another cherished day of rest tomorrow. Although, in all honesty, I’m not sure if ‘rest’ is what I want to be doing tomorrow! I feel re-fueled with so much energy that I plan on doing a lot tomorrow and enjoying myself by being active!