On Exhaustion

Hello all!


I’m sure everyone can commiserate with me when I say that last week was, well, one of those weeks. Despite my usually flexible schedule, I felt a psychotic obligation to cram as much as I possibly could in to each day. I had to do something. Every. Single. Minute. While scheduling as much as I could into each 16 hour period I was awake, proved to be quite productive, it left me with a distinct feeling of mind-numbing exhaustion. The kind of tired-feeling that is so pervasive you’re even too tired to sleep properly. After living in this destructive cycle for a while, I was just going through the motions. My normally perky self was relegated to simply looking for an opportunity to sit down whenever possible. After dragging myself to ballet class repeatedly, I found myself leaving early before the grand allegro (the big, traveling jumps at the very end of class),which is usually my favorite part. Ever watched a small child try to resist sleep? The staggering around, wandering aimlessly, incoherent mumbling- it was a state had become my life all of a sudden. Oh, and any kind of bad news left me on the verge of tears, regardless of where I was or who I was with. That happened too.

There have been many psychological studies done on the link between insomnia/exhaustion and creativity. Proust, Emily Bronte, Vladimir Nabokov, and many others struggled with insomnia that attributed to a few of their published works.  While I can’t claim to be even nearly as prolific, you, dear readers, have previously heard about my struggles to create new work under pressure. Miraculously enough, the days that I’m the most exhausted often turn out to be some of my more creative. Despite the fact that I’m teaching more than I’m performing as of late, there is still quite a bit of ‘performance factor’ that goes in to teaching each class. Students will mimic your energy; if you teach a class with the semblance of being “bogged down,”  it infects the whole of your work. On the other hand, there’s often this phenomenon of overcompensation that occurs, and you somehow end up teaching the best class of your life or churning out dances like it’s no big deal. This year has undoubtedly been one of the most creatively productive years of my life. Aside from this little blog situation I’ve been nurturing, I have choreographed 8 group dances, a solo, and collaborated on a duet this year- not bad, so far. I’m awfully tired, though. I’m hoping that I can make a concerted effort to relax more this week since my schedule has slowed down a bit. I’m really looking forward to spending a Monday evening in, perhaps with a glass of iced tea, a good book, and an early bedtime. It should clear all manner of ills.


Thanks for reading, everyone. I’m still astonished at how many of you do!



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