Thoughts on a Sunday Afternoon

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Happy Sunday everyone!

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about work. It’s a strange creature, really. Simply by labeling something as “work,” no matter what your profession, it automatically downgrades even the most fun task to something banal, mundane even. More on that later.

When I came to a point in my life where I felt  it was time to stop flitting about, taking dance classes, and pursuing more creative opportunities (read: being poor dancer), I managed to talk myself in to taking a job grossly out of my field. I struggled, and, admittedly cried the first two weeks straight. I was in a world of profit and productivity, and all I wanted to do was to write an eloquently worded email, hoping someone would notice that I was bright, trying my hardest to fall in line in some place I didn’t belong. I gave myself a year, and 11 months in, I had a meeting with a colleague I was working with at the time. He seemed off, but I brushed it off as overworked, just like the rest of us. It wasn’t until he started blurting overly personal information out at me for no reason that I became concerned. His kids didn’t know him. His wife hated him. He hated his life. I, in turn, told him a completely unrelated story of my good friend, who was unhappy at her job, subsequently quit, and traveled.  His involuntary candor unsettled me, but what unsettled me more was that I might be in his shoes one day, no matter where I worked. I left almost a month after that.

I learned so, so many things at my previous job. I’m proud and glad I did it. It’s given me a perspective that I wouldn’t otherwise have had. You could say this about all experiences, really, good or bad. This brings me back to what I wrote about in my previous post: choice. There is something so powerful in choosing how you let experiences affect you. When I wake up in the morning, I choose to be happy. I choose to be hopeful, and to see the possibilities for good in other people and situations, even when past experiences have taught me not to. There’s a great deal to be said about being able to decide how your day-to-day life goes, and to know that the world doesn’t owe you anything, and that that’s ok. I could go on and on about this, but I’m really just beginning to understand it myself. I also came across this earlier today:

As the description says, everyone needs to see this at least once. It’s especially useful for those hard days when everyone and everything is just plain awful/annoying/rude/hurtful/creepy/scary. So don’t just default, don’t sit around and let life happen to you. That’s just too easy.

Love,

EVA♥

Quick Update

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Hello All!

I’ve been MIA for a bit, I know, but I wanted to get a quick post in before heading off to work! The freezing cold here in the bay area seems to have slowed me down temporarily, and I’ve become quite the hermit lately. In other news, my house is quickly becoming spotless, thanks to my spontaneous cleaning jags. I’ve joined the world of commuters shuttling themselves to and from the city; I can’t imagine doing the time-consuming trek for a job that I don’t absolutely love. My trips on BART and Muni have provided me with some prime people-watching, and I do enjoy watching the San Francisco bustle (as well as a shameless opportunity to take selfies, in the rare moment that I’m the only one the train).  It’s almost like a living, breathing thing, transforming every day. I’m always amused when I pass by the new Twitter headquarters on mid-Market, as the culture clash there is quite hard to ignore. I’ve been trying to give myself permission to not run my life at a continuously hectic pace, but I always seem to kick myself at opportunities I’ve missed, classes I didn’t take, books I haven’t read yet. On a more profound note, I’m trying to teach myself that, just like love, happiness can be unconditional too. You have to give yourself permission to be happy, whatever the circumstance might be.  Just a thought.

Love,

EVA ♥

Why I Suck at Not Working, and other news….

Hello All!

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As many of you know, I’ve made quite a few changes to my life recently that I’m very proud of. I said goodbye to my corporate, “Big Girl” job. Goodbye to early mornings, OTD stats, and health benefits. I’ve found myself another job (!) for a fabulous company I’ve long admired and wanted to be a part of. I bought myself a plane ticket to somewhere I’ve never been before, possibly the farthest away from home I could physically get. I’ve started this blog, which has, on many days, lifted my spirits more than you can imagine. (Thanks for reading everyone ♥)

Also, I’m sort-of blonde now.

Despite all the active steps I’ve taken to improve the general quality of my life, there are some things I have to admit. Like the fact that I suck at not working. I mean…I’m really bad at it. As much as I would like to believe that I’m a free spirit that can do anything and go anywhere I please, I need some structure. Lack of structure and lack of coffee make Eva very cranky. Like they say: A body in motion tends to stay in motion. A body at rest, tends to stay at rest and shove its face full of popcorn in its pajamas all day, apparently. I find it almost easier to pack as many things as I can in to my day and forcibly make room for the important things, than have a leisurely open schedule. Which I know is completely nuts. Complications tend to arise from occasional bouts of anxiety; I’ve been experiencing and managing them since before I can remember. The one way I can think to describe it is how one swaddles a newborn baby to comfort it. Used to being in a confined space, it has no idea of what to do with its arms and legs suddenly flailing about out in the world. Sure, being wrapped up like a burrito doesn’t sound or look comfortable to us, but it works. And, admittedly, I have many days where I wake up, go about my morning routine, and suddenly find myself failing. All of my plans and errands seem erroneous and self-defeating. “Just relax! Read a book. Go for a walk.” Yeah, NO. That took about 10 minutes of my day. Now what? The irony that exists here is that I often need time to myself to regroup and find a sense of ease in life.

It’s amazing how many “guides” and how much witty commentary is out there giving advice on time spent alone. (This is one of my favorites.) It’s reassuring that so many people are still learning how to just “be” on any given occasion. I’d like to think that I’ve gotten a pretty good hang of it so far, but need a reminder every now and again. A think a lot of my anxiety stems from the thought that I might miss an opportunity to appreciate a fleeting moment in my life. Nothing is a guarantee. So you have to make the most of it. Even when sitting around in your pajamas.

Love,

EVA♥

Why I am not yet a Grown-Up

A fantastically flattering question I get asked often by my students:

“Miss Eva….Are you a kid? Or a Grown Up?”

Considering I still do things like eat cake for breakfast, I can see where the confusion comes from. In additional news, I still do not know how to answer this question properly.

YES. Yes I am a grown-up.

(???)

Because I do things like write checks, shop for insurance, and figure out my taxes. I also own a vacuum and can cook a whole turkey. I feel this is a socially acceptable definition of being “grown-up.” Nevermind that one of my teenage students had to explain what a mortgage was to me the other day. Do I need one? No, no I do not.  Problem solved.

I’ve lived on my own for the last 2 years of my life, and have managed to not yet set anything on fire.  I love my apartment and my purple bathroom. I know things about wine, own original art and many tubes of lipstick. I am a grown up on paper, and as much as I like the idea, I’m glad I’m not one.

I have almost zero responsibilities, except the ones that I choose for myself. I haven’t settled in to anything, as nice as that sounds, and relish the idea of being able to reinvent myself whenever possible. I don’t really have to answer to anyone- I can buy as many pairs of impractical shoes as I want. And if I want them to live on my bookshelf, they can. And, in defense of single gals everywhere: just because I enjoy having fun, special things in my life doesn’t make me vapid or less of a contributing member of society. I have a tremendous amount of respect for those “grown ups” out there that can find the value in young people. Even better, those that haven’t let the energy of being a total kid get away from them. I hope to be like them someday.

In moments of doubt, I try to remember what a good friend of mine said: “It’s okay. We’re cooler than a lot of people.”

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Why I Love My Job

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I have been dancing since before I can remember.

One of my favorite childhood photos involves me at 2 years old. In a wrinkled tutu with skinned and band-aid covered knees. Eyes closed and dancing in the kitchen, most likely to music only I can hear. Like most little girls, I wanted to be a ballerina before I knew what one was, or even looked like. I remember the first ballet I ever saw, Nijinska’s Bolero, and how I wanted to be the dancer onstage, in my mind, I already was her.

I knew that teaching was always a viable option for a dancer, but there was no guarantee that I’d be any good at it, or that it would lead to anything lasting or memorable. Anyway, who was I to tell anyone what to do? The thing that no one tells you is that your teachers and mentors are just as human as anyone else, and that the transition from student to teacher can be as quick as one day to the next. At least that’s how it was for me. It was the most natural decision I’ve ever made. It was a non-decision. What I never expected was that I would come to love the teaching itself as much as I did. While my students and I have the love of dance in common, I am not in the business of making “dancers.” Instead, I hope that I  help them see that the work that they do is important and self-defining.  I’ve certainly found my identity through dance, and I hope it serves them the same.

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I’ve always known that dance was the most life-affirming of the arts out there. It happens in moments, often impossible to repeat, and endlessly different from one dancer to the next. There’s no putting it behind UV glass or in and environmentally controlled space to keep it forever. It grows and lives within people, it can’t be bought or sold, really. I hope it can say all the right things for me when I can’t find the words to say it.

Love,

EVA♥