Wow, what a struggle! I had a harder time picking a word for 2015 than any year since I started this yearly tradition. Last year’s word RADIATE still has me on a high!
I ended 2014 doing something I’ve never done in my life: I danced ballet on a stage in front of a real audience. 🙂 It was exhilarating in ways I can’t even describe, especially when all my childhood memories surrounding dance are of the adults around me telling me that I was horrible at it and that I should stop (because I’d never be able to do it). Flashback to about a year ago: I was struggling to find something new to try. Every time I signed up for something, it was cancelled. Time and time again this happened, and I was starting to think it was a sign from the Universe telling me that I shouldn’t try anything new in a formal setting. As I shared this with my now-14yo daughter, Teagan, she suggested something that she’s been suggesting for about 5 years now: Why didn’t I just sign up for ballet classes? After all, I was going to dance studios for her all the time (she’s training to become a professional ballerina), so why not take a few classes, too?
With the encouragement of Dancing in the Streets AZ (the only studio I’ve ever seen that ENCOURAGES new adult dancers to sign up for classes even when they don’t have a clue what they are doing), I finally started taking classes in August 2014. While nearly every single class has left me feeling like a total idiot, something else has been growing inside of me since that first class. I’ve felt braver. Brave feels good. Incompetent, yes, but stronger and fiercer I’ve become. Not knowing what I’m doing, but still doing it, won’t kill me. But! Being a role model for the kids and teens who see me returning even though I’m the worst student in the class has been quite satisfying.
To reward me for my efforts, and the fact that I showed up for Nutcracker auditions, I was cast in two dancing roles: a party parent, AND a Dancing in the Streets original role as the “Queen of Sweets”. I even wore a tutu! Let me tell you about this tutu… I think it was made for me. If you’d have asked me some general adjectives for a tutu for me, they would have been: copper and orange colors with some brown and gold, flowy and long (but not too long), a little asymmetrical, fun, and flattering on my body type. This tutu was perfection for me. I wish I could have kept it, although what would I have done with a tutu in everyday life? I even wore a crown meant for a queen and wore stage makeup (first time ever)!
After the performances, people who didn’t know me (and people who did!) all used one adjective to describe how I was on stage: RADIATING! I was the worst dancer on the stage, no doubt, but I don’t care. I fulfilled my 2014 Word of the Year and it’s brought me moments that I will never forget (especially all the long conversations I’ve had about all of this with my daughters)!
Here are a couple of photos:
Which brings me to 2015… How could I top 2014?
Well, I can’t. But, what I can do is bring what I need NOW into my life.
For the past few months, I’ve been a little overwhelmed by fear. Some of the fear has been real, yet some of it has been imagined (but still feels equally real!). I’ve been working on this with my acts of bravery, and I even considered the word BRAVE as my word of the year. But, it didn’t feel quite right. Neither did others that I tried on: BELIEVE, JOY, PEACE, EXPLORE.
Then, as it usually does, one single unexpected word kept popping up in my periphery: SERENITY.
It even showed up in an airplane magazine ad here (on the final day I was deciding on my word):
And, it fits. So, that’s what I’m going for. While not religious (but extremely spiritual), and not necessarily looking to rewatch all the episodes of Serenity (although my daughter, Zoe, insists that we now must), I’m still on the quest this year to feel serene, despite the challenges that come my way (and I’ve already had quite a few…).
May 2015 bring you what you are looking for, too. I’ll be rooting for you!