Saturday, August 1, 2009

Return of the Lost

I find it incredible how certain elements in life stay with us forever. Its as if they are built directly into our DNA, so close to who we are that we will never be separated from them. As if God combined ourselves with these things, never to be fully parted, or life itself would feel dim, glum in a sense that is inexplicable.

Last year, I very painfully decided to resign from my post as a dance teacher at a studio I had spent 13 years at, 9 of which were dedicated to instruction. I began teaching at the ripe age of 17, still in my last year of high school. I had such an intense love, an exuberant passion for my art that sharing it with others seemed to be the only logical next step.

I was given the opportunity to not only teach at the studio that I was trained at, but several others as well. I saturated any opportunity I could to be involved. After 9 years on the job, I knew it was time to move on from my home studio. I had no other teaching position lined up, and thought that my time as a dancer may have come to a close. Many, many tears were shed after the finalization of my determination. Part of my soul felt empty at the proposition of leaving such an important part of my life behind, yet I knew that I had to move on from the position I had held at the studio for so long.

An entire year has passed since. The few chances I had to teach in those 12 months were cherished. I believe that the kids thought I was straight from the state hospital, because my level of excitement was so intense as to be easily determined psychotic. I really do turn mad when I get passionate. Its nearly a problem.

When the juncture arose for a position at a new studio, I jumped at it. Having missed so terribly participation in what had been a defining part of my life, I knew that I must return to it. The following week I began instructing ballet classes yet again. My body is remembering (slowly) how to move again, aided along with a class that I was able to take myself. Lots of aches and pains ensued, but I am returning to my second love in this world: immersing myself in my art and being an instrument of change in others lives through what I do. It has been a blessing to get back what I thought I may have lost. The experience was akin to being unexpectedly returned a precious item that the beholder thought lost forever.

I am also being reminded that teaching isn't easy. That my personality may conflict with my students, and that they will drive me crazy more often than not. However, I am reminded as well that most things in life that are worth it are not easy. And that crazy part of me is willing to put myself through frustrations for the love of what I do. Crazy, perhaps, but to me, it is well worth it.

God really does have a way of returning things to us. Maybe not all the time, and maybe he doesn't return to us things we wish He would. However, when He has placed a call on our lives, there is no getting away from it. We will ache, we will slowly wither away, until we remember our passion, and return willingly. God does take us away from our loves sometimes, perhaps just to remind us of what they mean, why we do what we do. That acceptance back into our calling is then welcomed, desired, longed for so strongly that we leap at any chance we can to return. This then morphs into an affirmation of what we were created to do, what our purpose is in life.

Nothing is ever taken away for good if God has bound you to it. Its rather incredible.


M. Butterfly said...

Bethany, that is wonderful! You're so right-- God does a way of bringing things back to us. I'm so happy you're back in dance-- you always were a gifted teacher and dancer. :)

Lauralei said...

You have no idea how happy I am to read this. I've been praying and thinking about you and dance, and how I've always known you as a dancer. I'm so happy you're teaching and dancing again :-)