Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Back on the horse.

Oh, hello there, Blog. Haven't seen you in a while.
Me? Nothing much. Major life shifts in location, profession, and relationship. You know, the usual. 
Sorry we've been out of touch. Just a lot going on.
Okay, well have a seat because we'll be here a while.

* * *

This was the little dialogue in my head when sitting down to write this post. Yes, it's been a while. No, I haven't posted about some any of it. When diving headfirst into a new life, it's hard to parse out different life themes and provide digestible posts when all the themes, successes, and challenges in the new life are interconnected, making it impossible to provide a complete portrait without writing a short novel.

But that's no excuse for not trying.

I'd like to thank Tristan for him inspiring me to get back on the blogging horse. We met in Oxford over the workshop weekend a couple weeks ago, a sweet and thoughtful man. At first he didn't connect that I was also the author of this blog. (When he asked me if I was the person from Portland that went to graduate school for engineering and toured in Africa and then dropped everything to become a dance instructor, I thought he was feigning ignorance.) He said I made it very awkward for him to account on his timesheet for the 2 hours he spent at work reading my blog.

I blog mostly for myself, but I must say that having a readership (however small) helps tremendously. It makes me feel like I'm not just spouting of useless, empty crap into the internet ether.

(That famous passage from Macbeth just popped in my head: 

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.


It will take time to catch up on the past six months of my life. It will be a process. In the meantime, I'll start off with something easier: where I am right now.

* * *

Being a dance teacher is not as glamarous as it sounds. For example: right now I am in Paris. Immediately, visions of riding a rickety bicycle down cobblestone streets with a baguette in my front basket springs to mind. In reality, I spend the majority of my day at a kitchen table on my computer: answering and writing emails, planning new dance gigs, promoting upcoming dance gigs, and handling logistics for said dance gigs. Yes, technically, I am touring Europe, but more precisely I am touring the kitchen work spaces of Europeans and SOMETIMES exploring the cities in which they reside. My past 1.5 weeks were spent in beautiful Lucerne, and yet I probably spent 15 hours total being a tourist.

I reiterate: being a dance teacher is not as glamarous as it sounds.

Still, it has its perks. There is something refreshing about changing your work space once in a while. You get to meet countless new people, many of whom will generously open up their home for you. You get paid enough to survive on something you love. You get to (mostly) stay active and mobile. You have little gems of experiences that stay with you forever.

Last night is a good example. Ruby and I arrived in Paris totally shattered after a day of travel. After warding off offers from our host Joke (prounounced YOH-ka) to enjoy a night on the town, we settled on staying in to cook dinner and watch a movie. What followed were hours of wine, music, discussions of the French and English languages, French rappers and (what Ruby coined) French indie rappers, more wine, tasty and filling food, chocolate, and a witty movie (Grosse Point Blank). We all went to bed with smiles on our faces and our bellies. (My stomach later decided to not put up with the wine, but that's beside the point.)

Those are the moments -- aside from teaching -- that make the traveling teacher lifestyle truly rewarding. 

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