Down The Memory Lane-
Would You Do It Again?
I purchased a VHS converter and I am in the process of transferring and saving the treasured footage of my dancing from the obsolete and dying video tapes to my computer.
Watching the videos, of which are so few compared to what the kids have today, is an emotional rollercoaster ride. The time span ranges from when I was 16 years old to about 27. That is equally 16-27 years ago (you do the maths).
Memories of bygone times, which on one hand feel like yesterday, on the other, seem like aeons ago. A former life that feels so remote it seems unreal yet permeates everything I do today. A life that I would never want to go back to yet would not change if I could.
I often wish I could do it again with the insights, knowledge, and maturity I gained over the decades to make it a better experience.
What advice would I give my younger self?
• Stress less and relax more so you can fully enjoy the rewards of all the hard work.
• Communicate and share with others, so that you may see things from a different perspective and get more support when situations are difficult.
• Be more discerning who you listen to and whose opinions your value, so you can form a healthy sense of self.
• Be kinder to yourself.
This may help you to make smarter choices, be less afraid and take more risks.
As I am writing I notice that much of my own advice is just as relevant today.
There are moments that feel completely disconnected because although I see that I danced a particular role, I cannot recall the feelings I have had at the time. More often, however, I experience every step, every emotion, and every thought as if I were dancing it right now.
I am also scrutinising the tapes for evidence: either to fuel my doubts about whether I had had any noteworthy talent, whether I fulfilled my potential, whether I exceeded or fallen short of what was possible; or to support the belief that I did perform well at a high level and I can be proud of what I achieved at a very young age.
I become sentimental seeing my classmates, secret crushes, colleagues, teachers, and directors. Most trigger a positive response, a few not so much, but all of us look incredibly young with fresh faces, despite being tired, and arabesque-willing backs, that undeniably indicate the passage of time.
Through the magic of the internet, I know what became of many. Yet I wonder how different their lives have gone compared to what they envisioned? Did they embrace what came their way or did they struggle? Is having been brought up as a dancer a defining part of who they are today or is it just a thing of the past? Would they do it again if they could? Would you?