Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Change of Pace
Giggle, swish, skip, swoon, exaggerate, sigh, flirt, smile. Dainty, light, airy, ditzy, big, sweet, adoring, British. For the past four months, these have been the main words in my vocabulary. My life as a Stanley daughter: Giggle like a schoolgirl, trail behind every boy you see like a lovesick puppy. Twirl your hair around your finger, bat your eyes. Flash an innocent smile. Exaggerate every motion. Make everything big (close to obnoxious...scratch that. You are obnoxious.) If you think it can be bigger, it can be bigger. Keep your voice light and airy, balance with your sisters. Love your sisters (at least pretend like you do, except when no one's looking and then break out into a brawl but if you're caught, just smile.) Love your Papa. Speak like a British girl. Everything is beautiful and oh so exciting. Skip everywhere you go. And whenever in doubt, swish. Swish, swish, swish. 

For the past four months, all I knew was curls and pretty pouffy dresses and flowers and boys and bows and stockings and Papa and the ocean and a field dotted with daises unnumbered and pirates. Way to turn that around, huh? Pirates! Like I explained last week, for the past four months, we have been working on "Pirates of Penzance," a musical by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan. My character, one of the Stanley daughters, was obnoxious and ditzy and love-crazy over every boy she saw, because until they see Frederic (the lead in the play) they have never seen a man other than their Papa and therefore are quite inexperienced about how to get their attention. It was quite a different role, but one that I fell in love with. How could I not? A pretty dress? Curly hair? Swooning and obnoxious smiling and giggling? It was impossible to come out of rehearsal in a bad mood!

But as my post last week explained, last weekend we gave it our all as we performed the songs and dance numbers and lines we had practiced for the last time. For me, this was the last time I would be standing on a stage until next fall, because track started Monday and that has always taken priority in the spring. But being at track just didn't feel right Monday. I was still on the thrill of the performance and to go from such a high-energy and fun environment to a track, which can be filled with intensity and the pressure to go fast, can be quite a downfall. I just couldn't get into my rhythm; I kept missing the play, missing the people. Missing the spontaneous singing of the cast and corny theatre jokes and stage makeup and the ability to go somewhere and be someone I'm not. On the track, I'm known for being fast, so whenever I step on the track I feel this obligation to live up to that. Hence, my love/hate relationship with it.

I'm the type of person who puts a lot of pressure on myself. It's hard for me to do something less than 100%, and often times I get burnt out. Does anyone ever feel that? Get burnt out even doing something they love? This season, I need to find my pace. A pace where I can have fun, be fit, and if fast happens to come, then so be it. But I need to get rid of any pre-conceived visions of me with running; of how other people identify me with running. It's not worth it if I go to practice every day dreading it. No one should put that much time and effort into something they don't love. Life's too short.

This week, with the rapid change in pace, I've been trying to take it easy. Drink lots of tea, sleep, read, and catch up on the things that I love (like writing :) ). Next week hopefully I'll get back into a rhythm and get into my zone, find my lane. Whatever it is you do, I hope you love it. Of course there will be days when you don't, but if the bad days start to outnumber the good, you might want to rethink if it's really the best use of your time. Or change your approach. You may just be putting too much pressure on yourself, and sometimes a change of perspective or taking a break can make a huge difference. As they say, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." Most likely, if you take a step back and don't think so much, success or happiness or speed or whatever it may be will come without you even consciously trying! And hopefully, you'll be happier.

Sweet Dreams,

Megan ;)

P.S. "Did you notice?" is updated. As always, thanks to all those who participate! It's so fun reading what you find!

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