This process of being in France for 2 years gave me some serious understandings of my art. Through a process of re-learning everything, I have re-discovered many things.
I had to reclaim my contact juggling through all this training. Re-find my style, my ideas, my own joys without having the taint of someone’s else’s idea of “cool” placed upon me.
I have been relearning to walk, to find grace, not in the trendy break-dancing way, but in a way that suits my body, my ideas of improvisation, my hopes and understanding of lines and grace.
I have relearned to write – like I couldn’t do in school – crying over essays because I was dealing with so many difficulties in my relationships, with my family, with my own self esteem.
I relearned what art is, what it means to the world and what it means to me. The practiced deepened inside of me in a way I have no words for yet.
I have relearned my ideas of myself. How to be strong in what I value, even if they go against the norms of society. I have had to learn not to be defensive, although this is more difficult said than done. I have learned my triggers, and how to avoid them. I have learned comfort in those who share a similar reality to mine, and the connections and conversations that I feel are real and deep and meaningful – without having to be defensive – but just being me and having that be accepted and loved.
I have had to learn I am not crazy. I have had to learn that being different is not crazy. That being sensitive just means to be alive in this world. That being insensitive is not what I would like to be.
I have had to relearn to speak. Write. Read. Reconstructing sentences with new grammar rules. With his and her pronouns instead of all of “the”.
I relearned how to drive. A manual car gives you a better understanding of a car than an automatic. The sense of freedom that having a car grants you, and taking it out onto new roads in a new territory that has never been explored has always been one of my favourite things.
I have had to learn to be by myself.