philosophy: about balance

In the past few weeks or so, there’s been a recurring issue many of my friends have worked into their conversations – balance. Whether its lack of it, an abundance of it, or an inability to find it, it’s been plaguing everyone I know. Then I ran across this awesome post on Freshly Pressed from the Truth & Cake blog (really good blog, btw). A sign if there ever was one, eh? Before clicking on “Continue reading”, I suggest you read the “What Did you Give Up, To Get What You Got?” post just so you understand where I’m coming from.

Starting off, you must know that my zodiac sign is Libra, the scales. Some of you don’t necessarily subscribe to the belief that the stars and the day of your birthday contribute to your character traits, but I think that in some small way your star sign reveals lots of interesting things about you. As a member of the élite society of Librans, we strive to find a happy medium in all things. We hate conflict (as it’s unbalanced), unfairness (as it’s unbalanced), and anger (again…as it’s unbalanced). We weigh everything out until we find the best solution and are really prone to indecisiveness.  Most of that applies to me, but looking at my life from the outside in, one may very well see a very different story.

Here’s a typical week in my life:

Monday: Ballet Class AM,  Studio Teaching  PM

Tuesday: Ballet Class AM, Gym, Studio Teaching, Modern class, Company rehearsal PM

Wednesday: Class (usually) AM, Studio Teaching PM

Thursday: Company reh AM, Studio teaching PM

Friday: Class (maybe) AM, Studio teaching PM

Saturday: Studio reh & teaching AM & PM

Sunday: Company class & reh AM into PM, Studio reh PM

How’s that for balance? Many would wonder how I keep all this up, I sometimes ponder it myself. I dance nearly every day of the week, for multiple hours at that. This isn’t an hour here, 30 minutes there kind of work. It’s long stretches of movement or instruction and when I get home and my body hits the bed, I’m out like a light. Did you notice what you don’t see in that schedule? Friends? Dating? Leisure? Strolls in the park? Getting vodka wasted at the club (that’s never gonna happen anyway…)? I present that not to say that I don’t take part in these things; I dance with a lot of my friends or get to chill outside dance with them maybe once a week, but to show a bit of what I’ve given up, to get what I’ve got. I haven’t been in a relationship in forever, but as you see from the blog, Facebook page,  past & upcoming choreography demos, I stay on this career grind. I haven’t shut down the club in ages, but I stay setting choreography for club artists and performers.

On the other hand, I know many others whose schedule reads as an exercise in balance. They make time for leisure, love, and lying down for a good night’s sleep. All things are in their own place, in their own time, and they are just as successful as I am. The difference I find is that our ideas of balance are different. I eat, sleep, and breathe dance and choreography; it’s my balance. Another friend may also, but not at the same level as myself, it’s all relative.

Referring back to the Truth and Cake blog post, I may have given up love and children now to attain money, friendship, and personal fulfillment in my career, but those are my priorities in this present moment.  For now, I’m okay with that. I do feel like it may change in the future, when it’s does, expect a new post about it. Until that happens, I’ll continue pounding the pavement, and the studio floor, and the performance stage. I’m more concerned with my balance in that triple turn anyway.

what’s your thought on the subject? are you balanced perfectly? or perfectly unbalanced?

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9 thoughts on “philosophy: about balance

  1. Meghan says:

    Very intersting Bryan! I think part of a dancers life is that grind (also depending on wht type and mitigated dancer you are) but I would say at the moment life is perfectly unbalanced in its balanced way?! Does that make sense? Haha well anyway I will take any opportunity that dances its way to me 😉 – btw woke up (lying in bed) with GNO choreo going through this over worked, somewhat stressed but always blessed brain!
    Xoxox

    • Meghan – that makes perfect sense! this kind of grind is very much a part of a dancer’s life, but you know many of us wouldn’t have it any other way! we do anything and everything to make those ends meet. thank you for dropping by and leaving your thoughts as well as your tireless work to do it all!

  2. First of all Bryan, you are so gifted. It truly is an honor to know you, call you a friend and on top of it all, be able to work with you as my choreographer. It is so apparent in you the dedication, drive and passion you have. That is why I am so drawn to you. I am perfectly aware that you could tear it down in the club and get your cray cray on. I can can sense, and I mean sense, that you would be an amazing lover, partner and friend to anyone you let get in.

    Anyway, my point is this… the balance IS relative. And if you FEEL balanced, then why question it. Sure things can be different for ANYONE, but if you find happiness is your balanced unbalance, than why change it? Unless you WANT to change it.

    I am guilty of not being balanced. I am working on it. And I will tell you that working with you, hangin out with the McDermott’s and digging deep down, my balance will be a much need and very welcomed awakening!

    • thank you for your kind words sir! it’s certainly my pleasure to work with you. you’ve provided opportunities that have allowed me the ability to do so much work, therefore contributing to the unbalanced balance that i love and have mentioned in this post. i hope that you can also find the balance you’re searching for, you definitely deserve it. drop by again soon!

  3. A few weeks ago there was a ‘news’ story about Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg’s heroic commitment to always leaving work at 5:30pm to get back to her kids at 6pm.

    Here is the story and here is a quote from her:

    “I walk out of this office every day at 5:30 so I’m home for dinner with my kids at 6:00, and interestingly, I’ve been doing that since I had kids,” Sandberg says. ”I did that when I was at Google, I did that here, and I would say it’s not until the last year, two years that I’m brave enough to talk about it publicly. Now I certainly wouldn’t lie, but I wasn’t running around giving speeches on it.”

    What a wonderful dedicated mum she is, and a role model to women/ mothers everywhere.

    Or is she?

    Here is a woman who earned $30,000,000 last year alone, yet she still CHOOSES to go to work in an office rather than be a full time mother to her children. What message is that sending to her children – and to other (soon to be) mothers out there? There was a time not long ago when ‘mother’ and ‘full time mother’ meant the same thing (gasp!)

    There was also a time when one parent (typically the father) was able to support the entire family on his wages alone, enabling (typically) the mother to look after the household during the day and care for and raise her own children (shock horror!)

    What has happened is this: After women gained the rights and social acceptance to fully enter the workplace the state saw this as an opportunity to raise taxes. Because of this in your typical family today both parents required to work full time just to pay the bills and put food on the table, forcing parents to put their children in state schools at an earlier age followed by daycare. In addition people are working longer hours and bringing more work home with them. Housework is relegated to the evening or weekends and often parents are so exhausted or busy when they are at home that they let TV/ computer games/ youtube/ MTV/ Hollywood ‘entertain’ their children for them, instead of fully engaging with them.

    Feminism was a well overdue and absolutely just cause – absolutely! – but we are blind if we can’t see how it was totally hijacked and manipulated by the ruling classes and turned to their advantage.

    The devastating effects of children being raised by schools, daycare, TV etc while spending less and less quality ‘one-on-one’ time with their actual parents is now starting to become rather apparent. And the sad irony is that we are all so exhausted and busy with work that we once again allow the state provide the ‘solution’ in the form of drugging children and tagging them with RFID shackles. More and more we are seeing children being handcuffed by police in schools themselves.

    Children who are brought up by impersonal and even violent institutions of authority, rather than by devoted, loving parents, learn to speak the language of violent authority rather than empathy and compassion. Out current society is a ticking time bomb.

    For decades now we have been bombarded with endless articles about the ‘right’ for a mother to have a successful, jet setting, ‘fulfilling’ career. The accepted ‘logic’ here is that having a baby – creating a new life and raising it during infancy and early childhood – is not quite fulfilling enough as an experience… or at least not quite as fulfilling as going to some funkily decorated office every day and trying to please some boss by beating last month’s sales figures.

    Never do you read serious articles focusing on the rights of the child to have at least one full time parent. (Is that too much to ask in the 21st century?).

    Including the child’s needs and wants is balance. Thinking only in terms of ‘balancing the mother’s desires, needs, preferences’ is not true balance. It is madness.

    Please excuse this rather lengthy rant (which is NOT directed at those who have *no choice* but to work as parents) 🙂

    • thank you for dropping by and leaving your thoughts. you raise an interesting point here. as a child that was raised in a household where the mother thought only of the child’s needs without balancing her own, there’s validity in mrs. sandberg’s logic. this will sound a bit harsh, but having a child is something that adds to the balance, not monopolizes it. if mrs. sandberg didn’t give herself the room to acknowledge her own balances, she would neglect a large part of herself, missing out on her own personal development which can then color and influence the child’s growth and belief of finding their own balance. whether mrs. sandberg’s work/family & children ratio is unbalanced, it is not for us to judge. she, and any other parent, must first take care of themselves if they hope to provide also for a child.

  4. I love reading your perspective on this! It sounds like you know what’s right for you, right now. Balance is about knowing what comes first…and second…and third. That may eventually shift for you. But you know what? You don’t want to look back and regret not taking advantage of eating, sleeping and breathing dance while you had the opportunity. Often, the “other” things stem out of our primary love anyway. Maybe you’ll meet someone who is just as passionate about dance as you are? Thanks for sharing my post, and for writing a unique and thoughtful post of your own!

    • wow! thank you so much for reading and commenting, it means a lot to me that you dropped by! 🙂 i wholeheartedly agree in taking advantage of this great opportunity to dance, dance, and DANCE — it’s certainly my #1 passion and i’m still paying student loans from financing it, so i’m getting everything out of it i can! i appreciate your insight and for writing a post that inspired me to respond so passionately – thanks again!

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