The Season May Change, But I Stay True to Me

By: Marie Clark

A new year brings feelings of new starts. My January has passed by faster than I could have imagined. Amidst the past 31 days, I have watched my brother turn 25 over 1300 miles away from me, started a whole different set of classes with a new focus of a career path, and also came back to the campus I love with the best support system I could ask for. But this month has also showed me that this year will pass by fast, whether I notice or not.

I so easily get involved with clubs, activities, and school work that I am notorious for  overbooking myself. I never want to miss out on an opportunity. However, I give up more of myself than I like to, and by the end of the week I’ll be exhausted. Not getting to spend a moment to breath and reflect on how I am doing.

That’s where dance comes in. I have been dancing since 2002, just beginning 1st grade, as a little kangaroo in my ballet class with Ms. Larissa. In all the changes over the years, I always stuck with the sport. I left it for a short time last year, but I never really stopped. Now at State, I decided to join a modern dance group. While I definitely get busy with other things, I have grown to love the space that we have in the bottom of old, oddly spaced IM Circle. It truly is like a little nook on campus that you can’t find unless you are given the X on a map. Each Sunday we go in this space for company class and rehearsals and while sometimes I don’t want to trek over there, I am always thankful for taking that time to reconnect with myself.

That is what dance is for me: a form of self care and reflection. I truly have no idea what I want to do with it someday, but for right now I just know it feels good to move. I think it is so important that as individuals we take time out of our crowded schedules to really check in with ourselves and notice how we’re feeling and changing. I find that self-reflection comes in many forms. For some it is writing, jamming to music really loud, reading a good book, walking outside to class, spending time with good friends, taking pictures and looking back at them, kicking a soccer ball around, shooting hoops, watching a sunrise, drinking a cup of tea, escaping into a videogame, sleeping, or driving with the windows down. No matter what it is, self care is so important to remember who you are, where you came from, and where you are going. Starting college, I felt lost in meeting all new people that I was disconnected with everything I grew up with and what was so important to my story. This semester, I certainly feel I am reclaiming who I am and learning to build my future with all the stories in mind of my past and what I want to pursue.
Change is inevitable, and it always comes faster than we think. We can so easily get bogged down with duties and responsibilities and forget why we even started on the path we are on. Don’t lose that inspiration. Take time to remember why you started and remind yourself of this everyday. In the long run, a lot of the little things we fret about day to day don’t end up making a big difference, but with a solid goal in mind and being reminded of it daily, we certainly can make an impact. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, make a plan. If you feel stressed, take a moment to just breathe. Always remember to “TREAT YO’ SELF”!

This past summer I was able to Europe with Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp dancing. These pictures are from my time on tour and in the studio.



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