When I look back, when I replay the years, I wonder to myself what are the things that have meant something special. I have been lucky enough to experience so many amazing things, see so many awe inspiring sights. These are the moments that I will take with me throughout my life, that I will look back at with a sparkle in my eyes and a warmth in my heart.
But what is interesting to me is that from all the moments I have relished, which have made my breath catch in my throat, it was a seemingly inconsequential one that held captive my attention last night. Actually, it wasn’t so much of a specific moment, rather some fond memories of a hobby that I began at four years old and I finally stopped just before I went to university, at eighteen.
Ballet began, for me, as something I very much enjoyed but ended up loving. Initially, my attendance was most likely motivated by my mums’s wishes for me to take it up, however I would say that by the time I was merely five this passion was all my own. I remember my first proper trip into London, motivated by the amazing opportunity I had to dance at the Royal Albert Hall at nine years old. I can still taste the warm, ever-so-slightly crunchy glaze on my first ever Krispy Kreme and feel the wonder and awe as I took in the bright, delicious scenes of the bustling Harrods food hall. I recall the excitement and feeling of importance as I took my first ever journey in a black cab, seeing the people and lights rush backwards away from me in a rainy blur. But, although this day meant so much to me, it was not this one, nor any of the non-ballet related moments, that flashed back to me so intensely yesterday. No; it was a memory of one of our hour long fun but seemingly relatively inconsequential Friday night pointe classes, of which I have such fond memories.
What I remembered was the feeling of freedom and expression that non syllabus ballet brought; it was the bubbling laughter as we tried to squeeze ourselves into the English National Ballet tutus that were too small even for my sixteen year old body. It was the lightness of the sequence, that seemingly unimportant chasse pas de bourre, glissade, pas de chats that so unwittingly shaped me into who I am today.
This moment was so unimportant at the time; I did not stop and think about how lucky I was to be there, nor how I would always remember this moment in time, as I have done at plenty of significant moments in my life.
But from all these, it was that faint sound of laughter from that ballet lesson that took me back. And this has taught me something invaluable: Every moment is a treasure. I am the one that makes my own memories and that is what I need to do. Each moment is for the taking, it is up to me what I do with them. As much as I love to sit on the sofa and watch telly, there is so much outside that living room that I have yet to see. In such a small section of my life I have experienced so much, but there is so much more to experience. I want to live, and by that I really mean live. It sounds cheesy but I have so many hopes and dreams; there are sights I want to see, sounds I want to hear, smells I want to smell. I don’t want to find myself regretting the things I never did; the things I never did because of factors within my own control, like my laziness and aversion to movement.
So amongst other things that I will be sharing over the coming weeks, this is one of my New Year’s resolutions. I will make an effort to seize the day, to live my life to the fullest, to go out into the world and do all things I have always wanted to do. I am young and I have little to no responsibilities; there is nothing holding me back – well, apart from a big-ass student loan. So farewell 2015, you ginormous asswipe of a year! You may have taken so much from me but 2016, you are mine for the taking and I am promising to get shit done! I hope to have many happy years ahead of me, for me to live, love and laugh, past the confines of the next 365 days; hundreds more chances to experience the awe-inspiring expanse of the Grand Canyon, the dulcet tones of whale song, the feel of warm sand between my toes, the tang of South American street food, the misty grandeur of the Taj Mahal, the cold white crispness of the Arctic, the orange gold hope of a Hawaiian sunset. But as much as my many years of life should be mine for the taking, who knows what could happen; I could get hit down tomorrow, my chances to go out into the world and experience living snuffed out in an instant. So with that in mind I will do my very best to live my life to the fullest, as though there is no tomorrow. I will not put off what I want to make of my life because if I do, well, I have no one to blame but myself.