Fitting in friendship
In chapter 11, “Juggle or Step Aside,” I share a couple of rough experiences. One pertains to a friendship lost. In just that single story, I could point to 10 different reasons why the relationship crumbled. But the final straw was dipped in dance. Though I never thought I’d have to apologize for my dedication to ballet, I found myself being accused of choosing my pursuit over my pals. I was sad, angry, frustrated. I’d considered myself loyal to my friends and had assumed they, in turn, would be supportive of the time and energy I needed to pour into dance. For the most part, they were. But the situation that happened during my early days with the New York City Ballet rattled me enough to step back and consider the care I was taking with my friendships. Were there limits to the patience my non-dance friends would show for my absences? Was my self-discipline being mistaken for self-absorption? Was I as faithful of a cheerleader for my friends’ passions as I wanted them to be for mine? Friendship is always give-and-take; that duality may not be fully balanced at any given moment in time, but both components should come willfully, naturally, and joyfully. As you take stock of your own friendships, keep in mind that having a tribe to lean on outside of the studio is necessary good for your soul. Nurture it with open communication, thoughtfulness, humor, and time.