Decisions.How do you know when it's time to move on? Whether it's time to seek closure, just walk away or work through the mess? Is it okay to seek the easiest alternative sometimes? To walk away without looking back?
It always hurts so much to give up something that we know will leave a hole in our hearts. So how do you deal with that?
I had a wonderful day with a friend today and when I took the train home, I decided to save the money for a cab and take the bus home instead. Standing around at the train station, I noticed that the light was on in my old dance studio. So I walked around the corner, telling myself the door would be closed. It was open. I asked a guy who came down carrying some stage equipment whether there was a play upstairs, and he told me they were just cleaning up.
This studio used to mean the world to me. It wasn't my second home, it was my home. I spent at least three days a week there, not only dancing, but hanging out, meeting friends, just living. The first time I walked through the doors was about ten years ago, and I immediately fell in love with the place. It is very vintage, friends of mine have referred to it as 'bohemian', in a not so flattering context. But it is, I guess, it lacks the sterile, distant atmosphere other studios have, it has black and white tiles, wooden floors, orange and pink walls, old posters all over, and everyone is like a family.
Four years ago, the place burned down. It broke my heart. As soon as the fire was extinguished, I went in to help with cleaning up and rescuing things, tech stuff, files, memorabilia.
But using torches because the lights were broken and the now black walls absorbed every tiny ray of light, wearing gas masks and carrying costumes, pictures and barres out to the roof to assess the damage... it no longer felt the same.
It must have been then that I distanced myself from it. I was at crossroads in my life anyway, and after a bad ankle injury that wouldn't heal, my teacher threw me out, telling me she would not continue to instruct me until I would seek medical care and my joints would heal.
That was two years ago. Three? Probably.
So today I went in. I walked into the theatre hall, where I danced every day for so many years. I didn't recognize it. I saw the people I used to walk past every day. They were so busy they didn't see me. So I snuck into the studio, and went into one of my old dance halls. I stood in the doorway for what felt like ages, but wincing every time I heard a sound. So I closed the door, and just stood there, trying to memorize every corner, every bump in the hardwood floors, every reflection of light on the walls. I walked across the room to stand by the window, watching myself in the large ballet window, flashing back to those millions of moments, scrutinizing every one of my moves, from the arched foot to the turned out leg to the pulled in tummy and the perfect neckline.
I stood in the window, much bigger, sadder and less confident than when i was a dancer, and i could no longer see that person. I wish I could have, I want her to come back, but I realized she was gone.
I read a few newspaper clippings and looked at pictures being pinned to the walls, some of my ballet teacher, wiping away a sneaky tear before someone would catch me.
I snuck back out, looking up at the windows from outside, and I knew that I would never go back. It was good to get closure, and I cried over this part of my life being finally over.
But then I thought, why not go back? I know I would never be good again, I would never be asked to dance on stage anymore, but why not do it for me?
I don't know what the right decision is. Go back, maybe clinging to a part of my life that is supposed to be over for good... or just letting go.
I don't know. All I know is that going back after so many years really tore at my heart.