Thursday, November 27, 2014

Another birthday and I have had the most interesting year (s).

Last year was my 30th birthday and it felt a little bit like a milestone and a relief. I dealt with quite a lot of crap the past couple years so when I turned 30, I was going to make it about me. I really went through a lot of change the past year. Its really incredible how much has changed. Emotionally, physically, mentally, and life in general.

Feeling on top of the world in Milan, June 2014

I did quite a lot of traveling. :-) From July 2012- Dec 2014: A move from NYC to Singapore. Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Bali, Malacca, Chiang Mai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, London, Edinburgh, Zermatt, Berlin, Copenhagen, Lund, Amsterdam, Amsterdam (again), Milan, Barcelona, Valencia, Granada, Seville, Lisbon, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Stockholm, Malmö, Lund, Stockholm (again).
As I sit here remembering all those times... I am reminded how truly lucky I am to feel like this world is small. I am lucky to be a global citizen and really enjoy making new friends around the world. I got to practice speaking in Swedish (I read short news articles every day now), learned a few key phrases in Spanish, and German (still struggling through on this one), and try to speak Bahasa as well. Seen and experienced different things and adapted myself to take everything in stride.

Gallerie in Milan, June 2014

What a year of change it has been! I have been thinking very introspectively lately and have shifted some goals around in life that will free me. Funny how people tell you that turning 30 is not that big a deal. I think it has been a big deal.

APAP 2010 Showcase, NYC, Jan 2010. Photo Credit: William Hebert

Two years ago, my life crumbled. I had to move out of NYC. I don't want to get into a big whining boohoo TCK... blah blah blah. So skipping that.
I moved back in with my family in Singapore. Started teaching in Singapore, A LOT! Loved all of my students! They really make my day, even when there were days where I just shut down and wanted to cry. I put on a face and braved it through the dance in the studio. From very young students to older adults - they are truly inspirational to me. Each one coming from different backgrounds and living here all that the present time.

Ironically, in teaching a lot more. I lost my creative mojo. I had no time to recuperate and get inspired. I looked around me and people looked drained. Sapped of energy, I had to force the creativity when making a dance for myself and my group of project-based dancers. I applied to participate in the Edinburgh Fringe. Giving myself a deadline and the unfinished work I had started prior to the move. Through emails, video skype, more emails, more video exchanges, some studio time, adding another dancer, more emails... somehow we came together in Scotland and all that hard work came together on the stage for a two week run (everyday). The work became second nature and it became better than I anticipated although there are quite a lot of challenges and tweaks I would love to make if I ever revisit this work again. (maybe)

Performing Habitat, C Venues, Edinburgh Fringe July-Aug 2013. Photo: Kevin Tadge

Oh what a challenge those few months leading up to the festival was! Balancing 48++ hours of teaching dance classes, rehearsing, dealing with adjusting my crazy schedule, a break up, reverse culture shock on a daily basis, and living with my family again. I was stressed out! Wasn't easy.

Somehow I came back from the UK a lot stronger and ready for a fresh start.

September through December was a daily and weekly grind - slowed down a little because I just couldn't handle the crazy schedule. Was still teaching quite a significant amount. I even made a solo for myself and performed it for a studio charity show benefiting relief efforts for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Planned a solo Euro trip for myself that winter to celebrate turning 30.

Christmas Market in Berlin, Dec 2013

What an incredible trip that was. I fell in love with the places I went to and myself for being able to do that. I was for the first time in a long time, at peace. No inner demon dialogues. Second-guessing. I was just living in the present.

I have always loved traveling growing up as a TCK and love going to experience and meet new people.

I want to have more of a balanced life. Physically and emotionally I was tired. 

A few months passed and I went away again to see tulips in Holland for Spring. I spent a week in an airbnb and loved just being able to chill out for that week. Met up with some old friends in The Hague and a dancer friend in Amsterdam. I also had fun conversations with locals at cafes.

Keukenhoff gardens, April 2014

The following couple of months after my Spring jaunt in Holland were crazy busy. I was choreographing a school musical, teaching classses, students had to prepare for their dance exams, and a student dance recital. May was such a blur. I thought June would be quieter but it was just as busy teaching. Then summer vacation with my girl friends. Started the trip with a solo couple days in Milan. Then a planned trip through Spain and Portugal with my big 'sis'. I ended the trip with a solo week in Copenhagen and Sweden.

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona. July 2014

The summer trip really just turned me around and my heart spoke to my brain.

Make travel, helping people, being happy, creative, free spirited - a daily part of your life.

I had been contemplating on going back to school at this point and wanted to study something really different. I knew I wanted to do something international travel related in the tourism/hospitality industry but then wasn't sure up until this trip. When I returned, I became serious about it and kept it a big secret b/c I didn't want to get my hopes up if I didn't get into the school I wanted. I will keep dance in my life and have an idea for a solo dance project brewing in my brain. Started working on some basic phrases to kickstart it but nothing solid yet. ;-) Stay tuned for that.

So once again folks, in Third Culture Kid fashion.

I am preparing to move and uproot my life again. This time it is also to change gears a bit and focus on some new skills and experiences. I am at once scared, excited, anxious, and a bit worried. Next few weeks will be preparing for this move.

To turning 31! Skål! Prost! Salud!

Happy Thanksgiving!

No comments:

Post a Comment