2018 Wrap Up

1 January 2019

Much like everyone else- I am having a hard time believing that it is the end of the year. Just last December I was panicking- I mean… ahem preparing for my Jamila Level 2 in Atlanta.

It’s January 1st 2019- and as much as the new year is for looking forward and refreshing goals and making plans, I think it’s absolutely important to look back at the year and evaluate what’s been achieved and what could be improved upon.  Growth doesn’t happen if you have no idea where you started.

2018 has been – a thing.  The winter was so incredibly difficult for me last year. I can’t pretend to say that I was okay about all of it. I wasn’t. And as we headed into this winter, more things that really have left me feeling alone and estranged in a lot of ways.

Dealing with anxiety, depression and grief issues all while trying to move forward and develop was tough. I am finally “adult enough” to accept that sometimes it’s okay to not be okay.  In all of that, I stood on stage in some very vulnerable moments and gave some of my most profound performers as an artist.  I cried and raged and bleed and shared my pain. These things did not solve our social issues, these things didn’t solve our political trauma on going and it didn’t solve world hunger. But, it was needed for *me* as an artist and a human who was suffering to DO something about my emotional state.  And I’m extremely proud of the emotional work I did this year for my art

I went to Georgia twice, Jamila Level 2 in January and Essence of Bellydance in September.  I went to Maine to study with Leila Farid, I did a beautiful 2 day intensive with Galen Hooks and started modern jazz and ballet classes in Philly.  I competed (and lost miserably) and got to do some amazing workshops and projects (Ozgen WHAT,! Live Band Project!). We started the Salimpour Collective DC and did some crazy fun performing (and photoshoot what what!) and a I started using my sword certification information (GO ME FOR USING INFORMATION I HAVE).  I’ve learned new choreos this year and I have more on the agenda for next year.  I also wrote a choreography! It’s been a goal of mine for YEARS. SO.PROUD. of myself. I have such choreo hang up in terms of creating- so this was a huge achievement for myself this year:

I started blogging and created 75 posts since April when I began, documenting my costuming process and some of the different aspects of a life of a dancer. I’ve completed at least 3 major costumes this year  and completed several costuming orders.  I bought my first Bella costume (does this mean I’m official?!). Speaking of “real” professional- I officially have a logo and a design label dohicky and there are other big things behind the scenes happening! (if I can ever sit down and get my life together on that)

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I’ve deepened friendships and realized where toxic people are in my life and have taken steps to distance myself.  This does not come without grief or a sense of loss and I am still working on being okay with who I am as a person without some of these people in my life.

I’ve laughed and I’ve loved and I’ve grown. I realized somewhere through last winter that as miserable as I was and as unhappy as I was with some of the things going on in my life- I was not going to let that stop me from living my best life. And living my truth. And I channeled every ounce of energy into creating art and making me a better me.

I finished the new year working at my regular restaurant surrounded by people I consider my family and with the last set of the night I was almost in tears with gratitude over how much has been accomplished and how amazing it is to celebrate life and music and dance and food.

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I am so incredibly proud of the work I have done this year despite all the strugglebussing that happened.  And none of it ends, and we simply turn the page and continue the work. Goals were made, and goals were achieved and for all the food, drink, dancing and celebrating of life I am profoundly grateful. And new goals will be made, new goals will be set agendas will be moving forward and that’s life affirming and very exciting to me.

And all that to say- thank you. Thank you for joining me on this journey and being a part of the process. I’m so grateful to my community and all that it has to offer. I wish you peace and blessings as we start the new chapter for 2019!

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