home. no matter where my journey takes me, be it my American home, the Slavic lands that I'm drawn to, or the unknown places yet to come, I'm learning to "trust in the Lord and do good, to dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness..." about me
n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.
I had no idea the English language had a word for this, and it is now my new favorite word. I’m in love with it, actually.
Seeing this smile makes me so happy.
at first, we spoke ballet - Vaganova vs. Balanchine, programs in Pittsburgh, Houston, and Jackson, pointe shoes, domineering directors, and (are we seriously wearing this weird hairdo for Giselle?!)…
we spoke academia, too - 4 year plans, gen eds, class schedules down to the jam-packed minute, and the dichotomy between rehearsal schedules and necessary language classes, a constant clash we were both familiar with in our double-major adventures.
and then, in parallel - slowly and with increasing frequency mixed in among the drives, walks, and late-night chats - we spoke spiritual, deep, raw, and real - weekly drives to the State Museum for the Gathering, a night on her bedroom floor, life group meetings of various purpose and seriousness, a walk at the river, and many notes, postcards, calls, and e-mails since those times when we lived in the same place.
this was how we rolled…
we spoke love and life and loss, cried and celebrated, ached and anticipated… and we still do, and I’m so thankful.
I had no idea the beautiful journey that began over 5 years ago in meeting this beautiful friend of mine - how much I’d learn about myself, true friendship, learning to love in ways that you didn’t know how before… and also how much I would love to do life (across oceans, most of the time) with someone who “gets” so much of this culture-written-on-my-heart life, shares the passion, frustration, and drive for learning impossible languages, and knows what it’s like to get back on land and immediately seek the next chance to board a plane back.
I love this one - elements of everything that brought her…
Happy Birthday, dear friend. So thankful for you, excited to see your continued journey, and glad that I know I’ll continue to be a part of it.
To China and Beyond!
Someday, you have to stop putting off what is easily pushed aside because it is labeled “not AS important”… because sometimes, it’s more important for your sanity, and your process, and your productivity than you found yourself believing.
Cue: back to the blog.
There were so many conversations, and ideas, and picturesque happenings that could have been painted on these pages from the last four months, but life moved so fast that they would have been sloppy, incomplete, not fully processed, unjustifiably portrayed… and so they are lost - swimming, rather, in the back of my mind. They will resurface, as I have more time to reflect, and I hope to tell you those stories.
But for now, here are a few bits and pieces of life. In the last month, I…
Sat in a Russian mall over a Ginger latte and heard the tale of The Tsar’s Bride, an opera being staged at the Bolshoi last month, as passionately and breathtakingly told by an ardent fan and close friend of the singers, an opera singer herself.
Took my last ballet class with Lyudmila Peregontseva at Tsekh (at least for this season).
Said goodbye to colleagues and roommates that made the last four months wonderful and jolly. Stepped into unemployment for the Holidays (and it was just fine…)
Took my first and last walk on Red Square this season with the Interpreter and the Opera Singer, GUM dressed up in twinkling lights for its 120th Anniversary, music playing from the ice rink, fingers sliding across ice sculptures in front of the Christmas market.
Ate too much Babushkin Pirog while reminiscing and enjoying daily routine, conversation, and general family дела in the home of my first encounter with Russia.
Kept up a wildly successful ruse that I’d be staying in Russia past new years…
but actually flew home in time to spend Christmas eve with very surprised family members and best friends.
(It was the best)
Said goodbye to a Sistacre for 6 months in Amsterdam, enjoyed belated Christmas with relatives, shared (real) resolutions with an old friend on New Years…
Reunited with USC Dance memoirs at a wedding in Raleigh, complete with a road trip retreat with the other Sistacre, the best of lazy-no agenda times.
Held the child form of long awaited miracle and answered prayer named Hope: Надежда.
Visited the Pickens Jockey Lot, found a steal, and spent time with the bestest couple of #finderskeepers.
Saw the long lost dancer friends on either ends of the country in our hometown, bringing back high school sleepovers and reveling in current adventures.
Ate Chinese with a friend who brought me candy corn and promised to go to the Opera with me at our own little window to the Met.
Got up early for the first of many Sisterdates. Worth every sleepy second.
Got a part time, career-related job in the click of an e-mail. (Praise Jesus - only He does that.)
Taught ballet at the studio almost 5 days in a row, somewhat by accident. Bit my lip and took a Master Class on the Gunter stage without much preparation… didn’t die (of embarrassment or exhaustion).
Watched Downton in the Stutz living room, just like old times.
Wrote the freaking essay and sent the package (with a day to spare before deadline).
Anticipated the coming adventure for a ranch-bound roommate.
Finally wrote this post.