Finding (and keeping) Happiness

(I promised myself never to start a blog post with “OMG I’ve been so busy!” but I really must start this one with) December is the busiest month of the year for me because our ballet school’s annual recital is always on December, and being in a family business whose main motto is “If you want something done right, do it yourself,” paired with being the punong abala for the recital means I have to make sure everything is as it should be, but on a superhero level.

People generally don’t understand that about me, that this is how my life is structured, making it difficult to explain why I can’t go to their December weddings and office Christmas parties. I realized recently, people generally don’t understand that I actually love preparing for the recital and am willing to give up a social life to devote all my time to it. But how do you explain a lifetime?

Last Wednesday was our 32nd annual recital, featuring Cinderella, conceptualized and staged by me to music by Sergei Prokofiev based on Charles Perrault’s fairy tale. I played one of the evil stepsisters and the Spring Fairy, who gives Cinderella her gown of silk and sparkling crystals. Dancing in a ballet you created/directed yourself is STRESSFUL. Especially how I sequenced Act I wherein I need to quick-change from evening gown and heels Stepsister just departed for the ball to tutu and pointes Fairy about to conjure a dress. My variation (solo dance to you non-native speakers) felt all wonky as this will be my first time on my toes for the show – had no time to warm them up in the quick change – and by the time my feet feel truly ready to dance, we were transforming the pumpkin into the carriage. The word Kaloka comes to mind.

Truth be told though, I love every minute of it, even that terrifying moment before my series of lame ducks (a turning ballet step). Yes, the word is love. Many times this year, I came to a lightbulb moment that reminded me that dance is what I was born to do – whether it’s writing about dance, creating dance, or the very act of dancing. Last Wednesday, the light bulbs were exploding at super nova proportions. I was happy, millions and millions of times over.

Since I used up my vacation leaves for dance-related things the past year, I went to work the very next day. It was dreadful. There are many reasons why I’m still at my day job, the first being I care about the team I was hired to lead, and I care about the excellence of the work that we do. Yesterday, I was made to accept that although the work we do was very important, we ourselves don’t matter, not really. It makes me sad for my team, but acceptance is important and, somehow, comforting.

In the middle of the bleak, bleak day, I somehow remembered how happy I was the night before. Or, I suspect, that happiness didn’t really go anywhere. Today, I still feel that giddy happiness. I’m going to make it a point to hold on to that happiness for as long as I live.


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