Growing up, our local dance studio was practically my second home. For fifteen years, countless hours were spent inside the studio learning ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, and, embarrassingly, hip hop for a few years. All the practice and hard work culminated in an annual spring recital.
Performing was something I had been trained to do, but being on stage was never something I looked forward to.
“You have handled this so well,” I heard time and time again while enduring chemotherapy to slow the growth of my rare tumor. A phrase that never sat well with my soul.
A people-pleaser at heart, the phrase unknowingly boxed me into having to meet other’s expectations of my health—a sense of having to handle my thoughts, feelings, and health well. While offered to encourage, the phrase laid out before me a stage—one that asked me to give the performance of my life—not for my sake, but for the benefit of others.