Saturday, December 13, 2008

2008 rewind -- a year of new experiences

2008

This year has been like no other. A year of new experiences. A year of pushing my own boundaries. It has been an amazing year for that...

I started out the year by quitting my metalsmithing/jewelry job. The pay was low, I commuted about 20 miles 1 way. I was losing my creativity. So I decided, after about 4 years, that I needed a change...that was by far the longest I've held a job for on my own accord.

I ran away to Panama and Costa Rica for almost 3 months. I chose the destination based on my friend's wedding in Costa Rica. Panama was splendid. I went to some amazing places. Got around as I always do, by myself. Costa Rica was good, but was a bit too touristy for me. I bought a surfboard for $125. I got my TEFL certificate, which proved to be more difficult than I had imagined (only because I put a huge effort in it). It broke me down for a bit, I almost quit...but then took a long weekend in my favorite spot, Dominical, did some surfing and thinking, and came back even stronger. The class I had left to teach was the best, and I got huge complements from the students. I sold my surfboard, then went back home.

Within a week of being home, Kit, a fellow jeweler, called me up. He had gotten Sarah on a movie job. They needed another person and so Sarah had recommended me. Coming back from Costa Rica extremely broke (CR was way more expensive than I had imagined), I decided to take this opportunity. I learned a lot of new things, used new tools and materials. The hours were crazy (12hr+ days, 5 or 6 days a week). The money was good. In 2.5 months of work, I was just $3,000 short of making my annual income of last year. So I was set.

Sean and I decided to go through with our deck plans. We hired an architect to design and build a new deck. The original one was 100 sq ft. The new one is about 600 sq ft, and well worth it (our backyard is a steep slope). It was *very* pricey (5 figures). Rather than go into debt, I decided to use over half of my movie earnings to pitch in for the deck cost...so that we could pay for it outright. I have never written a 5 figure check before..and it was odd...damn...but well, it's better than going into debt if you can help it. So I did it.

I spent the rest of the year unemployed (no more movie jobs), tried to sell a few things on etsy, wakeboarded *a lot*, and made some new clothes.

I wakeboarded so much at TSR that I pushed my limits...injury after injury...twisted ankle, pulled hip out of its socket, shoulder strain, hyperextended elbow, hyperextended knee, and concussion...but I had a very progressive summer. I entered my first wakeboarding competition at Fall Fest..competing against seasoned competitors, all younger by a few years to 15 years younger...I thought...why not. I placed 4th out of 5, but rode the best in my life, as did all the other ladies. What I learned from the experience was that there's a good comradarie amongst the women competitors...a very supportive group. Competetive, but supportive -- pushing the limits of the sport for the women's division.

In October, I started taking aerial silks classes, another new experience. Lacking the dance background and grace factor, I started off a bit clumsy looking, but have impressed myself at what I was able to accomplish in 5 weeks. At the end of the semester, we had a student performance. It was my first performance ever, and turned out great. I loved the class, my class mates, and my teachers. I am starting to learn to express myself with body movements...something that doesn't come natural to me, but something that is becoming more natural as the days go on. I have continued to go to the open sessions to practice, and have also signed up for the Intermediate aerial silks class in January.

This month, I had my first audition. Dance audition. Blue Lapis Light puts on a performance about once a year, and they had auditions for their next piece, which will be put on next summer. I decided to try out, hoping that it would be more harness work than actual dancing on the floor. I arrived at the studio for the auditions. There were so many cars, that I got really nervous and questioned what I was doing there. I *almost* turned around and went home...then I saw Lita, my classmate, parking her car. I didn't turn around, but rather, walked into the studio doors. There were about 25 dancers auditioning. I had no idea what to expect, but went through it anyways. There were true dancers there...people with years of experience..you could tell. And then there was me *lol*

We started off with some warmup exercises. Then we walked around the room, and connected a random dancer, then another...at first, it was kind of akward for me...then I started to feel the energy of the other dancers, and got into it. In the end, we were all attached to each other in some way, in motion...then we froze in time and space...it was beautiful. We continued on with a dance piece we learned from Nicole. A lot of the others were really good, while I felt like I looked like a donkey kicking in the air and flailing around...but I gave it my best. We broke up into smaller groups and came up with a small group piece. Then did the harness work. I feel like I did well in the harness, but awful on the floor. At the end, we performed the small group pieces. It was amazing to see what everyone had come up with. A 4 hour and 15 minute audition...I was exhausted at the end. But I am glad that I did. I didn't get selected -- there were so many good and beautiful dancers (if you've seen me dance, you know that I can only ghetto booty dance)...but I feel like I grew as a person...another new experience.

With that said, it has been one awesome year...