I was reminded of my ballet days when I saw this photo. It brought me back to the ballet lessons of my youth and that quest for perfection. That exquisite pain of trying to keep your body in the right position. Forcing your hips into the perfect turnout and the hard slog of standing, bending, twisting and turning in ways nature never intended. The frustration when you nearly got there but not quite. When you tried and tried, sweated, suffered to achieve the sublime. Watching other dancers who were better than you reach heights that you knew you’d never, ever reach yourself.
But still, I tried. Achieved maybe half of what I was attempting. Then I realised that reaching my own personal best was actually good enough, maybe even huge. That’s when I learned to be proud of what I could do and not always look at others.
My writing career is very similar. It wasn’t until I stopped comparing myself to all the high flyers out there, selling by the millions, that I found true peace and satisfaction in my work. I do my own thing now. Maybe my turnout isn’t perfect, my ‘grand jetés a little short and my pointe slightly wobbly but I get tremendous joy in creating a story. In making it the best I can. And, finally, to bring some enjoyment to one or two readers out there.
I was kicked out of ballet for being too tall. But I could never be too tall or too anything for writing.