LIFE UPDATE: COLLEGE AND OTHER CRAZY STUFF!!!

Hi all! A lot has been happening this past month, with college decisions coming out and high school seniors faced with the exciting, scary, monumental decision of where to spend the next FOUR YEARS! It’s 10:56 p.m. right now, and I have an AP Psychology final tomorrow, so I must keep this post brief. I promise, an in-depth three-part overview of my college admissions journey is on its way! But tonight, I felt the need to check in with y’all and give you an update on what the heck’s been going on in my world!

COLLEGE DECISIONS!

The decisions are out, and I’ve been super blessed to have my pick of awesome schools!! As of right now, I am debating between UCLA and NYU. I’m waiting to hear back from the NYU financial aid office to see how much money they’ll give me to attend. However, NYU does have a reputation of being stingy.. so most likely will be attending UCLA this fall, which I am super super super excited about! More on that crazy story to come…

FINALS

As I mentioned, I’m in the midst of prepping for finals! Yes, finals are coming and the time has come to fight. I’ve spent the last week studying hard… I’ve got to admit though, one of my fatal flaws is not being able to maintain balance in my life. Once I set my mind to something, I push aside everything for the sake of achieving the goal. In this case, the goal is performing well on my exams. That is why I’ve given up dancing for over a week, which I am none too proud of. I find it very difficult, though, to get out of this tunnel-visioned mindset. This is why tonight, at 11:07 p.m., I felt the need to check in with not only you guys, but also myself.

SOME MUCH-NEEDED INTROSPECTION (FREE-FLOWING RANT AHEAD)

With the commencement of adulthood (yes guys, I’m 18 at last!) and college swiftly approaching, I feel added pressure to become the greatest version of myself. Pretty soon I will be starting a life of my own, away from the shelter and safety of my family and the familiar. What kind of person do I want to be remembered as? Hard-working is number one. I’ve always been the hard worker, be it as a student, dancer, or gymnast. Hard work runs through my veins.. And I owe a lot of that to my years as a competitive athlete, as well as my parents, who’ve ingrained the value of discipline into me. However, I must admit that the senioritits bug has finally bitten me, and my motivation level has been gradually declining. The worst part is, every time I find myself slacking off, I beat myself up about it. Is this good for my mental health? I think not. Spring of senior year is SUPPOSED to be a time of letting the reins loose a bit; spending more time with the people you love; experiencing life, not just reading about it in  a textbook. However, I can’t seem to shake this desire to continue getting A’s- it is almost like I’m programmed to strive for A’s, since I’ve been doing it for the past seven years. Sometimes I feel like I’m being too competitive for my own good… Sometimes I feel the need to LET GO, STOP THINKING, AND LIVE. But when I let myself slide, even just a bit, I begin to feel vulnerable… I guess I cling to my identity as a hard worker as a kind of life-line. If all else crumbles, at least I work hard, eh? Yeah.. misguided. Totally illusioned way of thinking. As I keep stressing to myself, an individual is not just ONE THING! I am Belicia, and hard-working just happens to be one of the many qualities I possess. Relaxing a little bit does not call that into question- it is just me being a teenager. Life is not a competition, as I’ve been conditioned to believe. You guys know what I need? I need a big dose of F-A-I-L-U-R-E. Because learning how to fail is just as, if not more, important than learning to succeed.

FINAL UPDATE: DANCE OR MEDICINE

If you guys have been following my previous posts, you are well aware of the anguish I’ve been dealing with for the past few months regarding potential career paths- professional latin dancer or doctor. The two are so different, both require 200% commitment, and simply cannot be reconciled. It simply is not realistic to become a pro dancer and doctor- at least not at the same time. Not to mention the fact that I started latin dancing at 17- so if I decide to go pro, I must train all day every day to play catch-up. The question I asked myself was, do I love latin dance enough to sacrifice my education, my dream of becoming a doctor, all for a very slim chance of glory (no matter how much potential I have)? Or, is my dream of becoming a doctor strong enough for me to walk away from my equally strong dream of becoming a dancer, keeping dance as merely a hobby, and leaving my gift from God to turn to dust, never seeing the light of its true potential? (side-note: man, that sounded poetic! I guess my creative juices run wild in the late hours of the night)…

A big question, with the answer to be revealed another time- namely, when I’ve answered it myself. Good night, everyone!

SF Open (Day 1)

It’s 11:01 a.m. My hair and makeup appt is in an hour. Listening to Eminem to get in the “zone”. Mom keeps checking in on me… She worries too much. I probably get my anxious temperament from her.

I’m nervous. Nothing new there. Second latin dance competition ever… competing with a new partner in the open gold category. My heart is pounding. There’s a heaviness in my chest that rises to my throat.

I compete at 3:43 p.m. Already the nerves are kicking in. I want to perform well. I’ve worked very hard for this competition… I must deliver. I can’t let down my mom, dad, coaches, friends. They all expect so much of me… And I can’t let down myself. I will deliver.. I always do. I am a fighter.

10 years of competition experience and I still get nervous. This is normal. I just don’t feel ready… But no one ever feels ready before a competition.

I have a plan. I will stick to that plan no matter what happens. The only thing I can control is my response to whatever happens out there… I will deliver. I will give each dance maximum effort, deliver to the audience, to my partner, to myself. I always deliver… I just need the confidence.

Everything will be fine. It will! I refuse to anticipate failure; it won’t happen. I will enjoy!!

Nothing I can do now but try my hardest and stick to the plan. It’s time to go. See you on the other side!!!

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7:58 p.m. Well… I SURVIVED! Got first in all my single dance events… but honestly, it really isn’t about the results. Competing is always about personal growth and enjoyment.

Sadly, I can’t say I enjoyed myself completely… I let the stress and anxiety hinder me from feeling completely at one with the dance. I compete again tomorrow in the multidance event, so my goal for tomorrow is to simply let go of the negative energy and be happy on that floor. I do feel much more confident after today, and I plan on doing even better tomorrow, with less stress 🙂 Most dances went smoothly, except my jive during the second round. My partner fell down mid-dance, resulting in me losing focus and forgetting the routine. For most of the routine post-fall, we struggled to get back to where we were. It was a trainwreck. But I refuse to beat myself up over it any more… It’s in the past, and to recover from such incidents takes experience, that’s all! Another thing I struggled with was facial expression- when I get nervous, my facial muscles tighten up, thus making it difficult for me to smile. The solution- don’t be nervous! Relax! I know, easier said than done, right? But with more competition experience under my belt, coupled with deep breathing techniques, I am sure to feel less and less pressure each time. Better rest up for tomorrow! Talk to you soon!!

 

Belicia