[ Recovering from Performing Arts Retirement ]
Does anyone ever really recover from ending their career in the performing arts?
I truly think it depends on the individual, so let’s focus on the many who struggle with the loss. Lord knows, that loss is profound.
My loss was a career in ballet. I worked so hard and loved every minute of my journey. The happy memories are endless. The struggles were there such as injuries, rivalries, and ballet moms, but the successes far outweighed any mountain to climb.
When I realized ballet was not in my future, it felt like a midlife crisis. I was 17 years old. Despite my youth, to this day, I still would describe it as such. I did not know how to handle the loss. I tried to speak to others about it, but no one could relate.
Have you ever been amongst a group of people and felt alone? Everyone is smiling, talking, and enjoying the moment while you feel as though you are sitting in a cold hole in the ground. That’s what it felt like. The loss was unreal and no one else understood what I was experiencing. Those losses are supposed to happen when you are older. Not at 17.
I actually know many people who experience this loss and valet specifically. The entries people can sustain can be career threatening and often happen at a young age. In general, the ballet career doesn’t last that long, but you hope to be one of the rarities of success.
The truth is, not many of us are going to succeed in a career in dance or in the performing arts in general. It may be due to health issues, student loans, etc. The recent doesn’t matter because the loss is similar for many of us.
If you have struggled with this, I hope your heart has healed. If you’re in the middle of the struggle, I am here for you.
You are not alone.