Yes. The news today is that I am officially on a maternity leave (of sorts), and I now have no job for which I'm paid. I didn't think it would happen this fast but apparently the girl waiting in the wings for my ballet teaching job needs to have it, so now she does. It's funny. That's always how it is in the dance world; there's always an understudy somewhere :)

While I am mostly happy to not have to schlep down to Burien and endure 4.5 hours of torture on my L5-SI disc, I'm also somewhat sad to lack any form of gainful employment. It really sent me into a funk yesterday. At first I thought it was just because now I feel a little lazy and worthless. Of course, I know that I'm still doing the important job of Spud cultivation, and that is just about the most worthwhile thing I've ever done. Brendan also set me right by asking, "Do you want me to get a lesser-paying job so that you have to work?" To which I answered, quite sagely, I might add, "NO." I have to correct my perspective on worthwhile activity. I do a lot of things that I don't get paid for that are still very good and necessary things to do like arranging church activities, being hospitable, taking care of Rib, and taking care of the baby incubator that is me. I think I just don't want people to look at me like I'm not worth my salt.

I also was dealing with some wrapping-up of my involvement in the business I started and then decided to drop (which was a good choice, by the way). If you've ever thought filling out a 1040 was hard... try doing a 1065; it's doable, but it takes a lot of work and sifting through what applies to you and what doesn't. The instructions are 41 pages long. It was weird to be working on the final pieces of ending that "job" while I received the news that I didn't need to teach anymore. It felt like I wasn't seeing things through. I'm worried about the progress of my students now that I'm not going to be their teacher, but that's just sort of weird and controlling. I guess I also worry about the business as it moves forward because I invested a lot of time and work in that too. But, I know it's in good hands, and it was a good experience. Still, it was a strange combo of emotions.

Then, last night we watched Once which was a beautiful, simple, short film about 2 musicians who help each other navigate the crossroads in each other's life. The singing and playing was so beautiful. During the scene when they first sing together, the real root of what was bothering me about the events of my own life yesterday occurred to me. Here were these two people who (in imaginary movie land; I know), knowing the extent of their own abilities and talents, had the confidence to just sit down and sing and play together. That is the best feeling: to know that you're good at what you do and to know that you can pull out your talent at any time and trust that it will be in the state that you left it. That's how teaching had been for me. I was a very talented dancer, certainly not the best or maybe even among the best, but I was good and had potential out the ying-yang (lovely). I had confidence in explaining any step or nuance of ballet to my students; I even had confidence in my ability to show them what things are supposed to look like, busted and old as I am. I also had finally reached the place where I was taking complete joy in teaching ballet and rarely thinking about what I was missing in no longer being able to perform as I once could. I'm sad to not have that. Now, I have to stuff that talent away again. It had to be dormant for so long, and it finally was getting to stretch its legs. Back in your box; back where I don't like to think about you because it's just too hard. Maybe I'll pull you out again someday, but we'll see.

I guess I was feeling the same way about all the different projects I've been through in the last year, mostly the business and art night. I was good at school, at my major especially. I know how to coordinate and plan. But, now, I'm not exercising my business talents... well, I am for the next 2 months or so until the taxes are finished. We have another art night coming up at church, and I'm marginally involved. I feel like I got this big thing going again and had a chance to be involved in the art world, even if it's not my particular area of expertise, while also using the skills and talents I honed in the Business School. I barely have a bit part this time, and that was my choice. I can't be on my feet or even be awake as much as I had to be to pull off the last one, so there was no way I could have been in charge again without being constantly worried about my and Spud's health.

I've always been such an overachiever that this not having an outlet for any of my skills thing is hard. God is so wise though. Life is not supposed to be about me exercising my talents. It just isn't, and I know that. So, I'm sure that having no chances to delude myself that that is what it's about is good for me. I don't think that I ever consciously make my jobs and talents the root of my confidence, but the degree to which I've been shaken by the removal of those opportunities proves to me that my priorities have got to be at least a little out of whack. And, I am very excited to just focus on preparing for being Spud's mommy. I definitely have a giant stack of books to read! The whole moving thing will be upon me quicker than I want it to be anyway, so it's probably good that I have lots of time to organize and clean everything about the apartment. I'll have to avoid procrastination!