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AGING


“Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art.” - Stanislaw Jerzy Lec


Prompt:

Aging is something we all face.

And recently, aging as a performance artist has been on my mind. I’ll get into the details of my own experience in our discussion, but I’d like to bring more perspectives together into a single conversation. What are some of the things you’ve: faced, learned, unlearned or been curious/concerned about?


My Answer:

So, recently, I was diagnosed with menopause. And the very first thing someone said when I told them was… “Oh no! Are you going to quit doing aerial?” And of course was pretty shocked by that statement. I responded with, “I’m trying to embrace this as entering the Crone and becoming the tribal matriarch.” But all jokes aside, it was definitely a very real thing for me to wrap my head around. Even before that, I could feel my perspective shifting, as I find myself living in a world where I drink from the cup while also passing it along.


Thoughts and Actions:

I’ve always thought in many ways, the career of the performing artist (esp the female performing artist) is unfair. In most careers, as you “age” or gain experience, you become more valuable. But that is often not the same case in performing arts. As we age, our physical performance declines, as does our ability to recover. Our bodies change, and some of the characters or “looks” we once embodied or displayed no longer feel right.


Here are some things that I know:


Society puts a RIDICULOUS, UNREALISTIC pressure on people to “stay young”. Why? Money. It plays on insecurities, doubts, and fears… and it’s incredibly profitable. Just imagine what the world would look like if we cultivated an appreciation for aging instead of trying to reverse it.


Movement is medicine. There are a few things [skills] that I have let go of over the years but for the most part - due to injuries and a changing body, but overall I’m really happy being able to move mostly in the way I want. And I plan to continue to do that for as long as its fun and feels good. Ands if it doesn’t I’ll do something else.


I am here now, and it’s the only opportunity I have to be here in this exact moment and place, so I may as well enjoy it and use my time well.


Here are some things I have earned with age:

  • Confidence - I may not be who I once was, but I know my value better now than I ever have

  • Experience - curiosity and trust allow me to always be collecting more new experiences

  • A Voice - with confidence and experience come a voice

  • A Refined Sense of Style - as we get to know ourselves better our style evolves

  • Greater Motor Control - I AM STILL IMPROVING

  • Perspective - my perspective constantly evolves, because I stay curious

  • Appreciation - I deeply appreciate all of my experiences, my lessons learned, and what I “have” now

  • Better Words - this gives me the ability to help others




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