Riley A letter to my 15-year-old self

Dear Riley,

I know you're sitting in your room right now crying and blasting Adele, which is only making your pain sting so much more.

I know you're sitting there replaying that audition, that bad ballet day, that correction over and over again asking why do I do this to myself? Why do I spend 20-40 hours working myself like a dog just to be in 3 pieces? Why am I in this 2 hour rehearsal where I'm only on stage for 30 seconds when I could be hanging out with my friends instead?

Why am I doing this?

My favorite thing I've heard since being in college is "You will fall in and out of love with dance a thousand times over, but your passion will never die".

There are days that I don't want to drag my sore and bruised body out of bed and stare myself down in the mirror as I struggle to follow along.

But I do it, not for today, but for the days when my love for dance soars higher than any sauté.

I do it for the days when the stars align and that correction, that ballet class, that audition finally clicks and you feel something so magical that I can't even fully describe.

If you quit now you are losing the potential to have the best day of your life. You will miss the potential to fall so deeply in love with dance again. And if you quit now and you find a way years later to remember how much you love what you did and you realize you have that all up on a whim, you will feel worse than any failed audition has made you feel.

So you listen to what Adele is screaming is at you through the tears, keep on chasing those payments.

You'll thank me later, Riley

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