In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I managed to stay busy! I worked at the boutique twice a week, had physical therapy sessions the other three weekdays, saw my orthopedist, subbed 4 nights of dance classes at two different studios, took weekly GYROTONIC lessons, went to ballet twice, and managed to fit in some time with friends.
My last appointment with my orthopedist was quick and painless. He was pleased with the progress I’ve made, but agreed that I should continue with physical therapy. Although I started taking ballet barre, I have a long way to go until I will be strong enough to do a full production show in heels, as required by my job. I will see the doctor again in the middle of January, and hope to be declared “fit for duty”!
In my spare time at home, I rearranged the second floor. When the rent on my storage unit in San Francisco increased a couple years ago, I moved all of my boxes and furniture home. My parents graciously allowed me to store everything upstairs, thus taking over the second floor living space. In December, we cleared out my sister’s old furniture and moved all my boxes into her room, freeing up the living space. I set up my furniture in the main room, and banished the boxes behind closed doors. It looks much better, but is simultaneously comforting and unsettling for me to see my furniture in my parent’s home!
One of my closest friends from my first contract has recently relocated to Texas. I met up with him and his new girlfriend for brunch at Winewood. Three hours later, we parted ways, and planned to meet up again later that evening. His girlfriend, who luckily I adore, invited me to her neighbor’s Ugly Christmas Sweater Party and White Elephant Liquor Exchange that night. I snagged a small bottle of Maker’s Mark in the liquor exchange, met some nice new people, and spent an obscene amount on Uber rides!
The next afternoon, my friend Chelsea came over to help me decorate the Christmas tree. Chelsea and I realized that we are each other’s oldest friends! We were both new students in the Junior Company at our dance studio in 8th grade. We were also born one day apart! She is someone with whom I can always easily fall back into sync with, regardless of how long we’ve been apart. During this extra long vacation/recovery time, I’ve been very luckily to have Chelsea’s support and friendship. She’s hooked me up with some subbing opportunities, and has been available when I need a friend. She’s also an excellent photographer, and has shot some of my audition photos, in addition to some beautiful wedding phtos! This particular day, we decorated, chatted, and then went to check out a new café, Kindred Coffee.
One evening after working at the boutique, I was able to meet my last roommate for coffee! She also lives in the DFW area, and the boutique I worked at was about halfway between our homes. It was so nice to spend time with her! We live in such close quarters on the ship that we are forced to get to know each well. We can talk about real life concerns just as easily as silly ship drama. Seeing her made remember all the other wonderful people that I met and worked with on my last contract. There were some real gems, including my roommate!
My parents and I went to see opening night of “The Nutcracker” after a delicious dinner at Grace. The performance was beautiful, but I had a hard time keeping still. It was the same choreography I performed for 3 seasons, or to put it another way, for 90+ performances. A week later, Chelsea joined us to go see “The Nutty Nutcracker”, a spoof of the holiday classic that incorporates current events. The lead family was characters from “Star Wars”, and the battle scene was Storm Troopers vs. Jedis. The show was hilarious! A highlight of the night was that I was able to wear heels for the first time!
It was a busy but fun couple weeks! I left for the holidays in Virginia feeling good. My physical therapist had told me to “work towards normal”, and I felt more normal that I had in months.