Writing is a form of therapy for me, but I decided to post this here on the Dance du Soleil website, since I get questions from students and dance friends often about when we’re moving, how it’s going, and what is next for Dance du Soleil.

Unfortunately, this time in my life has been extremely stressful and to put it any other way would be a lie.

Three things I want readers to keep in mind as they are reading this post:

  1. I will be fine.
  2. I am not trying to elicit pity or sympathy from anyone.
  3. This is not one of those attempts to brag about “Wow look how busy I am”.

So here’s the update…

I’m not saying that I can’t handle what life throws at me, because I can. I CAN and I will get through all of this, and come January I’ll probably be bored out of my mind. But, to say that the last two months have been stressful is, well, an understatement to say the least. Honestly, I have to laugh at this point!

Let me start by saying when you move out of state you have a lot of loose ends to tie up in your current situation. Plus you have to get a new life. For me that has meant closing the studio and all that goes along with that, moving Babi out to her new apartment on campus, which was actually pretty easy going (thank goodness!), and finding a new place for Joe and I to live in Atlanta, which was a real pain and took weeks, but yes, we found a new place. It is super nice and cute and it won’t even begin to fit all of (or maybe ANY of) our furniture that we currently own in it. Thankfully, there is an Ikea in Atlanta.

OF COURSE, during those times in life when you feel like you’re at your maximum, there are always annoying spin off problems too. Let me also add at this time that I am a person who absolutely hates confrontation. A situation that requires me to confront and argue with someone gets me pretty worked up. And it feels like confronting and arguing is all I’ve been doing for the past two months. I think my head might explode actually.

Closing the studio and dealing with my landlord during this process has been pretty stressful. Being a people pleaser, I always want to make everyone happy, but the requests from the landlord have been above and beyond what is fair. The discussion back and forth about money and paint and carpet has been absolutely exhausting. I hate disappointing people, even when I know I’m right. And I hate not being able to follow through on my word, even though I know I can’t, and even when I feel someone’s trying to take advantage- it still bothers me! Ugh.

Also, getting out of our lease in our current residence has been a little stressful too, and not just because of the exorbitant amount of money the apartment LLC is requesting. They had to have a cashiers check for this exorbitant amount of money on the same day that we signed the early termination. All this was figured out ahead of time with pro-rated rent. We bank with Bank of America, natch, and they don’t have a single branch in Columbus. Well, just so happened that Joe was in Charlotte, NC last week where they have tons of branches, so he went and got the cashiers check there. He was planning to go to the leasing office at our apartment Friday when he got home from the airport and do the transaction then. Of course his flight back on Friday was delayed until 7 pm- after the leasing office was closed Friday! OF COURSE. What followed was more aggro (is this just a Hatchett word or do you use this too?)….anyway, what followed was more aggravation of several conversations with our leasing office manager, and frantic, unsuccessful attempts to get on a flight that would get him home on time to get to the office Friday. We did somehow convince the leasing manager to let Joe come in right at opening on Saturday morning, but not early enough to save us the all that aggro.

Stress gets a girl down and last week I felt so crappy I thought I had strep throat. I went to the doctor and found out it’s just a bad sinus infection. On the way home from the doctor, still feeling crappy, I got into a fender bender in our parking lot. My neighbor hit me while driving because her vision was totally obstructed due to the trash bag full of trash that she had placed on her hood right in front of her face. Yes, she was driving with absolutely no vision at all. None. WOW. Of course the main thing is no one was hurt, but because it was on private property and we are neighbors, the police didn’t want to have anything to do with it and refused to file a report or even make a note that I called them. Then it turns out that my neighbor does not have insurance. Yay. So now we are left with trying to collect the cost of the damages from our neighbor privately. More conflict. Such fun. Did I mention that I was driving Joe’s car for the first time when this happened? The one he rubs with a diaper every weekend? Yeah. Oh, and although the damages look pretty minimal, I found out after running around collecting estimates all week that they actually come to about $1000. In the midst of all these moving expenses, that’s $1000 we don’t have. I will say that so far our neighbors have been very nice and apologetic about this, and if they actually come through with the money, they may just restore my belief in humanity. Trying to stay hopeful about this one.

This is more of just a side note problem, but is worth mentioning for a good laugh. After the fender bender with my neighbor I left the next day to travel to Atlanta to look for our new home. We purchased a flight out of the CAK (Akron/ Canton) airport because it was almost $300 cheaper and I figured I could combine a visit with the fam. For those of you reading who are not local, Akron/ Canton is a 2 hour drive from Columbus. So I drove up in Joe’s Mustang (my car needs 4 new tires so I couldn’t drive it), got on my flight and made it to Atlanta without a hitch. Of course, on the way back it wouldn’t be so easy. Upon my return I was able to drive over to mom and dad’s house, and had a wonderful lunch visit with them and my aunt Daisy at Bob Evans (mom’s favorite). After lunch, I asked my dad to accompany me to the gas station so I could put some air in my tires and get gas. My dad yelled to me “what’s the deal with this gas cap?”. Well, it turned out that the gas cap had a lock on it so I texted Joe: Hey, how do I get your gas cap off?? Him: with the key. Me: where’s the key. Him: on my key ring. Me: Ooohhhhh you must mean the key ring that I left in Columbus. Great. Two and a half hours, two bobby pins, one safety pin, one knife, one trucker, and one mechanic later we finally went to Auto Zone, where we found a hero who broke the cap off in under a minute. On the upside, I did get to spend all this lock picking adventure with my dad and we laughed a lot.

On top of all that I have been extremely worried about my mom up north as she has been quite ill lately and in the hospital. It’s really hard to see your loved ones going through turmoil when you are far away. She is in a better place as I write this today and I am praying for her situation to remain stable until I am settled in Atlanta when things calm down. Thank you God for that one!

And the hardest part is that while all this craziness is going on, I don’t have a dance studio anymore where I can dance off the stress! Closing the studio was like closing a huge part of my life. Part of myself really. The studio was not only my livelihood (ahem…if you want to call it that), but it was also what I did every day. It gave me a purpose to dream, scheme and plan. Maybe most importantly, it was also my exercise. And during times of stress you need exercise! While owning the studio I HAD to dance every day, whether I wanted to or not. And there were many occasions when I bitched and moaned the entire drive to the studio because I didn’t feel like going.  But after three hours of dancing, on the way home I had not a care in the world. Because that’s what dancing does for you. Ask any dancer and they will confirm. Besides the physical benefits, the studio was also my social support group. I think it was for many of us who gathered there. I often said I saw those ladies more than I saw my own husband, and that is true! Not that I don’t have amazing friends for life that came out of the studio (and all the studios before it, and aside from dance), but it’s not the same as seeing everyone on a daily basis. There’s something to be said for that. I am sorely missing Dance du Soleil Columbus and all the lovely ladies inside.

With Joe traveling for his new job all the time, and Babi moved out, suddenly I am home totally alone, like for days on end. Now, moms, I know what you’re thinking and yes, at times it’s awesome. But at times, it’s also, well….lonely. I can’t help but think that this would have been a perfect time for me to own a dance studio actually, with most business taking place between Monday and Thursday night- exactly when my husband is gone. I had intended to give myself a break from dance for a while, but maybe I will have to start classes going again sooner than I thought.

Because of all of the constant assault of an unusual amount of stress, my blood pressure and heart rate has been so high that my doctor put me on medication. She said it could probably just be a temporary thing until I get through this transition in my life. Geez, it’s crazy what stress can physically do to your body.

Don’t get me wrong, I have lots of ideas in my back pocket and I am very excited for the future and possibilities. I just need my Ativan right now. I would love it if I could hibernate like the bear until I’m on the other side of all this madness. That would be great.

Update to my current situation (12/3/15)

So things are looking up. We have managed to get through the bulk of all the stress and are now down to the Holiday Hafla (our annual dance recital), and the actual move itself.

And, the neighbor compensated us for the damage she caused to our car, and the buyout of our apartment lease was approved. I got my new tires and my mom’s doing even better. Oh, and my blood pressure has gone down almost back to normal. There is a light at the end of the tunnel!

The Holiday Hafla- First of all, what was I thinking doing it with all this stuff going on?!!? Geez Louise!Well, it’s bringing some sanity in a way to my life and it’s coming up soon!  December 13th to be exact, and I’m a busy choreography bee right now. I’m listening to music while I work around the house, ordering costume items, and holding rehearsals in my basement among our boxes. I really hope to see all the beautiful faces that graced the Dance du Soleil dance floor in my workshop that day! We still have lots of open spots for performers too- so message me if you’re interested. You don’t have to perform in the show just to take the workshop by the way. But you do have to register for the workshop in order to perform in the show. Wow, that’s like a dance riddle. LOL. To register, visit our Holiday Soleil page, or message me at dancedusoleil@gmail.com.

Packing? Well, that’s not moving along as swiftly as I’d like because there are only so many hours in the day. I’ll admit I am having scary nightmares of movers picking up poorly packed boxes in my house while my underwear and other highly personal belongings fall out all over the floor.

I am still missing the studio every day. I really cannot WAIT to see all my girls at the workshop and move together again. It’s going to feel like old times.

I think the worst is over and I’m really looking forward to some boredom after the holidays. No matter what, it’s all going to be over soon- TEN DAYS till Holiday Soleil, THIRTEEN DAYS till moving day and TWENTY TWO DAYS till Christmas. Hallelujah! I think it actually might be OK.

XO,

Leyla