I have a friend (one of my best friends) who’s schedule is so choc-a-bloc that it’s difficult to find time to see her. Are you free then? No. How about then? Not really. Is an all too common conversation between us, it’s probably all that our text conversations consist of. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, in fact, if she were out of the picture I would be the busiest out of my friendship group. I have, on numerous occasions discussed this with said friend, and have always come to the conclusion that busy is best.
You see, having spoken to people in the dance community it seems that being a freelancer (or someone with any sort of portfolio career) is a repetitive pattern of feast or famine. Sometimes you’ll be busy all the time, rushed off your feet and praying for a single day’s holiday. Other times sat bored at home, endlessly applying for jobs and living off savings. Frugal living for the win! Now a freelance portfolio career is something wholly exciting to me, in fact I’d go as far as to say it’s very intellectually and emotionally stimulating (no sniggering please), but it does throw up some (economic and time) problems.
I have constantly juggled my dance career (I gave up all other hobbies one by one over the years), my A-levels and my social life for most of my adolescence. My boyfriend and I even broke up because I just couldn’t devote enough time to our relationship- these things happen. I’ve missed out on parties, birthdays, holidays etc. etc. Yeah, it’s annoying, especially when you have to sit in on post-event chats and catch up on the gossip and misunderstand the inside jokes, but I’m used to it. I’d rather miss out on a Saturday night party to go to CAT on a Sunday, because I have to prioritise my time and energy.
Ergo, being busy is the best, because I quite literally go insane when I have nothing to do. Holidays are insufferable. I don’t know how to handle free time, because I’ve never really had it. This is heightened by the fact that a dance career is short, so short that you have to prioritise it over everything. I could take a gap year, but I probably wouldn’t enjoy it and my dance career probably wouldn’t get off the ground! I have some gene inside me that won’t let me rest.
I wouldn’t change it though. Nothing fills me with more joy than having a full diary. An empty page is gutting. Nobody to see or nothing to do makes me feel infinitely lonely. That’s why this summer I barely have a moment’s peace. Whether I’m working, dancing or seeing friends I am guaranteed to be busy. Life is too short to waste time. This does upset my mum, because now I’m barely in the house, but it’s not like I’m leaving forever, believe me I’ll be back when the washing machine’s broken, or I’m totally skint.