My third season at Ballet West begins tomorrow! Upon preparing, I find myself reflecting on a whirlwind of a lay-off. Summer came and went as quickly as a tightly styled curl on a humid NY day. Another summer gone by that I didn’t become a body builder, learn 3 new languages, have lunch with every person I’ve known since elementary school, or take a cruise to Malta. All was not lost however. I did get to spend a full summer with my long distance boyfriend. I survived a “NY gig” with little to no physical injuries. (The emotional injuries are beginning to heal.) I spent quality time with family and friends and made the most of being in one of the best cities in the world during its most claustrophobic and sweaty season. In the past, I’ve looked forward to resuming work with a mixture of excitement and disappointment as the summer days come to an end. Excited to work hard, perform again and go back to a job and lifestyle I care about and am grateful to have. Generally I’m just disappointed that I didn’t accomplish the (sometimes) ridiculous goals I’d set for myself, over a 2 month span, and nostalgic about leaving home. But not this year. As homesickness looms ever near, I know that I need some positive structure to survive the season. This year I figured a good place to start would be turning those overzealous summer goals into reality.

Thankfully, there are literally apps for that. Between Duolingo and Coursera, furthering my education and becoming a universal translator never seemed easier! Both are free, very easy to use and have a plethora of options. Coursera offers free online lectures and series on a multitude of subjects, taught from very prestigious universities and professors. There are options for payment and certificates, but if you just want to work at your own pace and learn about something you’re interested in, you can do that as well. It’s a great way to keep your brain in shape during the season, especially if you love learning and are not quite ready to enroll in school. Duolingo has promised to have me fluent in Italian in 6 weeks. I’ll keep you posted. Prego.

As far as Malta is concerned, its fortresses and clear blue waters continue to shine brightly in the future. I may not make it there next week, but I’ve tried to set up a pretty strict budget for travel. Eating out less, and saving outtings at the bar for special occasions, is a great way to stay healthy and add some weight to the piggy bank. I’m also re-attempting the 52 week money challenge ($1 week one, $2 week two etc.) to set aside money for summer shenanigans and long distance adventures on breaks.

I can’t have lunch with my pre-school best friend while I’m in Salt Lake. But I have found other ways to enhance my social environment. I’ve tried, not totally successfully, to start up a book club. (If you’re interested in joining, comment below) I’m excited to be part of a Saturday morning Pilates group, and the occasional Ladies Night. I’ve also discovered that is a decent way to meet new people with similar interests. In a different city, it might not be as safe to meet up with a bunch of strangers at bar. In Salt Lake, I’m probably the most dangerous person there 😉

When I first moved to Salt Lake from the Bronx 2 years ago, I had a difficult time adapting. Dancing at Ballet West was wonderful, but come Saturday and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was used to a city bustling with activity and opportunity every minute of the day, familiar faces and full strength beer. I looked forward to the summer, after my first season, as a chance to make up for all that I was “missing”. Man, time flies. I’m thrilled and ready to embark on my third season with the realization that each circumstance is only what you make of it. The possibilities in Salt Lake are truly endless. I just had to be willing to look for them…my pointe exactly.