I know a string of New Year’s Resolutions posts will be published soon, and this is no different, but I’m happy to say that I’ve already started on them. I got a kick of motivation recently, and I’m going to take advantage of that. Sometimes it’s so hard to just get started, but I’m tired of half-jokingly saying that I peaked at 16. I used to be able to do so many things and much of that is in part to having an amazing mom. I think she built work ethic in me, and being a dancer herself she’s incredibly creative and loves staying active. I like to think I got that from her. At 56 she’s running 10Ks, dancing every chance she gets, and even dabbling in choreography. I don’t know many moms at this age that have managed to stay so fit mentally and physically.
After speaking to my therapist (yes I have one, you should get one), she told me I need to stay challenged creatively and she noticed that I find happiness in succeeding at something challenging, but also very technical – playing piano concertos, ballet, etc. I never thought about it this way, and realized that this may have been the source of a lot of my frustration recently. I haven’t challenged myself in this way in over 10 years. I say I used to play piano. I used to dance. But, it really kills me inside that I can’t anymore. So, I decided that’s going to change. I’ve come up with a few resolutions that I’m happy to say that I’ve already started:
1. Play Piano
Fantasie Impromptu Op. 66 by Chopin
The first piece I’ll play is Fantasie Impromptu Op. 66 by Chopin. I was thinking about playing the concerto I last played in high school: Mozart Piano Concerto No. 21, but I wanted to play something I never played before, and one that doesn’t need an accompaniment. I thought this was a good start back into piano. I’ve started practicing everyday again and I’m happy to say that it wasn’t as daunting as I had thought. After about 30 min my fingers started moving like they used to. I have the first page down, and while I had to force myself to practice for hours when I was a teenager, I’m now finding it incredibly fun! I practiced for 2 hours yesterday night and didn’t even know it!
2. Jazz and Ballet
This has been a little harder to do because I haven’t found a dance studio in Los Angeles that I love yet. I’ve tried Edge Performing Arts, Align Ballet Method, Studio A Dance, and Leisa Collins Ballet. It seems like many of these classes aren’t very technical. I think they focus on getting you a workout and just having fun, which I understand is important especially for adult dance classes, but I really want a class with a few number of students that will really work on your technique. I’m going to Hama Dance Center next week, which I’ve heard is very strong on the technical side, so :fingerscrossed:! If anyone has any recommendations on great jazz and ballet classes in Los Angeles please let me know! Distance is no issue (within reason, probably don’t want to drive more than an hour to a dance class) if the class is amazing.
Yoga is fairly new to me and something I started earlier this year. I never thought I’d like it because it’s fairly slow and I like to be moving around in a “fitness” class. But, after my best friend recommended that I try hot yoga at CorePower Yoga, I was hooked! It really helped me relax mentally while sweating it out. However, after taking months of the same classes, I got a little bored. The classes weren’t challenging enough and I basically knew every move the instructor was going to say next. They all sort of follow a similar pattern. So, I recently decided to take it up a notch and focus on poses. This has really changed my view of yoga, and I’m currently working on a tripod head stand. To be honest, I started 2 days ago and it hasn’t been really successful as I keep falling over, but I’m not afraid of attempting it now. I kept thinking I was going to break my neck if I even tried, but I know I’m not going to do that now, so I guess that’s step 1 right?
4. Coding Bootcamp
- UCLA Extension Coding Bootcamp: I’ve heard some amazing reviews of this bootcamp, so I’ve sent in an application.
- Hack Reactor: From what I’ve read this seems like the most successful(?) bootcamp in terms of getting hired as a developer after, so the acceptance rate is very low. But, getting hired is not really the end goal for me. I just want to learn and build things on my own. I’ve sent in my application, but I’m not confident in my ability to pass their technical interview. It looks pretty tough just at first glance.
- Udacity: I’ve heard great things about their programs, and know a grad school friend who was very successful with their Full Stack program.
Any other recommendations in the Los Angeles area would be greatly appreciated!
In order to document my progress I decided to use my Passion Planner. It was recommended to me from my colleague, and I’m loving it. It’s been great to help me figure out exactly what I want in 1 month, 3 months, 1 year, 3 years, and my lifetime. It isn’t just focused on your career either. While that’s definitely a part of it, it also takes into consideration your family goals and personal achievements. I know we all think of these things, but it really helped to write it all out. I highly recommend getting one. It’s free if you just print out their PDFs, but I really love the notebook. It’s high quality and just fun to write in.
Happy New Year!