And so the race to the finish line of all that is familiar begins.
Earbaby has headed into her graduation year with new challenges and anxieties and we're just trying to ride out the daily storms. When she isn't hiding in her room, napping, eating, watching anything on Netflix, or losing brain cells because of Love & Hip Hop or Mob Wives, she's dancing. And dancing. And dancing.
EB has started to narrow her choices in what she wants to major in for college and dance is going to be a part of it, at least as a minor. A sociology class in school has piqued her interest, and now psychology/sociology is on her radar as something she is acutely interested in. Adding a dance minor now means she may be looking for a combination of those subjects that could morph into dance therapy. These ideas and interests are subject to change, but I'm just glad she's starting to focus on what she wants to do in the next chapter of her life.
And the college concerns have begun anew. While she is guaranteed a spot in Kansas, she is now taking a longer look at historically black colleges in the south. Now it's just a matter of if she will be accepted, if we can take a trip to see it, if she will like it, if the price will be astronomical because she is from out of state, if there will be any scholarships or grants available and offered to her, and if we can still afford it if there is no scholarship or grant money. But other than those minor issues (!) no worries, right?
Also, she is already talking about prom shopping. Of course she won't wear either dress from last year, and the date from last year is persona non grata (she won't even say his name), so anything associated with him is forever tainted. She is thinking about going alone, but still wants a really fancy (read: expensive) dress for her senior prom.
EB has also tried, with limited success, more outings with friends. She planned a New Year's dinner with mixed results. It was the usual nonsense from teenagers, half wouldn't commit, some came late bringing more people than planned for, and she was upset with the chaos. She still ended up with a bunch of friends to bring in the New Year, so that was a win. I reminded her that her friends were always chaotic and sketchy on details of outings and the story she told of the night actually ended up being kind of funny. Other outings haven't always been as funny; a recent attempt at a group movie date ended with everyone bailing out on her at the last minute and her ending up going to the mall and for ice cream with a friend. She won't acknowledge her own culpability in these failed plans -- group chats that half the group ignores, phones that always die, assumptions made on where and when, abrupt changes in plans and last-minute decisions to do something together in the first place. Because she now has access to a car, she forgets that others still are coming from all over the city on public transportation and have to plan accordingly.
But at least she's trying to find her footing among friends again. After nearly a year of isolation, she just has to be more patient. And forgiving.
At the end of the day, there's still her dance. EB just got fitted for her first pair of pointe shoes, a humongous step for someone who for years fought taking ballet, the foundation for being a strong professional. She's had 15 years of dance, but has really buckled down in the last few, with different studios and disciplines. Now she has six dance classes a week and helps out in a seventh. She's busy, tired, but realizing that the time for getting ready for a college dance program is growing very short indeed. I'm just happy that she isn't wasting time with people who diminish her instead of uplifting her.
This first month of the new year has been all about her introspection. Yes, she wants to spend time with friends, but her focus is no longer on parties and all the bad behavior and decisions that it led to in the past. She isn't really interested in romantic entanglements, after a few months of a flirtation with a classmate that just seemed to not get beyond the texting phase. She's been pegged to do more modeling and believes it will help her self-confidence and I believe she's absolutely right on that. Right now, she says, she's working on herself. After that long time of trying to please so many others, who turned against her, I believe she is focusing on the real person who matters. Like the man says, you can't please everyone, so you just have to please yourself.