“Retrospect”: Stage + Studio by Annie Honebrink

Sometimes I don’t realize that I am missing something until I have it back—like when I loan Star Wars: Episode V to a friend and get it back months later and watch it and realize how much I had missed it. Or when Keith’s cheerful voice is at the other end of the phone line and my heart suddenly rises a bit—even though I didn’t know it was low. Or when I finally release a breath that I didn’t realize I had been holding for years and the little parts that make me me start to find their way back into my soul. Sometimes I don’t realize that I was drowning until I am flying again.

Last week I was able to do center work in class for the first time in nearly seven months. I love exercises and therapy work and barre combinations; however, nothing can compare to the soul soaring freedom of movement and dance. I felt like a child, the giddy joy bubbling inside my chest. I cried that night, as if belatedly grieving those months unable to dance. As if just realizing how much I had been missing. You can get used to just about anything, and sometimes it is easier to stuff those feelings of loss or frustration or pain inside. In this case the grieving was short lived. I have a renewed vigor in my resolve. I feel the same stubborn determination I have held within me my entire life—especially as a little girl.

When I finally get the something I was missing back, I find a new appreciation for it. It becomes more precious. I don’t usually realize that I am lost when I am. I don’t see the little pieces chipping away. I don’t notice that they were gone until I have them back inside my soul. Funny—how much I take for granted in life. Funny—how much of ourselves we can lose along the way—and how much we can gain if we remember to look and love and live.