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Cleaning out the Laundry

I started this year by moving…literally. Movers at my house at 11am on January 1st. Some thought I was crazy but after traveling for years on end and realizing that this may be a year where I am actually home…there’s nothing quite like doing a life sweep.

By that I mean, going through old letters and remembering those moments. Actually throwing away the junk mail instead of just making a pile. Tossing out that single sock collection and the “the other one will show up one day” idea.( we all say it) Getting rid of clothes that i’ve been holding onto since 8th grade.
Yes, 8th grade.

In total I donated 9 bags of stuff. Clothes, shoes, and electronics. Take that hoarders!!

On a whole other level- i’m cleaning out my emotional laundry. Getting down to the root of some issues and really digging into what my core is made of. I’ve honed in on the fact of how much pride I take in doing things for myself. When I want it to happen, I fucking make it happen.

And right now mama wants a Hyundai santa fe sport….

This will be the first car I will go and get myself. The first car i’ve ever test driven. The first time I will sit down and sign these papers. I am going to be sad to say bye to Lola ( my scion TC) but it’s time to get a big girl car. It’s time to say goodbye to the last thing my parents financially helped me with. It’s just…time.

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Change

No matter where you are from or what circumstances you are under right now, everyone is familiar with the idea of “change”.

But it is our circumstances and where we are from that mold what we attach to the word. Once we have established that…if it’s not associated with a positive word…it is the act of putting the word into play that can manipulate our futures.!
Think about it. If everything that had ever changed in my life I had seen as a negative, I would do nothing but fight to ever see change as a good thing. Because the world and life had proven it otherwise.

But what if we could fix that? What if, just because all prior experiences were bad, we could be open enough to allow that word to be a good word? What a powerful idea.

In my life currently there are so many positive changes taking place. I have received them all graciously and quite excitedly to be honest. Whether I felt totally prepared when they initially started or not…none of that really matters. I was forced to flip on a new switch. And instead of webbing the door I was about to walk through with resistance…I laid down my weapons of restriction and walked right through. And man…. does it feel good.
For 2015, lets all try it. Let’s try to see change as wondrous thing. Let’s get out of our own way and not let our past define us. Because if you don’t let it, it won’t.

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I’m back.

If I created this space so that I can be honest to whoever reads it, I suppose I should do just that.
It’s been a while since I’ve written. And to those wondering, no… I didn’t stop working out I just had a few things happen to me that have mustered my inspiration to write. I also feel like if I am going to try to inspire others, I have to take breaks when I myself am struggling to find it.

Things have changed. I went through a breakup and had my heart shattered. And it’s funny… because they say that when people are in pain or experiencing any sort of extreme emotions they are normally the best writers. I didn’t feel that way. I felt empty…and I think a part of me still does. And when you’re empty, the last thing you want to do is sit down and write about your feelings for others to read. Being vulnerable is scary.

But here I am, so I guess I’m taking baby steps.

I don’t want to give off the impression that with a broken heart, I sat in a dark room and cried for 6 months. That would be so dramatic. I am currently studying to get certified as a personal trainer. I’ve also been working a ton, for which I am grateful, as well as reestablishing relationships with friends. And learning to love myself all over again.

I have been keeping track of things that I would like to write about and I plan on writing about each and every one of them.
Even though I’m still recovering…. I’m back and ready to write.

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A letter to dancers. Taking classes we want vs classes we need.

Dear Dancers,

I want/need to get something off my chest. From being able to be LA for a period of time it has become clear to me that not only are all dancers, including myself, creatures of habits but we are also so comfortable in those habits that we are afraid. Not afraid the same way we are scared of “paranormal activity” ….we are absolutely afraid to look foolish in class and in front of our fellow dancers.

You may say, “ that’s not me”. But before you rule yourself out of this equation ask yourself the following:

“When was the last time I tried a new teacher?”
“ Am I only taking classes that I know I will excel at?”
“ What style do I need to work on to further my career?”

Scary right?

I think it’s about finding a good fusion and allowing the classes that make your heart happy be the REWARD for your training in other areas of your craft. Take classes that will humble you and then take that one class that makes you so happy. Don’t just surround yourself with teachers that give you only praise. Go into a class and TRY. See who the teacher liked and notice the choices those dancers are making. Come back and try those things…and keep trying.
If we keep taking the same classes by the same teacher, how do we expect to evolve into the most talented generation of dancers the world has seen? Shouldn’t that be our goal? Have your own voice and allow dance to fuel your soul everyday but I think if we get out there as a team and put ourselves in areas of discomfort we can ASTOUND ourselves at what we are capable of.

Maybe a teacher you never thought could see something in you that you never even knew could be ignited?! WHAT IF???

Maybe, just maybe, show up at your regularly scheduled class time and hop into the other class.

Don’t let your class just be a giant love fest. It should be a challenge and you should feel inspired to be greater every time. You should never feel comfortable.

Reach a level of discomfort and embrace it.

Be responsible for your art. Do your part and do it well. It’s not meant to be easy.

Let’s dance and feel strange together….

See you in a different room,
Sloan

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12/30
Today is the type of day I’m sure most people have experienced.

Today would be my aunt’s birthday, and it’s the first one since she left us in September.
When the first holiday, birthday, or family tradition rolls around and they aren’t there it’s the strangest feeling…. And I know I’m not an expert but I have found some things that help me cope.

I think it’s important to keep traditions alive and to do things they would have loved to do on their birthdays.

I am not a religious person, but I do believe there’s a stellar place in the sky for the good people to go and I know all the people I have lost are up there. I would also like to think that when they can they are taking a break from their party in the sky to look at us and keep us on track.
Keep your senses peeled for signs. They may be simple but open your eyes wider and listen a little more closely.
Right before my aunt passed away, my cousin had shared with me that my aunt really liked the song “ blurred lines”. I SHIT YOU NOT after she passed…it was on in the car EVERY SINGLE TIME we got into it.

Along with that, I believe it’s important to live our lives with them in mind on a daily basis. Not just on those specific days.
Imagining what they would say or do when we are torn between choices…and then acting on that choice.

When we miss them, cry for them and be connected to that emotion. Get it out but then get brave for them and live your damn life to the best of your ability. My moms used to say, “ save your tears for something important. Your tear ducts will run out of tears”
I will forever miss my aunt. There is no denying that. She could light up any room and got so much joy out of seeing us girls happy… so we will do just that. Be happy.

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This is about acknowledging every achievement and throwing yourself a mini dance party… if you want :)
When I first got my Nike Running watch it was just to track my treadmill runs but it eventually inspired me to randomly run a marathon and as you have (hopefully) read a half marathon as well.

The other day I plugged in my watch and saw on the screen that I had run over 400 miles…. (see attached image)
Now, that’s a lot of miles!I am completely aware and even typing it is crazy. Also someone said, “ you could have fun from La to phoenix” and dammit, they were right.

When I got the watch I didn’t say, “ When I hit 400 miles I am going to celebrate”. But when that number came up I thought, “ now that’s a fucking accomplishment”. Because it is! But what did that accomplishment make me want to do… run more. Get to 500,600, and 700. Even though I don’t run everyday and it may take me years to get there I know that from now on, each landmark needs to be celebrated.

Think about what that means. CELEBEBRATE EVERY ACHIEVEMENT. Don’t get so lost focusing on all of your huge dreams that you don’t cheer yourself on each step of the way. And sometimes look in the mirror and go, “Congratu-fucking-lations” to yourself.

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Nueva Esperanza Charter Academy

When you have something that you have worked hard for you should never keep it to yourself. This has nothing to do with holiday spirit but simply about doing the right thing.

I was asked by my friend Jessica to go and teach dance for one day at a school called Nueva Esperanza Charter Academy.
So I did so. Not asking for anything in return. And I left with so much.

The kids wanted some Gaga, so they got a modified version. But honestly, these kids opened up my eyes.

They were all different. Some of them having special needs and learning disabilities but their hearts were all so full of gratitude. And in turn, I gave them my all.

They were focused, hard working, and determined to get the steps. So we did that.
We got it.

The feeling was free. There was no exchange of anything but love.
These kids who go home to some, not so lovely setting, were BLISSFUL with me…..
We all shared our love of dance on the cold concrete of their school’s courtyard.
It was MAGIC.

I am better because of them and that hour.
Not for the holiday’s but because I could. It is now my goal to do something WHENEVER I can to provide that feeling to others. Whether it people or pets.

You should do the same.
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#giversgain
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With the holidays spirit still here for one more week, I thought it would only be right for me to tell you all about something special me and my family do and would like to spread the word to maybe make some more magic happen around the world.

We created our own “ street version” of Christmas angels.

We normally take a little bit of cash out of the bank. Anywhere between $50-$100 and when we feel inspired or compelled to hand it to a stranger or purchase a gift out of no where ,we do so.

Last year I ran around Walmart with envelopes that said “ you’ve been hit by an angel” and inside I put anywhere between $10-$40. I would see a family struggling to purchase a gift due to the cost and I would run up and literally CHUCK the envelope at them and run away screaming “ happy holidays”
This year (so far) my sister chose two men pumping her gas in NJ. It was FREEZING cold outside and their working conditions were less than stellar. She rolled down her window and with $100 bill in her hand said “ I would like to be your Christmas angle this year. This is for the two of you to split”. Then we drove off.
I was an angel for this sweet woman who I saw as I was leaving the Target parking lot on an extremely busy Saturday afternoon. She was PATIENTLY walking this old man across the street. Dressed in a nurse outfit I knew she was his caretaker. Even while the people in their cars were rolling there eyes and clearly NOT feeling the Christmas spirit and/or being considerate of what she was actually doing, she kept looking at the old man, who was EVER so slow, with the most loving and caring eyes.
That’s when I knew.

I quickly turned my car around, reparked, and ran back inside. I walked up and explained what my family and me do and also told her “ you are a part of a MUCH needed community and what you do for this man… can never be honored enough. Have an amazing holiday on me.” I stuffed the $100 in her pocket and saw her eyes water, then knew my job was done. So I flew away (haha I wish)

My cousin’s this year was something so simple but about something so much bigger. All that happened was that she had amazing service at CPK. Something no one would think twice about. My cousin was so drawn to her waitress’s charismatic personality and said,“ it’s her”. She tipped her $100 dollars with a message saying “ happy holiday’s”. The girl came back nearly in tears and said “ you have no idea how much I needed this”. Soon after the manager of the restaurant came over and thanked my cousin saying “ she’s having a tough time right now….and she’s one of the best I got”. Who would have known? That this spunky thing was going through so much.
The moral of this is that EVERYONE deserves to be a part of holiday magic. Even if you can’t give any money, go donate a jacket from your closet you never wear. Volunteer at a charity you are passionate about. And don’t put it off…the holiday’s are here NOW.
ACT.

#GIVERSGAIN