The career transition column by Liz Weldon
A longing for growth and new experiences was a huge part of my final decision to leave. Walking away is never easy, but sometimes facing the pain of growth is better than staying the same. The amount of pressure I was putting on myself, my low self-esteem, the craving for validation, and being in a workplace where I didn’t feel emotionally safe became more and more unmanageable the longer I was dancing. I would have loved to keep dancing, but maybe stepping away from that environment was the only way to try to learn to love and value myself. Honestly, it’s still a work in progress, but I’ve also come a long way from where I was.
A huge part of my healing process has been forgiving myself for all the times I wasn’t ok and acknowledging that I was doing my best in challenging situations.
Looking back, I think it's important to hold both gratitude for my career and also its disappointments simultaneously. Both feelings have permission to exist because both are true. I know I truly have so much to be grateful for, but also hold quite a bit of sadness and regret, which can be hard. I try to focus my attention on the special moments throughout my career. I had many amazing coworkers who believed in me and encouraged me when I didn’t believe in myself. Through ballet, I met so many beautiful people that I’m blessed to call my friends. My relationship with ballet is constantly evolving and much different than it was. It’s now much healthier.