new chapters

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it’s always scary on your first day. but the good kind of scary as in “there’s butterflies swarming around my insides” instead of the bad kind of scary like “yikes, i think i’m being chased.” like how you felt on the first day of fifth grade, or the first day at your new big girl/boy job, or as was the case with me on saturday, my first day at my new barre studio.

confident in my barre abilities, i wasn’t completely unnerved as i stepped through the doors fifteen minutes shy of the first class of the day. i knew that while the choreography could be different, the fundamentals would essentially be the same. and where everything else felt uncertain, i was at least comforted in that.

i introduced myself to smiling brunette at the front desk and began to explain the story behind my first-time visit. she lit up like a christmas tree, welcoming me with open arms to the studio, assuring me that i would soon find a new home within these four walls. a blonde standing within earshot of our conversation chimed in after a few moments, too, corroborating the first woman’s claims. the two worked together like an effortless duo, taking turns to offer both assistance and assurance as they led me into the mirror-lined room and gathered the necessary tools for my pending hour-long workout.

and then the warm-up started. and just like that, the nerves melted away.

there i was, performing the exercises right along with the rest of the “veterans.” i mean, i wasn’t perfect, clearly. but i held my own, earning a few “great job, shawnas” amidst my many grimaces, missteps, and beads of sweat. and the playlist, my goodness, the playlist. it was perfect. justin and britney and pitbull, oh my! -a blend of melodies acting as the backdrop to every tuck and pulse. and when the class ended, i thanked the instructor for both her warm welcome and for every single one of those sixty minutes of sweat, stretch, and strain. i said goodbye to my new blonde barre “buddy” and told her that i’d see her soon. and before i left, i signed up for monday’s class, too.

in an hour’s time, those initial thoughts of uncertainty had been replaced with hope. i left with a smile, a renewed spirit, and feeling really really sore (in a good way!).

so yes, sometimes new chapters are scary and uncomfortable and maybe we’re left wishing that the preceding adventure never had to end in the first place (i mean, wouldn’t it have been nice if college could have lasted a few more years?). but sometimes we need new chapters to push us and stretch us and challenge us in ways (in my case, literally) that we might never have experienced before. the penning of a new chapter doesn’t take away from the one before it. each chapter is important in its own right and reason. but i think sometimes we get stuck in our ways, in our routines, in our comfort zones for far too long. but who can blame us? we crave comfort and familiarity, simplicity, and predictability. and i’ll be the first to admit that i’m a slave to my routine. but maybe we’re too regimented for our own good.

so when things transpire that are out of our control, maybe it’s God’s way of propelling us to write chapters we may never have written in the first place. i’m not saying i won’t miss pure barre and the community i made over those two and a half years, but maybe it was time for a change. a new chapter and season. new challenges and new relationships and new muscles in new places, too. and while i’m uncertain of where this next venture will take me, i can be sure of one thing: i’m going to be very sore.


new chapter


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