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Making My Someday Be Today - Lessons In Letting Go

Making My Someday Be Today - Lessons In Letting Go

It’s after 2am Thursday morning, I just got up to go to the bathroom. As I was heading back to bed, Alanis Morissette’s ‘You Learn’ pops into my head. I’m jolted awake and suddenly felt the need to write. Maybe it was because I hugged a lot of people last night - some people I’ve known for years, some just a few weeks. You usually only get to hug that many people on big occasions - like weddings, funerals or family reunions. I know because I’ve been to many of at two of those three.

Last night was our last show as a dance studio - and everything hereafter will just feel like a formality. The part of me who lived so much of my life as the teacher, mentor, friend, counsellor to those kids will begin to shift that energy into the next chapter of my life. Today it finally felt real, and the chain reaction of my decision to seek that energy is something that makes me both apprehensive and excited all in the same breathe.

My Life Is Mine

Whatever the life that you want looks like - make that someday be one day, and one day be a day you can wake up to. Number those days until you begin to live it. Taste it. Breathe it until you weave it into your DNA. Dreams are just words when we live with our eyes closed. Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear - you just have to start walking.

I am grateful now for everything that was. My life is mine, through the shit and the glory, I am grateful.

Understanding The Value of Your Teachers

Understanding The Value of Your Teachers

I look so goofy in this photo - full teeth, all out, no holding back kind of smile. The kind of euphoria dancers feel when they know something life changing just happened. My body couldn’t handle both workshops - cramps creeped in on my arches, then my ankles, calves...yeah you get the picture. I was in a room full of teenagers and this was one of those nights where my bones really felt their age.

# 45 The Stone and The Balloon

I knew I took the wrong bus, but I didn’t care. My head hit the pillow at 5am on Sunday morning, and I was up at 9am. It was a sunny day in Auckland, a long weekend, so I felt I should at least see some of the city. Not sightseeing, just be somewhere outside of the motel walls. Cas and I had driven up to Auckland on Saturday morning, and I get lost a lot. A wrong turn took us somewhere into Pyes Pa, but we eventually headed back into the right direction, adding a few more kilometres to the journey.

Sometimes getting lost is good for me. In my day-to-day where I spend the majority the time organising, planning, being in control - it’s the not being in control, and not caring has the greatest appeal. Eventually this bus took me back to where I needed to go, it was just the long way round.

On the Saturday night we watched the teens division of a dance competition called ‘Grounded’, presented by Triple8Funk. It’s new to Auckland, and the concept was brought to life last year in Melbourne. The concept is to have the competition within a theatrical format, with the main criteria as creativity. Last year’s theme in Melbourne was ‘The Seven Deadly Sins’, and this year it’s ‘Prop Masters’. How can a choreographer tell their story using their assigned prop?

The Sunday night competition were for the adults and pros. Not only was the skill level incredible, each piece was thought provoking, and some felt like an intricate social commentary. As time goes by, we wonder if there is anything new to discover, a new perspective on the familiar, and the answer is yes. Creativity is only stale when we stop evolving, when we stop pushing boundaries, when we keep old thoughts and ideas about ourselves as our safety barrier - a comfortable, worn out blanket. It serves its purpose, just. Creativity stops when we stop learning.

The idea of the stone and balloon piece came to me in two stages: Sitting in the theatre during the Saturday night competition, and on the bus killing time. It revolves around a bad habit of mine that I’m trying to overcome...hitting the snooze button.

That person that wakes up in the morning, hits the snooze button, begging for one more minute of sleep. But to sleep one minute more, means a minute less of the rest of your life, where you can be living instead of dreaming…
— fivefootronna

The stone represents the anchors of comfort, living in the same town, hanging out with the same people, staying in the same job. As for the balloon and string, it represents trying to overcome fear and the struggle to change. This helium balloon only has a finite amount of gas because time is limited. What are the anchors in your life, why are you settling for a bit of happiness, instead of being happy? I don’t want to give away the ending, but I know it will be thought provoking for many.

Someone asked me how you can love one person for many years, then one day wake up and not feel that same love for them? One conclusion I came to is that throughout our lives, we are continually evolving. Our priorities, our measure of success and happiness, they change too. Learning to adapt that love, to give it space and energy to move and grow with us, that’s what helps relationships stay together. Human connections aren’t stationary or rigid, and sometimes it outgrows even our own perceived expectations, of ourselves and our significant others.

Like the helium balloon tied to the rock, the elation of euphorical love is finite. There will be a time when that honeymoon period ends and we have to adapt that love, evolve it, as our lives change. At times it may feel heavy, and we may feel that the rock that once anchored us, is now a burden. Do we cut the string before we can no longer fly?

I’m learning how to undo bad habits, and doing my best to pick up better ones along the way.

P.S. I’ve been single six months this week, and the book is four chapters along. A few friends have had a sneak-peek and the feedback is that they understand my voice, which has given me the encouragement to keep going. There are so many raw ideas that just to be moulded into paragraphs, and that just takes time. So I will make time.

# 22 Dear Universe

How do you get what you want in life if you don’t ask for it?
— Shortyisms by fivefootronna

 

Dear Universe,

It's your home-girl, Ronna. I have been preaching to so many people about asking you specifically for what we want in life, and here I am scared to ask you for mine. I don’t know if angels have an unwritten rule about granting vague wishes, and I bet sometimes you wish you could use your mind-reading powers just to speed things along. Humans are finicky creatures, aren’t we?

By the way, this morning, I sensed there was that a meeting of sorts in my room? I hope so. Maybe I was just dreaming, but my gut tells me it was angels, hanging out waiting for me to wake up. What was I dreaming about? Thanks for letting me know I wasn’t alone in my thoughts.

What do I want from my life?

I keep having this dream about speaking to a big theatre full of people, but not just anyone. People who may feel lost, insecure, uninspired, and want that kickstart to finding themselves, and loving life. I’m wearing my clothing label, five foot ronna, which is a highly sought after label. I’m wearing a headset because I also talk with my hands, and it’s hard to be animated with a mic in one hand. We share laughs and tears, memories from my childhood, love lessons, life lessons, my food journey - it’s amazing how much I have packed into 33 years aye? By the way, I’m totally rocking my bob with that straight cut fringe.

My speeches change to cater for my audience. Speaking in front of small or big audiences is no problem, I love connecting with people and this is something I do best. I have plenty of life experiences to share and each will take what they need from it. We teach each other that we are perfect in our imperfection.

I see this happening by the end of this year, starting locally and branching out nationally. Speeches are part of the same message from The Inside Out Project - Five Shortyisms To A Life of Awesomeness. Dance is still my passion, and I will use this alongside The Project. No, it is part of The Project. It will be my tool to help carry my message.

As for love, I want Morgan and I to be happy.

I just need to have faith. And faith is more complex than just trusting the Universe. A bit like rafting down the river - yes the current will take you and you can wait it out to see where it leads. But if you paddle, you can paddle away from the rapids, and maybe even stay dry,

The question is, are you ready to paddle?


Ronna Funtelar Thacker is a writer, foodie and dance studio owner.
She lives in New Zealand with her husband, Morgan and three dogs, JC, Hulk and Twitch. 
A self-confessed eternal optimist and lover of crispy M&Ms, she shares her adventures
and life learnings to connect, inspire and nurture self-love.

# 12 Be Ignited Studio presents The Discovery of Fire

Cas Whiteley performing 'Small Bump'.  Photo by Joanne Black Photography

Cas Whiteley performing 'Small Bump'.  Photo by Joanne Black Photography

The aim is to converse. But first I shall rehearse. No doubt I will stutter and confuse my verses. But the purpose, is to the speak to the masses. With dreams put to the corner, struggling with doubt, aching to fly.
— The Discovery of Fire 2015

I had a dream a few years ago that I was standing on the Little Theatre stage. I was all alone with a spotlight, looking out into an empty audience. Then as the lights warmed, seats began to fill and I could feel people standing behind me. The lights grew so bright that I had to close my eyes. When I opened them I was standing on the centre aisle of the theatre, looking back towards the stage - a stage filled with performers taking a bow. This was my reoccurring dream for a few years, and last week it became a reality.

Be Ignited Studio's first end of year show, The Discovery of Fire, was a story told by many voices. The theme of doubt and fear is pretty common, you get it in most dance movie franchises. We didn't want it to be cheesy and predictable, and instead have audiences feel uplifted and excited about life. We took out the storyline and used the music and dance to tell about the ups and downs of the studio, of feeling like a failure, the struggles to explain to people why it's ok to think and do things differently. I don't think this will never go away, but now that the show is over, we can focus on writing the next chapter.

 The studio had 30-40 dancers on stage over two nights, and overall I couldn't be more proud of everyone involved. On behalf of the studio, we want to thank the following:

  • Our sponsors: O'Hagan Home Loans & Insurance, Glassman & Locksmiths, Simply Graphics
  • Kelly - Lighting and Production (thanks for answering all my questions!)
  • Rose - Sound (ever so patient with all the mix changes!)
  • Cameron - Stage Manager
  • Theatre Whakatane - Lighting & Sound equipment
  • Glassman & Locksmiths for selling tickets
  • Charmaine Hands and front of house team
  • Gabe & Eli for coming over to perform
  • Kaitz & Jackson for performing and helping out backstage
  • Corazon - my Mum for all the amazing catering this year, being a super cheerleader for the studio and the ticket sales ninja!
  • Manny - my Dad, for letting Mum use the credit card to pay for the studio food haha
  • All the dancers, students, and supporters of the studio

The biggest lesson I learned from the show is that you don't have to walk your journey alone. There are a lot of people who want to help, and many don't know how to, unless you tell them what you need. It doesn't have to be money, it could be their time, lend a shoulder to cry on, give encouragement, or just honest constructive criticism. By working in a team we are accountable, and we also share the burden. 

The Discovery of Fire is proof that dreams do come true...like legit.


# 7 That moment

Our photo shoot for The Discovery of Fire poster promo. Photo by Emma Weber.

Our photo shoot for The Discovery of Fire poster promo. Photo by Emma Weber.

Last week has been a real eye opener, with some of the usual ups and downs of studio life and people in my life, but mostly because I got super emotional. The great thing was that after my big cry, I realised it was exactly what my soul needed to process the emotional chaos, and I woke up at peace with it all. I sat in my car alone, enjoying the twilight and serenity of the coastal lights.

By the way, above is the result of our photo shoot from Friday, and it summed up the fun and learning we've had this year.

On Saturday I went to a workshop called 'Living and Working in your Element', hosted by the awesome Steph Holloway. The workshop was a taster to her usual 4 session course, which helps people identify and design the life you love. She also wrote the book of the same name, and I was lucky enough to design it for her.

I have also decided to give slam poetry a go. I'm even entering my first ever slam in two weeks time, my friend and I are heading to Tauranga together. This isn't what I'm going to perform, but it was one I wrote this weekend.

THAT MOMENT

Scared.
Scared of missing out, being unwanted.
Of losing friends who I thought got it.

I was defined by their words
Because fear is a blanket that sooths you
Until the lack of oxygen turns into a smothering
And you don’t want to let go because it’s comforting
And in your lowest of lows
Fear, feels like a life raft.
— fivefootronna

The biggest lesson I was reminded of is that we can't force people to be in our lives if they don't want to be. We may feel hurt if we feel they are pushing us away, but it's ok. If they are meant to stay in our lives, they will, otherwise we can learn and grow from that experience.

Love yourself, and live life in love and light.

Much love and hugs
fivefootronna