Is there More?

 In Career Guide
Juliana Fapohunda on her experience as a professional dancer

Juliana Fapohunda | @jjavier1021 | Photo by: Theo Fapohunda | Manchester, England | January 2019 | 2 minute read

When I decided to become a professional dancer, my life became about that goal. It is invigorating to strive for something I am passionate about, working towards a personal feeling of satisfaction and worthiness. I realized my determination was not just about proving to myself that I am good enough, but it was also about gaining recognition in some way. I remember feeling lonely and disheartened on my search for this acknowledgement. Now at 26, in my second full time company job, I am realizing something – this search to be seen, loved and valued never ends. 

Dancing professionally and fulfilling that dream has added to the experiences that fill up my heart, connecting me to other people, but the achievement of the goal is not what feeds my soul. It is something much deeper than someone else’s approval of me – no matter how lovely the compliment or opinion is, it doesn’t last. I’m learning that the less I place my identity in the judgements of others the freer I feel!

Today, I work for a contemporary dance company in Manchester, England and I’m asking myself, is there more? What happens after this job? Do I just keep going from job to job? Do I ever settle down and make a permanent home? Do I retire after a few more years? Do I start something of my own? 

I recently started to reevaluate what is truly important to me. I got married and this helped me to realize that it is more than feeling good about myself through my career, accolades, and self image, but it is my relationships that take me out of myself and allow for true vulnerability, love, and perspective. This is the next part of the journey, discovering what’s next. Whatever it is, I believe that there is more connection, creativity, listening, sharing, and love that awaits me when I surrender the fight to be valued.

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