Success and Contentment

- this is the longest, wordiest blog post i’ve ever written. it’s also the most therapeutic thing i’ve ever written. feel free to just dip in and out of it, i won’t be offended, because this one’s just for me :) -

i’ve been thinking lots recently about success, and about success within this funny old world of blogging. since i began writing cider with rosie two and a half months ago, i’ve felt more fulfilled and successful than i ever have before. ever since i was tiny i’ve always compared myself to my peers and based my feelings of successfulness upon how i matched up to others. i thought that this would be my biggest flaw as a blogger, that i would become discouraged by seeing the countless other blogs with greater followings, sleeker designs, more beautiful photos or more eloquent writing than mine. but i’ve surprised myself, and continue to surprise myself each day with how content i feel with my blog, how much each new follower, and every single pageview it receives feels like a wonderful little success.

i can’t tell you how incredible this feeling is, after having spent ten years working so hard to succeed within the dance world where success is so intangible and difficult to come by. unlike other sports where athletes can compete for specific goals like medals, personal bests, world records and for a place in the world rankings, a dancer is constantly made aware that their absolute best is only half what another can do. there are no specific markers for a dancer to achieve, and so all we can do is to judge our success by comparing ourselves and our dancing to others. as a dancer i couldn’t ever shake feelings of total inadequacy- i felt too slow, too heavy, too weak, too fat. spending hours each day wearing skin tight clothing staring into a mirror and attempting to achieve physical ‘perfection’ was, for me, soul destroying.

when i gained a place at one of the top professional dance schools in the country at 18, it was without a doubt the most elated i’ve ever felt. i finally felt like i’d achieved what i’d been working for so many years for, and actually had a marker that i was ‘good enough’- a ‘good dancer’. but when i began to train at the school i was overwhelmed by the feeling that i was beginning again at the bottom of the pile, that after so many years of training to reach that level i then had to start all over again. it was exhausting and confusing and the most difficult decision i’ve ever made, but i decided to leave the school after my first term of training.

jason and i had got together only a couple of weeks before i moved to london to start professional dance, and for a couple of years after i left the school i felt worried that perhaps the real reason i’d given up dancing was because i’d sold out- moved back home to where my boyfriend was because it was easier and happier. i knew there was a link in my mind between jason and giving up dancing, but it’s only in the past couple of months that i’ve realised what that link was. jason made me feel totally and utterly loved and content, and his love wasn’t about how many pirouettes i could do, how high my leg extended in an arabesque, or whether i got the solo spot in company dance numbers. he loved, and still loves me in a way that allowed me to stop fighting so hard to feel adequate and to stop trying to prove my worth through dance. and i won’t ever be able to thank him enough for that.

i’ve only danced a couple of times since i stopped training full time, and each time those feelings of inadequacy came rushing back and it’s made me feel so justified in the decision i made. writing cider with rosie is just wonderful because it provides the scope for individuality that dancing (especially ballet) doesn’t allow for. i never expected, when i began reading blogs a couple of years ago, that writing my own one day that would give me this incredible feeling of contentment and fulfilment, but i’m just so, so happy it has 

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  • Charlotte

    This is a lovely post Rosie, I’m really happy you started your little blog and glad it helps you feel more at peace with yourself. My blog makes me feel the same way, I find I believe in myself more since I started blogging, thoguh I can’t pinpoint why.

    I’m feeling the same way about writing as a career as you did about dancing at the moment, seriously considering a career change and this post has helped me see that giving up a ‘dream’ that isn’t doing me any good isn’t something I should be ashamed of.


  • Tanesha-Marie

    This is such a good post. Sometimes your goals take over your enjoyment of something and when you get to the point of doing something for the sake of it then it’s time to rethink why you are doing it. I love writing my blog too.

    Tanesha x

    • RosieB

      thanks so much tanesha :) i completely agree with you, i remember trying to convince myself that i was happy when i was at dance school and it was totally because my enjoyment of dance had become eclipsed by the pressure of my goals. just going to have a look at your blog now lovely! x

  • Forever Miss Vanity

    Such a lovely inspring post. Blogs are a great outlet for emotions and they can really help you create your own pathway to success. I’m glad you love doing your blog – its so pretty.

    New follower ;)


    • RosieB

      thank you so much! i can’t tell you how surprised i am that people actually read it, it’s such a mammoth one! i’m very touched :) thanks for following, just going to have a read of your blog now! x

  • WonderfulYou

    I really enjoyed reading this Rosie. It’s so well written, and so heartfelt.

    I was in a similar boat to you a few years ago. Studying Musical Theatre my whole life and when it came to stage school I just couldn’t do it anymore. The fear of rejection is something that will always loom over you in that industry, and I too cut all ties (except for watching musicals whenever I can) and moved on with me life.

    Reading your post is like reading my brain, haha. Very similar situations and I too feel so happy and content with blogging in my life.

    Go us! :) and keep doing what you’re doing! xxx

    • RosieB

      thanks lovely :) i’m so happy i wrote it! i ummed and ahhed for a little bit about whether it would be accessible enough to put on here, but i’m so glad i did publish it!

      did you end up auditioning for schools, or did you quit before then? it is such a hard world to live in, isn’t it? yay for being happy now! :D x

  • Skin and Blister

    This is a really beautiful and eloquent post.

    • RosieB

      i genuinely didn’t expect people to read it because it’s so long, so am v touched that you have. thank you :) xx

  • Connie // Life, lately

    I can totally relate to your having left your dance school. I spent a long time building up to getting onto a PGCE course to begin directly after my degree, but after much soul-searching and thoughtful conversations, I decided this month that it wasn’t right for me at this time. It feels like the biggest decision I’ve ever made, but hearing friends and family say that they just want the best for me, no matter what I do, makes me realise that I’ve done the right thing, and I’m lucky to be so loved regardless of my current lack of direction.
    I’m glad blogging makes you happy, I’m hoping it will do the same for me :) Cx

    • RosieB

      i’m glad that you’ve decided to chose the ‘happier path’ rather than the path you always expected you’d take :) i think it’s so difficult to have a picture in your mind of how your life will be and then to completely alter it, but i’m definitely much happier for doing it! family and friends support is so important isn’t it? i was so scared about having to explain my decision to so many people at first, but everyone’s support made me feel settled.

      have you decided what you’d like to do in the meantime whilst you find your feet again? :) i’m just going to have a read of your blog now! x

  • emelsealoving

    I was also training to be a ballet dancer full time in England. 6 days a week really isn’t what you want when all your friends are partying nonstop (or so it seems). I stopped and took a degree in English literature instead. Reading and writing is for everyone, but my dancing remains just for me :)

    • RosieB

      it is such a time commitment isn’t it? i remember taking dance classes 5 days a week on top of school work and just feeling exhausted all.the.time! do you miss ballet? sometimes i wish i could just take a ballet class on my own in a studio with no mirrors, so that i could just enjoy the magic of it all without being able to judge how ‘well’ i’m dancing! i am studying english literature too! english lit and drama :) it must be a natural step for ex-dancers! x

  • Rosa Rivero

    I just ran into your blog today and I really love the way you write, reading this post really hit a string for me (felling inadequate is something that I can relate to) and I don’t have a blog but I’ve been toying with the idea of starting one and this might have been the little push that I needed

    Thanks for not being afraid of being vulnerable and sharing this with the world


    • RosieB

      thank you so much rosa! it’s so lovely to hear that you like my writing :) i’m really happy i wrote this post and shared it, it’s been so nice to speak with other people who’ve had similar experiences. i think it would be lovely for you to start a blog! if you do, i’d love to have a read to definitely do leave me the link here or on twitter :) x

  • kate louise.

    Best post ever. Just found your blog and already I think you’re blooming amazing! ^_^ xxx

    • RosieB

      thank you so much, i just woke up to this comment and it’s already made my day a good’un! :) so glad you like my blog! xx

  • Helenx

    I just started reading your blog tonight, it’s so lovely I’ve been scrolling through your old posts and just came to this and wow- I don’t think I’ve ever read something I could relate to as much as this.

    I trained at dance college for two years and as much as I loved dancing, I basically spent my entire time there feeling inadequate, I started out full of confidence and ambition and by the end of my second year I was a different person, I had no confidence in myself or my ability and couldn’t face a life full of rejection. During the second year of college I was on/off with my boyfriend, I always loved him but the dance world had consumed me and was making things really diffcult for both of us. Anyway, in the summer before what should have been my third year, we got back together and things were great, during this summer I decided not to go back to college. Like you I was worried that I was selling out, taking the easy route and moving back home. It makes so much sense to me that you have made the link between someone giving you love just for being you, and not having to prove yourself through dance. This is exactly what I felt.

    That was 5 years ago, and three weeks ago I married that same boyfriend (on your anniversary actually! 17th August). I am happier than I ever dreamed of, a million times happier than dance could ever have made me.

    It’s nice to hear of someone who has been through the same thing x x

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