To be honest, who likes waking up early every morning? In my case, it means having the urge to snooze the alarm but resisting because doing it would mean less time to stretch; climbing out of bed and gingerly stepping down because contact between the hard floorboards and your exhausted feet sends paralyzing shocks up your shins.
I wake up most mornings feeling like this. I hate it, but I love it because these are really just a few little sacrifices to be able to do what I love every day.
Being a dancer with Shen Yun is a lot about sacrifices. Obviously there’s the physical pain and exhaustion. There’s also the emotional strain of sadly being away from our family and friends for months. Luckily for me, having my sister in the company is a sweet remedy. And besides, the entire company feels like one big family.
People who are not professional performers sometimes say to me: “You’re so young to already be committed to such a demanding lifestyle. Aren’t you missing your chance at enjoying youth? Are you sure this is what you want?”
It strikes me that they think of this as just an arduous job. But to me, this is exactly how I want to make the most of my youth. The physical and mental sacrifices are what I give for the passion of my art and the chance to share it with the world.
Many people my age are still searching for their place in the world, worried if they’ll ever find happiness or their perfect way of life. Yet I’ve already got everything I need. In a few short years, I’ve been fortunate to have traveled the world more than most people do in a lifetime. And I’ve made best friends that I get to spend every day with.
I think life is about living in the present, not excessively worrying about the future or dwelling on the past. Learning from mistakes but not tiptoeing around hoping to avoid more.
I don’t want to be a person who’s always searching for more and restlessly pursuing something she’s not, while disregarding what is right before her eyes—the precious things that define who she actually is.
So why not enjoy the moment and cherish all that I’ve got?
Seron (Guang Ling) Chau
Dancer and soprano
March 29, 2013