Saturday, August 20, 2011

15 feet in the air balanced on a metal tightrope in 4 inch heels

I have a remarkable sense of balance. As a younger child I rode a unicycle... and back when I modeled, one of the things that allowed me to get paying jobs (in St. Louis) attributed to that balance... or rather what a photographer produced by utilizing it. I agreed to climb up metal railroad scaffolding on a sub zero winter day (I believe it was -17 with windchill) on the river. Climb, climb, climb for a shoot in winter coats and lingerie. While the photo I'm going to post here, as evidence, shows me sitting (though I assure getting my self back up, flipped around to climb down DID take balance) I also posed standing up with one hand on the vertical piece (to the left in this photo) holding me steady, with one foot in the air, the other on one of the "rungs" on that windy day - like a ballerina. Relying on my sense of balance in four-inch heels on the scaffolding to keep me alive 15 or so feet above the ground (higher up than this photo might have you believe). While I did get hypothermia, I also, obviously stayed alive.

This photo (and the other) became fairly well circulated in St. Louis around photographers and was how I truly started to get paid, my only other paid gig up until then had been in Santa costumes (which is actually how I'd gotten this gig). I became known for my lack of fear and my incredible ability to balance.

I used to think this ability transcended into my personal and professional lives. I have always been able to manage to do a lot of things and I never really thought that I was dropping anything. As time has went on the reality that something could drop started creeping in... and then one day I realized that it already had. Time for myself and care for myself had dropped a long time ago without me even noticing. Perhaps the most important things. A big pill to swallow for someone who always felt she led a fairly balanced life.

Not fitting yourself in, or sacrificing yourself (or your health) to balance other things over and over again is not being good at balance. Balance is something that extends beyond the ability to juggle or cram as many tasks, jobs, and projects into your life as seemingly possible. It actually doesn't even really do those things, but rather gives a person the ability to know what they should or should not undertake - balancing their personal and professional lives, taking time for each. By doing so, balance is something that is highly integrative with life and living. From the plate in front of you when you sit down to eat, to exercise, to work, and to time for yourself and others - it's a concept that creeps in. A concept I'm still working on. However, I'm learning how important it truly is to include time for yourself into that balance. That balance that's integral when walking the tightrope of life.

This post was written as part of the Self-Discovery, Word by Word series which was started by Ashley over at Nourishing the Soul. This month’s host is Myrite at Tasty Life and she picked the word "balance" You can check out this post to learn more about the series and this month.

1 comment:

  1. First, that's incredible that you did that (and dangerous!).

    On balance: the kind of balance I like is the kind where you prioritize. I don't think work and pleasure need necessarily be mutually exclusive--just that even when work is pleasurable it really can be exhausting. So, it's important, yes, in a sense to balance what you do. If you don't take time to rest and appreciate yourself for what you've accomplished thus far, you'll likely end up with some form of emotional burnout. Paying attention to what matters means taking care of hard as that may be to fully justify sometimes when it seems everything and everyone is insisting you just keep slogging on.

    Thanks, Kat!


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