Interview: Kelsey Connolly

Everyone’s path to meaningful living is different, and today’s interview showcases Kelsey Connolly, who has shared her journey navigating the world of professional dance.

Kelsey lives and works in New York City. You can find her at The McKittrick Hotel–an immersive performance venue in New York City–home of Sleep No More, Manderley Bar, Gallow Green and the newly unlocked Attic. Her most current show is The Lost Supper.

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Adaptability

When I started this blog back in 2015, I felt lost. I wasn’t happy with my job, but I wasn’t sure how to remediate that. I liked writing, but that didn’t sound like a reliable career choice. I started this blog as a form of escape, writing and posting twice a month, always counting down the days until the weekend, hoping and waiting for something better to come along.

As I found out, things don’t magically change on their own–I needed to put in the work. And I did: in 2016, I quit my job, started my freelance writing and editing business, and went back to school for a master’s degree.

Suddenly I was a whole lot happier–and busier. In 2017, I posted here only five times. 2018 has fared even worse, thus far. All of which meant I was about to learn another lesson: Sometimes it’s about knowing your limits; other times it’s about knowing when you need to change your plan.

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Image Credit: Shannon Kokoska. Creative Commons.

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The Power of Something

Procrastinating is easy, especially when something is difficult or time-consuming. We let ourselves off the hook now by promising to do the work later. I always tell myself that I’ll get around to it tomorrow — but sometimes, tomorrow doesn’t end up being tomorrow, or the day after, or even the day after that. Sometimes weeks go by before I get to something, because doing a little something isn’t worth it. No time to run a 5K? Then I’ll run tomorrow. No time to write a full chapter of my novel? I’ll write tomorrow instead. Starting and finishing an activity on separate days made me feel like I wasn’t giving it my full attention.

Never mind productivity, that insisting on completion might mean I wouldn’t write a blog post for three months, or that because I wasn’t running at all, I’d gain weight — anything less than complete was partial credit. It wasn’t worth my time.

Sneaker in the sun

Photo Credit: Paolo Negri

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Know Your Limits

We had screwed up.

A local orchestra had asked us to accompany one of their songs with a waltz showcase in an upcoming performance, and they were specifically looking for an amateur couple. My partner and I were honored and excited, so of course we said yes. We’d connected with the orchestra director and examined the stage. We’d set aside time to choreograph.

But now, as we were listening to the music, we discovered that the song was actually a Viennese waltz, a much faster dance that required more space — and stamina and knowledge — than we had. Six minutes of Viennese? Could we survive? Would it get too repetitive? How would we fit the steps onto a small stage? Could we dance a regular-speed waltz instead? Was it too late to back out?

We had screwed up — and now we had to deal with the consequences.

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The (Simple) Secret Behind Meaningful Living

Everyone and their mother has advice on how you can live more meaningfully — just Google the term to see upwards of 116 MILLION articles on the subject. There are thousands of blogs dedicated to it. To further complicate the issue, everyone suggests different methods to add meaning to your life: find your purpose, follow your passion, get rid of your stuff, volunteer, simplify your life, set (and meet) goals, read more, start a gratitude journal, meet new people…but don’t forget to work and sleep and eat healthy and socialize and stay connected with your family and current friends. Got all that?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have that kind of time.

Screen capture of Google search "meaningful living" -- returns 116 million results

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