The connection of my growth

I entered the world of ballet at the age of four, merely a small child.

My hair was slicked back into a perfect position as I bounced up and down, excited to jeté off to class and learn new positions and unfamiliar French words.

My mom did my hair back then. She’d snatch all of the pins in my house and the bobby pins and plunged them into my short, white-blonde hair.

From what I remember, my hair looked impeccable back then.

Back then, the extent of my ballet was jumping up and down and running around in a circle. And even with the few steps we knew, I still occasionally needed assistance remembering them.

I was obsessed with it, yet, I was really just doing track and field in a pretty pink outfit.

When I was in fourth grade, my mom decided that I needed to start doing my hair myself.

I didn’t immediately jump on board. I coerced my mom to do it for a few more weeks until she said it again.

My first bun was interesting. I did what I was able to. They increasingly improved as time went on.

Then, there was one day, that year, it exploded. By the time we got to the center, my bun was nonexistent.

Lauren! You have a bird’s nest on your head!

After my teacher poked fun at me, she had me take out the millions of bobby pins from my head and she thankfully redid my trainwreck of a bun.

At that time, I was a young dancer whose eyes twinkled at the older girls with shoes that I would soon have a love-hate relationship with. I gazed upon the big girls and their glamorous tutus and costumes.

I was starting to understand how to do things and the technique needed, but I was not good by any means; I still had a long way to go.

I was obsessed with it, yet, I was really just doing track and field in a pretty pink outfit.”

After I started figuring things out, my bun improved, and so did my dancing.

A few years later, I realized how to make my bun look less like a doorknob and more like a pancake: my two strands needed to be separate. At the same time, I learned how to make my ponytail more decorative going into the bun.

This was when I really started to understand what my legs needed to be doing and how they were supposed to look. I also learned more complicated steps and combinations.

Around last year, I grasped the fact that I had been making things way too complicated. I only needed to use one strand.

I improved so much. Relax. I gained strength. Breathe. I had more fun and success. Don’t try. Just do.

Now, I have my good days and my bad days. Sometimes, it is crooked. Sometimes my hair just doesn’t want to cooperate with me.

But it will change as I go on. Just as it already has. But I will always remember how I got there. The bounteous jumps. The plentiful turns. The countless bobby pins.