Last Week of Summer- 3 Weeks til HBA

When I arrived in Houston 6 weeks ago as a flustered, awkward, and antisocial teen, I had no idea what my future would hold. It feels like forever ago since I was blasting Beyonce while landing from a 3 hour plane ride. Listening to her song Bow Down, it seemed very appropriate as the lyrics say

I’m on that H-Town, comin’ comin’ down

I mean, I was in an airplane. Landing in Houston. My music choice at that moment was a no brainer. My Queen Bey was helping get me pumped, and helping relax me be(y)fore my 6 weeks of work. I didn’t know what to expect for the program. But I did know two things: I was there to work and to get into the Houston Ballet Academy’s Year Round program. And both of those things, I did. At some moments in the summer, like when I had 2.5 hour repetoire rehearsals, I felt like it was going so slowly. But at the same time, my time there went by so quickly. I don’t know whether I should be more happy or sad that this summer is over, so I’m just gonna eat some Nutella. I know I can’t be bittersweet for too long though, as I am heading back there in 16 days. To live in Texas. It’s still kind of a blur to me, but my dreams of being a professional dancer are slowly fading from dream to reality.

My friends and I always joked at the breakfast table, saying, “Wait. We’re in Texas. Omg what are we doing here?” Now, as I’m having to think about packing, people back home, and also dance on top of it all, I’m asking myself the same question. But for me, it’s not just for 6 weeks. I’m going to live there. For a really long time. Granted, I’ll be able to come back home for breaks, but only 3-4 weeks out of a year is a huge drop in time spent with the people I’ve known my whole life. It’s gonna be a big change.

3 years ago, if you’d asked me if I hoped to go to the Houston Ballet Summer Intensive, I most likely would’ve responded by saying that I would never get in. My views on the ballet world were limited, as at that point I wasn’t trying to expose myself to more opportunities except American Ballet Theatre and The Royal Ballet. Now that I’ve grown up a bit, I realize what an amazing opportunity this is. For all y’all non ballet people, the Houston Ballet Academy is basically a boarding school. I go there, take dance classes all day, do school, and cook for myself on top of all of that.

I am thrilled to be home, finally, and be able to share what I’ve learned over the summer. However, there is an underlying sense of sadness, as I know I won’t be here for long. I’ve decided since every moment is precious, I need to make a list of things I need to do. Things that make me feel at home. Knowing me, I probably won’t complete this list. I rarely accomplish goals I set for myself (for instance, I started this blog post over a week ago. Oops.), but it’s the process of trying to finish that is the best part. I know I don’t have the motivation to do all of that, as it is amazing enough I am typing this right now. I hope that maybe if I can continue to use this blog as a gateway to accomplishing tasks, I will gain more confidence in my work ethic.

As I am going to be more or less on my own (albeit I will be living in a dorm), I also need to start making adult choices and decisions. I’m not gonna lie; the idea of that kind of scares me. In fact it terrifies me. I will be cooking meals for myself (actually quite exciting), but then I will also need to budget how much I can spend on food. Since I know my eating habits aren’t always the most healthy, and I’m not always spending smart, this is going to be a problem. Luckily for now, I’ve started planning out my meals for the week. I believe I can find a way to create healthy yet cheap meals, but it will not be an easy process. Basically, I’m going to be an adult, who’s underage, without a job, and preparing to be an adult. But still having adult responsibilities on top of that. Part of me is still wondering if I’m ready for all of that. And another part can’t wait to have freedom. My progress here is something else I hope to document.

I am excited to see what my future holds for me. However, I know I can’t only focus on the future. I need to look at myself, right now. This is what’s important. Otherwise I will never make it through this next year. I hope I can achieve continuity in my life by holding on to the priceless memories I am given. To get there, I must work, and work I will do.


8 thoughts on “Last Week of Summer- 3 Weeks til HBA”

  1. So proud of you, Paul and excited to follow your blog. You are quite mature and have such a passion for ballet. Even though things seem so overwhelming now, you are well on you way to success as you are aware and thinking about taking on “adult” issues in order to fulfill you dream!


  2. Blessons on this next exciting adventure, Paul! I’m so glad we’ll be able to follow along through your blog! Love and congrats from all the Wagners!


  3. Boy, Paul. I’m just verklempt! 😕 leaving town for points south…I’m proud of who you are– I love that you work so hard to great results with any of your passions, and that you are enthusiastic, kind, open and vibrant about so much in life. You will be much missed at home, but of course you’re going to love this next level of challenge. I know your mom will be right there in your ear as you negotiate your new freedoms and responsibilities. You’ll not be alone, cowboy. 😊 ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Paul, I am thrilled for you!!! What an exciting adventure awaits you. I have no doubt you will be able to thrive in Houston. Good luck and best wishes as your journey continues!

    Liked by 1 person

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