I’m writing this from our annual family ski trip. This year, my parents have joined us from Korea and their visit coincides nicely with the theme of renewal. Historically, I haven’t had the easiest relationship with my parents but having my own children and fully embracing adulthood has meant that I’ve mellowed when it comes to old hurts and new expectations.
A friend once told me, “We’re all just trying our best.” I didn’t really believe her because my definition of “best” isn’t much different from “perfect.” But the other joy of having kids is explicitly learning that perfect is pretty much unattainable—not to mention, pretty subjective. I wasn’t taught this, but I am trying to teach my children that doing their personal best, which won’t be the same as Jean-Marie’s best, is all that’s expected of them.
Having your mom and dad watch you define parenthood on your own terms is one kind of renewal. I think they’re happy to see the kind of mother I am. So different than they were, but their blood and DNA are reflected and refracted in me and my kids.
This month, I was very excited to interview Yanis Marshall, a dancer and choreographer who’s redefined how men (and women) dance. He’s a viral sensation not only because he’s incredible, but because he stretches our ideas of what’s possible. Watching him slay to Britney Spears in 5-inch stilettos makes you believe that you, too, can dance like this, be free and loose like this. At least, that’s what he does for me.
We’re also thrilled to welcome a new contributor, expat comedian Sarah Donnelly. She took on the serious challenge of trying Yanis’ high heels class. Sarah’s story is LOL funny and though she’s too modest to say so, she did great in the class, following the complicated choreography like it was no big thing.
I should mention I don’t ski anymore. Not since breaking my leg, finding out I was pregnant, etc… Dman is still trying to convince me to take a snowboarding class with him. I’ve managed four ski seasons without putting anything on my feet that’s expressly designed to slide down a mountain. The closest I’ve gotten is snowshoeing, which I really enjoy. Maybe in the spirit of renewal, I should reconsider snowboarding?
I’d rather save my legs for some YouTube dance tutorials so I can try another Yanis class with no shame. That’s my renewal plan for the month.
Photo by Diego Buñuel