Well, I thought, You’ve said it. It’s out there now. It’s not going away. I continued thinking this as I pulled my bike into the garage, unlocked the door to my house, and put my helmet down in its usual spot on the ironing board.
Several months ago, people started asking me what I planned to do after Shansi. I always gave vague responses—maybe stay in Indonesia for a while longer, find someone who’ll pay me to teach English or, better yet, find some sort of scholarship or grant or fellowship to keep me here. I want to stay in Indonesia if I can. Even after another ten months, I don’t think I’ll be finished learning everything that I want to learn. How to stay, though, has remained elusive. I feel like I’m at the beginning of senior year again, afraid to put all my eggs in one basket but knowing there’s only one basket that I really want.
But now I’ve finally said it: “Next year I want to go to ISI. Probably with Darmasiswa.”
Hesitantly, I looked up at the woman I was talking with.
“Why Yogya and not Solo?” she asked.
“Oh, no,” I said. “Solo. Solo.”
I willed my fingers not to fidget. I’d never said this plan aloud before to someone who could actually have an opinion about its chances of succeeding. I babbled for a while about how I need to work on my technique, about how I want to learn Surakarta and Yogyakarta styles, how I don’t want to just focus on one and forget about the other.
“You have to be patient with technique,” she reminded me.
I nodded. It’s true; I know it’s true. You don’t get good at ballet in a day. It makes sense that I’m still struggling with seemingly basic steps, but even if it makes sense, it’s frustrating. I need more structure and I know it.
The other day, when one of my friends saw me practicing by myself, frowning at my reflection in the mirror, he came over and ran through a couple steps with me. He watched me in the mirror, corrected my arms, then went back to talking with his friends. I ran through the steps again, marveling at how two corrections seemed to have changed my whole perception of the dance.
And now? Now I have tentative lessons set up. Now I have a goal (be able to walk properly by the time UKJGS starts performing Ramayana again—early October). Now I have a trajectory. Who knows where I’ll actually be in a year’s time, but I have a plan, and that plan doesn’t seem quite so impossible anymore.