This is taken from the Manuscript found in Acra by Paulo Coelho: "Without solitude, no plant or animal can survive, no soil can remain productive for any length of time, no child can learn about life, no artist can create, no work can grow and be transformed. Solitude is not the absence of Love, but its complement. Solitude is not the absence of company, but the moment when our soul is free to speak to us and help us decide what to do with our life."
I do not fall out of love with pole. But I need time to be in a relationship with it in a different way. Or rather, going back to the first time I fell in love with it as a beginner. I looked forward to lessons and practice time, I did not get upset for not mastering certain tricks or hurried myself. I just kept practicing because I knew I just would get better at them.
As a studio owner and principal instructor it was totally a different game. It was especially hard that in June 2014 there were only 3 pole studios in Singapore but by May 2015 there were 10 studios! Students used to value the instructors so much. But after 10 studios opened, we studio owners and instructors had to use ways to "lure" students to come to us and make them stay with us.
We took turn to give promotion, introduce special classes/ workshops, invite guest instructors from overseas, invite special photographers to help add sales, etc. As for myself I offered special lyrical and contemporary pole classes and advance tricks. That, really drained my energy and tire me physically and mentally. To cut it short, I no longer trained out of love and interest. I trained because I needed to teach and make sales.
So now I get the chance to be in solitude. Removing myself from my students and going home after 14 years living overseas requires some kind of bravery. I have to let go my routine here in Singapore and my means of making a living for the past 5 years. I always hated Jakarta's traffic and me and my parents could only stay cordial to each other for no longer than 5 days and now i have to go back and live with them!
But I noticed something good coming out of this decision to go home. After me and my biz partner decided to close the studio, one of the action taken was to cut down the number of classes. I felt so much comfort and relief for having to only teach few classes per week. Offering lesser type of classes also means less training time during the day. You see, to teach 1 hour of class in the evening, I had to train/ prepare for 2-3 hours during the day. I had 4 type of classes that required for that special self training. This means I could easily clock 4-5 hours of deep stretch/ choreography work/ pole training plus teaching in one day. I had to that 4-5 days a week. There were never days that I did not feel physically drained.
After I cut down the number and type of classes, I noticed changes in my body within 2 weeks. I woke up in the morning feeling refreshed. I had so much more clarity in my mind and I taught my classes with so much more joy and patience. I could not remember the last time my body did not feel drained and waking up without muscle ache. Stretching has become so much easier since. My muscles were no longer as tight and I gained back my natural flexibility. And, taking off the bra top was no longer a struggle.
After 1 month, I lost some muscle definition but to my surprise I like it. I am still toned but I am looking more feminine now and have softer looking muscles. I no longer feel like a she-man haha..
So, that covers the physical and mental benefit that I gained from letting the studio go. There are wellness and creativity gain too.
I feel so much more relaxed when I train. I no longer rush myself now, I train because I want to. I can take it slow and easy, give myself and my body as much time as it needs to learn tricks. Previously I did not have this luxury because I had deadline and I had to decipher how to teach them and figured out any useful tips.
After getting over the disappointment from having to close the studio, I started to work on revamping this website. The old design and pictures was no longer a good representation of myself. So I spent time removing old stuff, adding in new stuff and designing, pouring my creative juice.
"So what's after Singapore? Are you opening a studio in Jakarta? Are you coming back to Singapore and teach at other studios?" ; I got these questions from almost every single student for the past 2 months.
Firstly, I am happy knowing that my presence is going to be missed. That means I am leaving Singapore in a good note :) And to answer the questions, I plan to reside permanently in Jakarta. It is my chance to be in closer relationship with my family. I have missed them and I feel ready to come home. I think it's time to end my rendezvous and ambitious nature and start nurturing friendships and relationships - including one with myself.
I plan to take a sabbatical break (it's just a cooler way to say I want to be jobless). Within now to the next one year, I want to do things that I have been wanting to do but never did (shooting tutorial videos and learn how to edit them, start a blog and train to get more flexible). So get ready to hear a lot from me here and in my social medias.
No I have no plan to open a studio in Jakarta.
I plan to come back to Singapore as a visitor, eat yummy food, meet friends, shop for things unavailable in Jakarta. I am happy to conduct one off workshop or be a temporary guest instructor but as of now, I am not looking to become a permanent instructor anywhere.
If you still like to hear from me - I hope you do :) , be sure to follow this page so that you always get to see my updates!