I would consider myself a creature of habit. Well, more like a creature who cherishes the little bits of habit that her life allows. Audition season has begun, and with it has also come the less publicized seasons of unexpected rehearsals, last-minute travels, non-existent bank balances, and semi-frequent mental breakdowns. As someone who thrives on the predetermined and meticulously-planned, this could also be referred to as my worst nightmare. The general elements of this joyous process include preparing an audition video, taking headshots and dance photos, refining a resume and CV, and attending any number of live open auditions. I’ve dabbled a bit in each of the tasks so far, but my most recent focus has been on the video.
It’s near impossible to find a dancer who doesn’t absolutely despise watching themselves on video. When we spend hours every day seeing ourselves in a mirror and being judged on the way we look and how we execute every movement, it’s hardly a surprise that finding contentment in these videos can unfortunately be a rarity. Add in the weight of knowing that our videos, each shorter than an episode of The Office, are viewed by people who will determine our chance at being able to make a career out of ballet, and it becomes clear why they can be so daunting. For me, I find myself in a constant swing of highs and lows, thinking one moment that I may be satisfied with something I’ve filmed and a few days later dreading my inevitable exit from the dance world because I won’t be hired. Melodramatic? Yes. Understandable? I hope so.
It’s during this tumultuous time that I cling even more firmly to the precious, unchanging things of my life. My hour of devotion and prayer in the morning before the sun rises; singing obnoxiously to Queen’s Greatest Hits playlist on Spotify when I walk to the bus; calling my dad on the way home from work; going to cru ministry at Pitt every Thursday night and mass every Sunday morning; all of these things bring with them the comfort of familiarity, of normalcy.
Another one of these security blankets of sorts for me is my smoothie. Since I moved to Pittsburgh two and a half years ago, I’ve had the same thing for breakfast every single day. Yes, you read that correctly. With the exception of the occasional grocery deficiency or time off at home, I have not once prepared for my day at dance with anything other than this smoothie. Always the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning, always the same recipe, always with a little spoon, never a straw. First of all, it is SO delicious–basically like a muscle-building dessert for breakfast. Second of all, it has become much more than just fuel for me–it’s a key part of my routine. Some people say they aren’t ready for the day until they have their coffee; I need my smoothie. Despite what failure or exhaustion or stress I feel, I can sink into the couch and sip this with my Bible in my lap, remembering that life will indeed go on.
I don’t want to impose upon any of your personal breakfast rituals, but if you are in need of an easy, energy-boosting meal that will leave you full for hours, this might just be what you’re searching for. Centered around the power-couple that is peanut butter and bananas, it’s wonderfully sweet, thick, and fruity. Customize the amount of liquid to fit your texture preference, and you’re ready to try it out– I wouldn’t be surprised if it sticks around. Regardless of what January is throwing at you, hold close the things that stay the same, as insignificant as they seem. No matter what happens today, I will go to sleep knowing that the blessings of another day and another smoothie will be waiting for me when I rise–and that’s enough to get me through this audition season.
Besides, God is able to make every blessing of yours overflow for you, so that in every situation you will always have all you need for any good work.
2 Corinthians 9:8
My Go-To Protein Smoothie (V)
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1 TBSP ground flax seed, flax seed, or chia seed
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (my favorite is Orgain vanilla)
- handful spinach
- 1 small ripe banana, broken into chunks and frozen (you can also use frozen strawberries)
- 2 TBSP peanut butter
- 3/4 cup non-dairy milk (or dairy milk is fine), more if you want a more drinkable texture
- Place oats, seeds, peanut butter, protein powder, and spinach in a Nutribullet cup or Tupperware in that order and cover. Freeze overnight, in larger batches if desired. (I make 2-3 at a time).
- Add milk to cup and blend until smooth. If blade won’t fit in cup, remove some spinach and add back in once you’ve blended.
- Add frozen banana and any more milk or spinach if desired. You can also add ice if you like a more frozen/thicker texture.