As my hair and dignity continue to rebound from the damage they sustained the last time we spoke, my quarterlife crisis remains steadfast in its grip over my life. Making little progress in the figure-out-my-future department, I continue to deny the fact of my impending graduation by finding distraction through constant activity.
At the risk of sounding immodest, I would say that I’m a very involved member of the Cornell community, participating in quite a number of clubs and organizations around campus, while also finding time to be your supremely sexy friend. As a second semester senior, the last thing I need is more obligations on my calendar. However, in order to delay my inevitable nervous breakdown, I have made sure that every waking moment not spent in the classroom or mindlessly surfing the internet is occupied by some kind of time consuming endeavor, thereby keeping all dismal thoughts at bay. The latest additions to my collection of unnecessary and ridiculous engagements include, but are not limited to, joining a hip-hop dance group and acquiring a set of bruised ribs.
Raised by rock star parents, I’ve been rhythmically attuned since my days in the womb, bustin’ moves as a baby Losh in the streets of the Bronx. I’ve shamelessly put my dance skills on display for decades, (2.1 to be exact) finding myself more than at home at Cornell thanks to frat and sorority formals, the Palms dance floor and my nonstop beat provider, DJ Kenyon “Zefside” Cory. However, I’ve never considered my toe tapping more than a leisurely pursuit until the current semester, when I foolishly auditioned for and got accepted into Cornell’s co-ed hip-hop group, BASE Productions.
Although I’ve known about BASE for years, thanks to the one and only Stephanie Zamora, it took a quarterlife crisis for me to actually convince myself that it would be acceptable for me to audition. Summoned by the ubiquitous Facebook invite, I attended a BASE try-out at the incessant nagging of Ms. Zamora and found myself in too deep, too quickly. While I clearly have no problem in claiming to have moves, I have never had to perform a choreographed routine, let alone learn three in the matter of minutes.
Surrounded by experienced performers, I flailed my way through several Usher club jams, writing my dance obituary on the spot, while epically failing to follow the leader. Having created a beautiful disaster, I left the audition, sure that I had sealed my fate with my utter lack of mind-body coordination. But alas! BASE accepted me into their midst, claiming that despite my rough edges, they “liked my look,” confident that they could program me into a dance machine (read: “we’re desperate for new members”). Clearly I am a book that should be judged strictly by its cover.
The newfound glory of my dance achievement would be short-lived though, as a few days later I caught a severe cold just in time for my first rehearsal. Congested and aching like an allergy-stricken water buffalo, I felt I had no choice, but to go against my doctor’s orders and enjoy a high-octane Valentine’s Day weekend with the dangerously beautiful Molly Cronin. Chock full of Sudafed and soup, I pop, locked and dropped it with my lovely date like there was no tomorrow, because as Ke$ha says, “we r who we r.”
Naturally, I awoke the next day congested and aching like a comatose allergy-stricken water buffalo post brutal beating. Barely breathing with sharp chest pains, I dragged myself to Gannett, sure that I would be diagnosed with pneumonia, the black plague or worst of all, the deadly Bieber fever.
After being thoroughly pinched, prodded, and punched by my doctor, it became clear that my lungs were in fact just fine, and that my chest pain was due to two bruised ribs, origin unknown (note: never chest pop at the Palms on a sickly body … or an empty stomach). Prescribed ibuprofen and ice, and forbidden from listening to any danceable beats, I was sadly bedridden for my first official BASE rehearsal; my dream over before it could even begin. With only 10 weeks to go until my big debut on the Bailey stage, will I be ready for the spotlight? Will my ribs ever heal? Find out on April 28th at the BASE dance showcase.
The moral of this self-important story? Firstly, when incapacitated with a combination of battered bones, deep congestion and brutal writer’s block, resort to narcissistic ravings –– in times of need, you can always count on yourself. Second of all, it’s clearly never too late to get involved on the Cornell campus or to try something totally out there. Trust me, as someone who is having far too much fun considering his state of unemployment, you won’t regret it.
Milos Balac is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Quarterlife Crisis appears alternate Thursdays this semester.