Why I Moved Away From Home At 17

I graduated high school and moved out at 17. The events leading up to it were really strange and disorienting + informed much of my current view of life. Thanks @minhal for the request! Sorry in advance for the length of this list
  1. For most of my life I wanted to be a professional dancer.
    Ballet was my jam. I straight up never missed class, I was so dorky and dedicated.
  2. I was interested in school, particularly art and writing. I actually got mostly A's and took AP classes. But I never considered pursuing anything other than ballet as a career.
  3. Every summer starting when I was 12 or so I went away to different summer camps hosted by professional companies around the country for about 6 weeks.
    We danced for literally 8-10 hours per day and lived in dorms. At night there were big parties/games/activities. We explored new cities and occasionally got to take company class. There was always a big performance at the end.
  4. By the time I was 15 or 16 I had gotten pretty good. I was on scholarship at a great studio in San Diego, and I got in on early acceptance to the program at Boston Ballet, which was my dream company.
  5. Then something crappy happened
  6. I got dropped in a partnering class from an overhead lift and landed on point shattering the fuck out of my left big toe joint
    The doctor explained how this stupid bone had split in half and would never go back together. The pieces would just keep pulling apart infinitely throughout my life. You know, like the universe.
  7. And he told me I had to quit
    Like an idiot I refused. Instead I basically got enough cortisone shot into the joint to numb the area for 6-8 weeks. The needle looked like a straw.
  8. And I went to Boston as planned
    At first it was great. I got a legendary super harsh teacher, and climbed the ranks, did my thing. I got cast in this stupid important solo in the final performance. It was looking good for getting into the apprentice company the next year.
  9. But I was in so much pain. At one point my toe was so swollen my friend had to rip off my point shoe while I basically screamed my head off after class
    I was favoring my right side trying to compensate. Never cried in class or sat out. My teacher eventually realized and benched me until the show, sent me to the company physical therapist.
  10. It was the dress rehearsal for the final performance. My moms best friend Corine had come out to see me dance the next day.
    I was nervous and shaky because they had just rolled out new floors which is the worst. And I was afraid of this silly part getting taken away from me
  11. I blew out my knee on stage
    It was such a scene you guys. Like four malnourished dancers struggled to dress me and carry me out of the theater to a cab while my teacher cried
  12. The next day I came in on crutches, and watched with Corine while my understudy did a beautiful job
  13. You would think I would have stopped!
  14. But nope. Not that smart! I kept dancing for the next year. I got into Boston early again, to potentially filter in as an apprentice in the fall
  15. I kept dancing through torn muscles and ligaments and tendinitis. Until all I could do was 15 minutes of class before I had to sit down. The left side of my body was pretty much useless.
  16. And then I woke up one day, and I had finally had enough. I quit right before I graduated high school, told Boston I wouldn't be attending
  17. I hadn't submitted to any colleges. I was so lost. All I wanted was to get out of San Diego
  18. Because I had failed. I was crushed. But for whatever reason I just didn't want to be this sob story about a girl that got injured and spiraled and never recovered
  19. I figured I just needed a new dream
  20. And painting seemed as good a dream as any
  21. My best friend was set to go to this art school called Otis in LA
    Great school, used to be a sister school with parsons
  22. I brought in my huge ass portfolio of oil paintings and charcoal portraits, and miraculously got in on late acceptance
    Thank god I took that AP art class!
  23. And moved away from home
  24. I don't think I ever felt older than I did at 17