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I think I have finally put my finger on why I am so weirded out by my success as a dancer: I am 37 years old, and this is the first time I can remember anyone actually caring whether I quit.

Don't get me wrong, I had support. We were pretty well off while I was growing up. If I evinced any interest in anything that was even remotely educational -- including arts education -- my parents promptly forked out for whatever I needed to do it. They may have been lacking in other respects, but they were always brilliant at throwing money at things.

On the other hand, nobody ever cared if I abandoned one of those things. Nobody. Ever. Or if they did, they were careful not to voice it. It was just never spoken of again. It was so consistent that not only did I not consult my parents any of the times I changed my major in college, I don't think I even bothered to tell them.

In some cases, this was because the relevant authority figures had trouble remembering to pay actual attention to o…

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