Monday, August 20, 2012

Sad Times

I'm in a bad head space right now. If there was any ice cream in my fridge, I'd be eating Ben & Jerry's and crying, but instead I am blogging.

I like to say that I'm a perfectionist, but I don't know if that's quite the right word for how I am. It's not like I deconstruct my jewelry because of tiny imaginary flaws. It's more like I expect myself to be more wonderful and amazing than I am.

As much as I love reading, I think books are to blame... specifically, the sort of books that I read growing up. I liked those little girl escapist books where a girl with a heart of gold finds an abused horse and nurses it to health and the horse ends up being amazing, and so does the girl, and they go on to win a race or a show or something. Or the humble young child in the fantasy world turns out to be the Chosen One who saves the world from the Big Bad Evil, despite being a nobody. Add that to the fact that I was relatively smart as a kid, and relatively tall, and I built this idea in my head that I was going to grow up to be tall and beautiful and a genius and really good at something. I just knew that I would find something that I would be amazing at, and it would make up for being socially awkward and wearing glasses and having buck teeth and spending all of my time reading books.

You may not know this about me, but I am 30 years old, I do not have a high school diploma, I still have buck teeth, and I have not done one amazing thing in my life. I have made a lot of jewelry that is nice, and I have written some stories that are nice, and I have done some dances that are nice. I am not amazing at any of those things, but as I have done each of those things, I've always had this stupid expectation that I would be amazing, and someone would notice, and I would finally have found my calling in life.

Real life, of course, does not work like the stupid books you read when you're a kid. In real life, most people are just good at things. I am just good at writing, making jewelry, and dancing. All of these things that I do make people happy, and they make me happy, but I am not the best at them and it DRIVES ME CRAZY.

I'm at a bad place right now where I am just not. getting. better at dancing. I am still having trouble with the same things I have been having trouble with. My chaine turns are sloppy. I can't spot. Sometimes I am on the wrong foot. I don't count naturally, though I am training myself. Everything is something that just sucks until it doesn't. There's not one thing where I can say "Oh, I'm not there yet but I can see that I'm getting better." And I'm tired of it. I just want to cry. I want to give up. I want to go back to safe, easy ITS where I already knew how to do everything and could be the superstar instead of the person who almost crashed into another dancer again doing chaines across the floor.

Part of it is that I have not been practicing enough lately. I'm still not feeling 100% after my laryngitis/throat virus/chronic cough that comes to visit every damn time I get sick, and I've been using that as an excuse to be lazy at home. No more. Tomorrow I am going to practice until I can't practice anymore, because I am sick of not being amazing. I've set myself the goal of being a professional dancer, and I've foolishly decided not to let my late start, or my overbite, or my lack of natural amazingness stand in my way.


  1. Whenever you hit walls and start looking at how much you're not amazing. Turn it around, look at some of the things you have done in your life:
    You've made a lot of friends all over the world- not just 'single serving friends' either.
    You've built a business from the ground up- maybe it's not the most successful business in the world, but you have kept it going and managed to use it to make a name for yourself.

    You live a life doing things you enjoy, instead of slaving away at a 9 to 5 job you hate, that you only got because you got a meaningless degree in a field you lost interest in half way through college.

    Your life and your accomplishments are pretty amazing, you are just surrounded by other amazing people who have also worked hard to be where they are at.. this in and of itself is a testament to the life you've lead.

    Life doesn't work like books, there's many more pitfalls, but it's also far more rewarding than the shallow one-dimensional victory of being 'that kid'.

  2. Thank you Anonymous :) (Obviously you know me, whoever you are)

    I know I have done a decent amount of things, but I've also wasted a lot of time and that is what gets me down sometimes. For instance, if I had taken up belly dance when I first fell in love with it at 17, instead of waiting until 25ish, I would be pretty awesome by now.

    Slaving away at a job I hate is actually probably in my near future, so unfortunately that is a temporary awesome part of my life.

    I definitely need to just set more realistic expectations for myself, instead of waiting around to become The Chosen One. Real life is small victories, and housework, and friends who come and go, and complicated relationships, and things that sometimes that don't work out, and unexpected surprises and unconventional career paths and too much time on FB and weird little corgis and things that just suck until they don't.

  3. Aj, You're killing me, I'm so sorry you're going through this low. It sucks. And although you've heard it a million times before, these are the moments that propel you to the next level. When you're sick and tired, pissed and frustrated is when things get clearer and you go after that thing you want the most. It still sucks though. I get it. If you need any help let me know. Don't make me come check after you to see if you're practicing!! Cause I will. And it ain't pretty;)

  4. Girl, keep your head up...i have "debbie downer" moments on myself as well. I think sometimes it has to do with an overload of hormones during certain times of the month coupled with the stresses of every day life BUT we all go through it. Some of us just don't have the guts to admit it to ourselves or even admit it out loud for that matter.

    You'll come back up from the pit...sometimes it's as simple as just need re-inspired OR getting out of the normal every day routine OR taking a mental health day and doing something just for you.

    One of the most important things I have learned is to not compare myself to anyone else and to not set expectations that are too far out of reach. Otherwise that adds up to a whole lot of frustration for no reason. BABY STEPS!

    You are unique, you are creative, and you should be proud of your accomplishments. There is always someone that wishes they could be doing what you keep that in the back of your mind!

  5. Hey gal I've know you for some years now and the things you have accomplished and how much you have grown is amazing. I know a little about your background and you have traveled quite a ways from there. You are very intellegant and I am picky about that in my friends. I have seen you progress as a dancer and though I suspect you have lost track of it, man have you come a long way:) I am just now starting to come into my own and I am in my 50's... give yourself some time. You are young, graceful and have a kind heart. You are right we compare ourselves to fairy tales and suffer for it. I am unually tall (now you know who I am-laughter)and never fit the part of princess. That is okay, I will always be a Celtic warrior in my own head:)

  6. LOL Gina, I think the rest of the Tucson gals who miss you would love it if I made you come make sure I'm practicing ;) But it won't come to that. I did practice today, although not much because it was a truly gross monsoon day. Thanks so much for the offer of help. I'm pushing through, but it's reassuring to hear from so many other dancers that they know exactly how I feel, and that this is just something I have to get through to get to the next stage.

  7. Hello, Patrice! I don't think we've met before so I really appreciate you taking the time to share your encouragement!

    You are so right about not comparing ourselves to others. That is one of my big problems, I am comparing myself to my class and troupemates who have very different dance experience than I do, and the things that I struggle with are things they've been doing for years, or things that just happened to come easier to them than to me. I need to stop measuring my progress against theirs, and just measure it against where I started.

    1. I'm glad to finally introduce myself! I get your blog updates in this blogger thing...still trying to figure it out. Anywho, I'm a dancer based in Pittsburgh, and I definitely enjoy reading your updates. Keep up the good work. Breaking through the sweat and tears usually reveals a place of beauty, self awareness, and a feeling of accomplishment.

      If dancing was easy they would call is football :)

    2. Thank you :) I will try to be more regular with my updates now that I appear to have a few regular readers.

      Ha ha, football! I always laugh at it when I see it on TV... "Wait, they ran a whole 10 YARDS?!?"

  8. Oh, "Anonymous", I have you figured out now :) Thank you for always being here for me, with your wisdom and your friendship! You're the one who put my feet on this path and I'm glad you're still cheering me on.


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