After two weeks of taking two lessons per week plus a La Blast class, the happy brain chemicals are finally kicking in. I feel like a bird that’s been let out of its cage so it can fully stretch its wings and take flight again. Having been in that cage for so long, I appreciate the open sky more than ever.
We continued to practice our flight through Waltz this past week, focusing more on the connection between partners and the awareness I must have in my own body to maintain that connection. It is a legitimate joy to be working this in-depth on my dancing with Teacher again. I enjoyed updating and upgrading choreography, which was our main focus between showcases last year, but I love the process of refining that basic structure to bring out the true depth of the artistry and athleticism of those steps, and digging deep into my own being to take ownership of those steps.
This past week was also note-worthy because I received my first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine! For those interested, I received the Pfizer one and had zero side effects aside from a little arm soreness where I received the shot. Just being around a lot of other people affected me more! The lady who gave me the shot asked if I was ok; apparently, I looked anxious and she thought I might have had an issue with needles. I explained that I hadn’t really left my apartment in a year and there were a LOT of people there, like more than 5.
I don’t really have a desire to return to running errands after I’m fully vaccinated. I quite enjoy having everything delivered. I wouldn’t mind feeling more comfortable about meeting someone for a meal outside of my own home though. And of course, competing or performing in person again without my anxiety being through the roof would be great.
For now, I’ll continue to enjoy being able to dance with Teacher full out in the studio. After a year that I wouldn’t have believed if I didn’t live through it and still facing an unknown future, I’m practicing gratitude for what I have in the present. I recently watched a documentary about Audrey Hepburn. She’s one of my favorite actors and an inspiration to me, yet I had no idea that she lived in Nazi-occupied Holland for 5 years of her childhood during World War II. She faced starvation while hiding from soldiers who at any time could pull anyone out into the street and execute them. And here we couldn’t even make it a year of staying home with our food delivery and streaming services without some people throwing absurd tantrums! The comparison really struck me and I couldn’t help but wonder what Audrey would think of how people behaved over the last year. The work she did with UNICEF at the end of her life is further inspiration for my dreams to leave this world a better place than when I first entered it.
I don’t subscribe to the way of thinking that you have to always be grateful and always look at the positive side of things because Life is all rainbows and unicorns. Sometimes Life is shit in a rainstorm and I believe it is 100% acceptable to scream “THIS FUCKING SUCKS!” into the wind as it whips more shit onto your face. I would not expect anyone to find something to be grateful for in that moment. The suckiness takes precedence. After the storm has ended and you’ve had a chance to shower, then you can reflect and identify things you’re grateful for.
Gratitude is important in its own time and place. Being able to return to regular dance lessons is definitely a time and place for gratitude. Gratitude for the present, but also gratitude that my hermit lifestyle over the past year kept me healthy enough to reach this return to dance. I didn’t have to be grateful that I couldn’t leave my apartment while I couldn’t leave my apartment (though I was grateful I had the ability to continue working with that restriction), but I can be grateful now for that past decision leading me to this present.
I didn’t mean for this post to become all about gratitude, but I guess that’s where my mind is right now. I’m grateful that I can stretch my wings again. I’m grateful I’m halfway to eating comfortably at a restaurant and hugging people again (I miss hugs!). I’m grateful that you’re still reading this blog! I’m grateful that we’ve stayed connected, even when our reason for connection (ballroom) was put on hold.
Whether it’s a gratitude day or shitstorm day, The Girl with the Tree Tattoo is here for you.
Random thought to close us out: what dance would you dance in a shitstorm?