This is it.

This is it, people! This is not a drill! In 24 hours, The Girl with the Tree Tattoo is pulling up her roots and transplanting them to the opposite corner of the country. She has said her farewells and figured out how to get most of her stuff packed into a ’96 Subaru station wagon named “My Girl Friday”. Only thing left to do is get on the road.

On this final day, I’m feeling mostly excited. I can’t wait to get to Maine! I can’t wait to walk with my dogs through our woods! I can’t wait to get settled in our new house. Even though it’s sad to say goodbye, I feel complete as this chapter closes. Plenty of things didn’t go as planned or hoped. I didn’t get a swan song performance with Teacher. Our last competition together was over a year ago now, in February 2020, and to be honest, I was disappointed with my dancing. I just had an off day. I had to move myself and my dogs out of my apartment two weeks earlier than planned and the back-and-forth to finish packing belongings for the movers was extra stress I didn’t need. I thought I was going to sell my car to a dealer, rent a minivan to drive across country, and then buy a car in Maine. I ended up buying a new-to-me car first and then selling my car to a private buyer.

Plenty of things didn’t go as planned, but they still all worked out. Looking back to January, when I made my first house hunting trip to Maine, it’s pretty amazing to realize how many times things went awry and how each time, things worked out just as well or better than planned. So often, when something goes wrong or unexpected, it throws us off so badly, we can’t see any alternatives to keep moving forward. All we can see is how things did not go the way we wanted. Finding alternatives to keep moving forward is called “floor craft” on the dance floor. Couples cross paths, get in each other’s way, or even collide during competitions, and if they’re skilled in floor craft, they will quickly recover and keep dancing. I’ve been bumped, forced to separate from Teacher, and even hip checked on the dance floor. It’s not the bumps that matter though, it’s how you recover from them. Sometimes it doesn’t even require another couple. I’ve tripped, stumbled, and even stepped on my own dress right in front of a judge…luckily the video showed they happened to be looking in another direction at the time.

I believe learning how to quickly recover from mistakes, bumps and other unexpected circumstances on the dance floor helped me cope with all the twists, turns, ups and downs that came with this move over the last seven months. If the music is playing, there is no time to dwell on the fact that I almost fell right in front of a judge because I stepped on my dress twice in a row. There is no time to think about how stupid that was or get down on myself about my dance abilities. I have to keep dancing! So when things went off the rails as I prepared to move, my learned instinct was to pivot and find the alternative to keep moving forward down my line of dance.

The result is feeling like I’m on a grand adventure rather than surviving one disaster after another. It feeds my excitement for the move as I successfully navigate each obstacle. On the dance floor, if you adjust and recover more quickly than your inner demons can inject doubt into your mind, you’ll dance more confidently than before the mishap because you’ve just proven to yourself that you cannot be taken down.

I can’t wait to share this next chapter with you. Thank you so much for the support so far. I wish you all very happy dancing!


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