I’m just going to get straight to the point with what I want to share because I can’t think of a good lead-in. Teacher had another surprise for me at the end of my lesson on Friday: a second anonymous sponsor. This one didn’t just pay for my lesson; they wrote Teacher a check that covered over six lessons!
It was too much this time; I had to go sit in the bathroom so I could cry. I sat in the stall for so long, the motion-sensor light went out on me! Even now, thinking about it, I’m a little teary-eyed.
Well, the week started out busy and stressful, and tested my faith, but the last couple days were inspiring! Even though the pro-am journey can feel very lonely, I was reminded that I still have amazing support around me.
In the Facebook group related to the Momentum ’17 challenge I’m doing, someone asked how many people were holding down a job while also trying to build their business, and besides the obvious time challenge, what their biggest challenges were related to that situation. If I haven’t already explained, this challenge is for people working on building their own brand/business, a.k.a. entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is starting to feel like a cliché to me as so many people reject the normal way of making money (i.e., get a job with an already-established company) and strike out on their own. It’s funny to think that being “self-employed” or an “entrepreneur” used to be a euphemism for “can’t get a job.” Now it’s all the rage! I’m not one to jump on trends (I frequently avoid them on principle), but I do want to be able to eventually support myself with my writing and dancing, and there’s no time like the present to start thinking of the business side of things. And when it’s a free challenge, why not!
I was chatting with another amateur dancer the other night and he was telling me about how excited and already exhausted he was about the upcoming dance season. Coachings were lined up, and competitions were on the calendar. He might end up too broke to eat, but it was okay. We all make sacrifices for the love of ballroom!
I’ve been feeling very stalled in my dancing. This isn’t news. I have no competitions on the calendar, and scheduling conflicts all around have been messing with my lesson and practice time. As much as I preach a “don’t give up!” philosophy, walking the walk has been much harder lately.
(Warning, cheesy motivational post!)
Originally posted on the Girl with the Tree Tattoo Facebook and Instagram pages, I felt like sharing it here too.
I thought I was done competing in ballroom for at least a year after CalOpen in February. Now I’m working toward going to TWO comps before the end of 2016.
I had major doubts about my dancing, feeling like my progress had plateaued with no goal to work toward. Then I had my first coaching and the coach was “super impressed.”
After the last jump in the Amazon ranks, my eBook “Dance Diaries: Learning Ballroom Dance” did nothing but fall every time I looked at it. I felt like my marketing efforts were having no effect. Then I woke up this morning and it’s back in the top 20 in its category.
The common denominator is I never gave up.
Even after I resigned to not being able to compete, I have kept working on ways to boost my income so I could afford it. I still go to my dance lessons and work hard, staying 100% present as much as I can, even when I can’t feel any progress and all I have on the horizon is another lesson. And I still work to find new ways to reach the right people about Dance Diaries because I know this book is just the thing for someone somewhere.
Whatever you’re working on, don’t give up. Even when it feels like you’re on the path to failure, keep working as if it’s the path to success. Because the path to success actually feels a lot like failure. Until it’s not.
I’ve been reading Patrice Tanaka’s Becoming Ginger Rogers. It’s a memoir and in it, Patrice shares her journey into ballroom dancing and how it changed her life. Sound familiar?
I never get tired of “life changed by ballroom” stories. Her story has so many familiar elements; it’s like reading a letter from a friend. While I was sitting in the shade by my apartment complex’s pool on Monday, she related the story of her first ballroom competition. I was, of course, instantly transported back to my own competition experiences and was struck very hard by a strong desire to be in that world again. Like right now.
It’s been nine days since my last lesson with Teacher. It feels like it’s been weeks. Maybe months. I’m pretty confident that I forgot the bulk of my dance knowledge. It’s my fault though; I haven’t been practicing. I review stuff in my head and try to remember to walk with my sternum lifted around the office, but not as much as I should and I haven’t actually gone through my figures.