Monthly Archives: August 2014

Mid-Darkness

It took a while for everything to finish its crumble. While in the midst of observing, I started to find this quiet inside. This quiet that I had not experienced before. This quiet that was deafening. I had never understood that phrase until I experienced it. I would want to blast my music and daydream to get away from this blasting quiet. It made me afraid to be still because I didn’t want it. I didn’t want any part of it.

I was who I was and I was okay with it. I liked who I had become as an adult. I was doing good things with my life. I was capable. I was in many’s eyes exceptional. I had accomplished more than many would across multiple lifetimes. I was doing things that others didn’t dare to do because they were too afraid to dare.  I was proud of myself until the crumble started.

Then, I didn’t know myself anymore. My identity as a provider, a giver, a contributor disappeared with my career. Even my physical life was stripped away. All that was left of me was the shell I had covered up with accomplishments. I had always felt complete in my accomplishments, my provision, my giving, my contributions. Without them, I didn’t know myself anymore. I didn’t know who I was without all these medals of honour I had collected. I had always known that I was good at accomplishing, providing, giving, and contributing. Beyond those things, I felt worthless. Losing those abilities rendered me worthless.

I started to wonder if my time here was supposed to be coming to an end. Maybe I had burned too bright and my fuel was running out and I was going to crash. Crash is a good descriptor of what it felt like. I felt like I had fallen off the pedestal that I had been reluctantly placed on – I was always comfortable being exceptional in private, the public part of it was difficult – and I cracked wide open to find that there was nothing there.

I truly felt like an empty facade. Relaxing back and watching how everything had unfolded was an experience I sometimes wished I could hand back. I wanted nothing more than to be done observing, experiencing, and hiding the pain of what I was going through. I wanted this nightmare to be over and for me to just wake up to my former life. It wasn’t to be so.

Best Partnerships

I have been one of the most fortunate girls in my city to be hooked up with an amazing dance partner. He is amazing on so many levels and I am so thankful everyday I have the fortune to work with him. I don’t know what I did so right in this lifetime to happen across him, but thankful is just the tip of the iceberg on this one.

Over the years, I have worked with many personality types. There are always going to be ones that I get along with better than others and vice versa. I can be a pain for some people to do deal with simply for personality, creative, and physical differences. There is nothing wrong with that and it will happen in any relationship or workplace. This is half the fun of the work in which I engage.

The characteristics that I have seen work best for me and generally are as follows:

1) similar work ethic – I am a beast when I train. I can push through almost anything even if I am tired. This is a strength and a weakness in myself as I can push things too far. Having the fortune to work with someone equally beastly is important to me. I have seen the same ring true for less beastly people. Having mismatched work ethics quickly leads to resentment and often the demise of partnerships.

2) similar goals – I am not okay with just being a prop in a show. I want to create and be part of pieces that expand the mind, bring the community together, and further me as a dancer. I don’t want to do what I already know if I am working for someone else. Even in my own pieces I want to break what I know into something more beautiful and challenging. Having someone with similar growth goals is important to feed the motivation in a partnership.

3) similar presence – being part of partnership where one person outshines the other can be a challenge. If they are equally talented, but one partner has more presence on the stage than the other, it can look like one partner is less talented and disappears into the background. I enjoy partners who actually are stronger than me in presence as it makes me find new ways to dig deeper in my expression internally. This doesn’t mean bigger facial articulation or movements, but the projection of myself. By the time we hit the stage, the presence should be closely matched with the weaker pulling up their socks to match the stronger.

4) similar investment – this includes finances, time, and life dedication to the art. If both have to invest money into training, it is easier to share the load if both can invest equally. Sometimes this also means having to invest in how to raise funds through combined effort as well. Time investment can be a huge disparity. If one has relational, work, and other interest commitments heavily beyond the other, trying to find time to come together to work on mutual goals can be difficult. Hobby versus professional investment to the art is another sticking point. For short term projects, this can be less of a concern, but in the long-term for a partnership to work, the commitment level has to be similar in quality.

Sitting down outside the dance floor is important before making a commitment to a partner. Dance partnerships end up as similar commitments as romantic relationships so you want to set them up right and make sure the chemistry is there to make it work. Coming into a meeting outlining points pertaining to the previous discussed can help determine if this partnership will work. Can there be negotiation, give and take, and leeway on all the above. Of course. The general dance morality of both partners have to be similar though and that meeting can help be a determinant.

Chaser

I have been accused of being a chaser. This applies on many levels. I am a chaser of excitement. I am a chaser of happiness. I am a chaser of dreams. I am a chaser of success. I am a chaser of pleasure. I am a chaser of human relationship. There are days when I get tired of the chase though.

I have never been a sit on my laurels kind of girl. Lazy or boring are things of which I have never been accused by those who know me well. My chasing habits have had me labelled as ambitious, bold, dreamy, interesting, and inspirational. I am not a fan of labels even though I think label seeking is engrained in us to try to grasp at understanding people – if we can figure out what categories they fall into, we can feel we better understand them.

I had given up on chasing the dream of a partner beyond my career path especially after the adventure of the last couple years. I have to be honest, I have been content being married to my job, my accomplishments, and my dreams. It was going to take a special person to make room in my life for more than these things. I was content to have a large circle of people who fulfilled my relationship needs. They provided a source of fun. An emotional strut on which to rely when I couldn’t carry myself one hundred percent on my own. They fulfilled the validation that I needed that I was an okay person.

Lately, I have been intrigued by someone who came into my life unexpectedly. At a point where I was still not willing to let anyone in who could disrupt my path. I have been in this place many times in my life and I was back here again. I had offers on the table from those who have known me for a while, but no one was hitting that button that could open me up to anyone beyond myself. I was still trying to be good with who I was. With who I have become. With who I want to be. I never understood before why people say you need to love yourself before you can love another. There are days like today where I don’t feel either is possible. Then there are other days where I pendulum to the other side of this – hope illuminating my eyes.

I am not good at following the rules much. I don’t read the rules of assembling things. I don’t read the rules of how new toys are to be operated. I also don’t follow the rules of the chase when it comes to romantic relationships. I do what I am feeling and I know that the right person will love me for who I am. For my lack of rule following, I can be taken on epic emotional journeys that will leave my life enriched with memories of adventure, risk, and pleasure. Often at the end of the journey, I am back to chasing my dream without a partner by my side. Maybe this is my path – to enrich my own life and just have a circle of amazing people I count as amazing friends?

Darkness

The past couple of years rendered a tremendous journey.  Heartache, disappointment, loss, surrender, and pain . . . more pain than any human should endure over a lifetime. There were challenges that seemed insurmountable. Challenges that made me lie down in hopes of finding the courage to just let go. Challenges that had me sitting in a corner, shaking uncontrollably with sheer terror that I was not going to make it to the other side of this thing. Challenges that made me feel hateful toward myself for feeling weak against this thing that was crushing my nervous system, my soul, my life.

I remember feeling my life crumbling beneath me. I was afraid to touch anything, bring anything or anyone new into my life because I felt l would make it crumble too. I was afraid that everyone would see that I was a fraud – not someone to admire, but just a simple human like the rest that people mistook for someone amazing.

My life was at a point where everything seemed like it was going to be easy – I had given the pound of flesh, sold my life for this dream of creating something amazing. All that effort and hard work was reaching a turning point where it was going to yield dividends. I would be able to coast (for me) for the first time in my life. It was not something I had ever done, but I was looking forward to entering that phase where I could more easily build on the foundation I had so concretely built.

But the crumbling started. Once it started, it seemed like there was no stopping it. What I had wanted from the time I was little, was gone with so little hope of recovery. Something had happened that I was not be likely to ever be right by again. Something so devastating that there were days I couldn’t even describe who I was anymore. What I was about. What I contributed. What I wanted even.

There was . . . just . . . darkness. Darkness that walked down a path to an empty cave which echoed my insides. I had become this empty cave that couldn’t pull it together. I was always the one who pulled it together. I was the one who carried people emotionally, physically, and inspirationally. I needed people so badly then and I was so ashamed to reach out. Because then all this would be so real. So wicked. So my life. I didn’t want to go there. I didn’t want to be there. I just wanted to find my way out and I couldn’t see any light at the end of the cave. All I could get from that cave was the echoes of my own doubt, damage, and fear. The echoes came back louder than anything my voice could ever create.

There were days when those voices seemed to pin me to the ground. They kept me from handling the small defeats after the big one walloped me so hard. Those voices held me in a pattern of holding on to what I thought was supposed to be my life. What was all I ever wanted. What was all I ever needed. What I gave up every shred of normality to have. I gave up everything for that dream . . . and in an instant, its shiny halo vanished as I was dragged to the edge of my reality to watch the impact of that instant echo so loudly through my everything as it destroyed all on its path to my defeat.

Get Over It!

Fear can be a phenomenal motivator to stop moving forward. Why? There is discomfort in fear. There is a chemical reaction that happens that puts us into a state of increased self-protection to keep ourselves physically safe. Those who are thrill seekers like this chemical reaction and seek ways to provoke it in order to get that adrenaline high (also known as fight or flight).  Those who don’t like it, often do everything in their power to hide from it.

I have usually been a “lean into the discomfort” kind of girl all my life. I liked the thrill of putting myself far out of my comfort zone in order to see what happened. Usually, nothing bad happened. The odd fractured bone or other physical injury may have ensued which my parents were just in love with having a dare devil child. For such a shy little girl, I was unpredictable in my physical adventures. I still have this dare devil streak of which I am thankful to have never grown out. I think that this far into my life, if I still have it, I am stuck with it for life. Truly, lucky me. I know a few people who would love to have that trait, even just an ounce of what I have.

I have been called adventurous all my adult life which I never fully understood until I started comparing what my life was like to those of others. I am truly a laissez faire person when it comes to other’s lives. If it makes you happy, great. If it doesn’t fit into my perception, I won’t try to change you, but I may not stick around. If you are happy being vanilla, stuck in your life, making harmful choices, that is your option and there is nothing I will do about it unless you ask how to change.

My answer to a lot of thrill related situations I am presented with is why not. If I have done something a few times, given it a fair shake, and I still don’t like doing it, I won’t repeat the behaviour. However, even if it seems like the scariest thing ever, and I haven’t tried it, I venture into my why not mentality so that I can put myself into a new experience. This life truly is short, so why not get as much experience out of it?

And the earth stood still …

I have moments when I swear life stands still. I become so lost in a moment. Everything becomes crystal. Everything stands still around me. I am clear minded. I am sensing everything around me. Everything in my body. Vibrations from other people and objects as they swirl obliviously around me.

These moments are the times when I feel like everything is going to be alright. That I am on the right path in my life because for that moment it all makes sense. It will seem like chaos rushing around me then for a moment I enter this centre of my universe and the chaos slows for a moment. Allowing me to absorb everything and forsake evyerthing in the same moment.

These moments of perfection, I find myself standing with my arms open surrendering to the moment. I have no worry what I look like. I have no worry what people think of me. I have no worry about anything happening in my life. In that moment, I am still inside and out. It seems like a vortex as when I exit that moment, I am filled with ideas and inspiration.

This evening, I had one of those moments. It lasted longer than it has in a long time. I could hear the river running past. The force of the water was mesmeric. It passed by without a worry and it seemed to take all my worry of late with it. There has been severe worry about my place, my path, my contribution, my near future. Everything piling up so fast of concern that my body actually feels heavy. When I walk, when I sleep, when I breathe.  So much weight that it feels laborious to catch my wind. My brain has been fuzzy. Forgetful. Armed. Blocking people from getting in. Protecting me from forming attachment.

Tonight that all seemed so obvious. That I was taking myself down a dark path of emptiness all the while running on empty trying to get to this dark place that was barren. Tonight, I was able to step out of that thought pattern and sit beside it. Let it turn and be observed. I could see what I was becoming. What I was missing. What I was walking away from. I have never had much fear and fear of walking away was never on the list of the few that exist in me.

I could see all the sacrifice that I was patterning as I had in my past. I could see that I was not taking care of me. I was getting lost in the chaos and burning energy on being sacrificial rather than satisfied. It was going to be okay for me to say no and put myself first. It was going to be okay that I nourished myself. It was going to be okay that I would allow myself to be okay.

Sitting by the water, it started to rain. It felt so pure and cleansing. Like I was being washed of the stress I had been unconsciously holding. The rain hit and the tears started to flow. It had been a while since I had let myself cry and just sit in that release of energy. I wasn’t crying about the rain. I was crying about nothing specific. It just felt like a release was needed and this was the form that burst forth. Maybe I will sleep in peace tonight.