Am I just nuts?

So yeah, the holidays are coming up. They do keep doing this, every year, don’t they? This (aside from my birthday) is when it sucks the most to not have a family. I don’t have anywhere “default” to be on the holidays. And somehow, I don’t seem to be able to get an invitation to be anywhere unless I start whining about it.

Now, don’t get me wrong – it’s nice to have invitations, in any form. But it gets a little harsh that I can *only* get them if I’m actively going on about having no place to go. As far as I’m concerned, it’s not much different from me flat out saying “hey, can I come over for Thanksgiving?”. And that’s just rude. Sometimes, after the fact, I get “oh, we would have invited you, but we assumed you already had someplace to be.”. Um, hello, does anybody EVER listen to what I say? Or pay any attention to the simple fact that I HAVE NO FAMILY? When you have no family, you DON’T have someplace to be on the holidays. Why in the hell would they assume that I do? *sigh*


On Birthdays

So today’s my birthday. Technically yesterday, I guess, since it’s after midnight.

I have serious birthday issues.

This is for a few reasons, I guess. The first and most obvious reason is the whole lack of family issue. Birthdays are family affairs, really, once you’re not a little kid anymore.

Also, while everyone is happy to make Facebook posts saying “happy birthday”, really very few people actually care. As crazy as my mother is, she was really good at birthdays. She’d organize a party, make a gorgeous cake, and get people to show up.

I can make decent cake. Not so much good-looking. Everything else I totally fail at.

One can only go through so many iterations of trying to plan a party, inviting people a month or two in advance (and then sending reminders), having them assure you they’ll be there, only to have them back out at the last minute. Usually for things like “oh, so-and-so wanted to have a drink”. Seriously? This is my BIRTHDAY. You promised me a month and a half ago that you’d come. You assured me that you wouldn’t miss it for the world. When I reminded you, you told me you couldn’t wait. Now somebody just randomly wants to hang out, and that’s somehow more important? What the fuck?

You know, I already have major self-esteem issues. And I already feel like I’m last priority for everybody in the world. It’s a hard place to be – most people at least have family or sweethearts or SOMEBODY with whom they can rank higher, but I have no family (yes, by choice, but still), no sweetheart, and I’m not family (and so not priority) for anybody. And yeah, I know this and mostly I’m used to it. But it hurts to have it rubbed in so hard on what’s “supposed” to be a special day.

So, fine. No more parties. And for most people that would be fine – at least they have family and can do a birthday dinner with them. Family’s a given, right? Oh wait, see above re: I have none. So then what do you do? Seems awfully rude to go to someone and be all “gee, I think you should make/buy me lunch/dinner for my birthday”… sigh. I did finally get over myself and tell Kat that I wanted to get together with her. Still felt like I was being all demanding, but she just laughed at that part. 🙂

Then there’s the general issue I have with holidays in general. I remember how excited I was as a kid over just about any holiday (even though my general lack of creativity was stressful at Halloween) – but now, while I desperately want to feel that again, I get to the holiday and all I can feel is “eh, it’s just another day, who cares?”. And this makes me very sad. I initially hoped that it was related to my depression – but my depression is under control now and it hasn’t shifted. Maybe it would be different if I lived with someone and we could feed off of each other’s anticipation and excitement, but that’s not an option at this point in time.

So… yeah. Birthdays stress me out. Today was actually quite sweet, for which I am grateful. I am happy that I had dance tonight, too – dance is the most important thing in my life at this point, my studio family is important to me, so it just seems appropriate.

My Dance, Finally

So for anybody who reads this who isn’t on my Facebook (does anybody even read this?), I have finally “finished” my dance. I don’t think that any creative work is every truly “complete”, but I haven’t made any major changes in a few months now. And I finally removed the worst of the things I can’t do at all.

Of course, I mostly still have issues with it. I watch it and all I want to say is “OMG did you see me fall out of that pique turn?” “Holy crap, I should have held that longer.” “Wow, that doesn’t look at ALL the way I pictured it.” Etc. Because I’m way too hard on myself, I know that, plus see above re: creative works never being truly “complete”. I’m trying to get out of my own way on this one – Diana was SUPER excited about this performance, and she’s seen it a fair few times. Got lots of positive feedback on Facebook too, but of course there’s a bit of “yeah, but, they’re my friends, and friends can lie to make each other feel better, plus they aren’t dancers, etc” – yeah, part of my brain is a snob. And it’s NOT that I don’t value their feedback, it’s just that part of me that has such a hard time actually believing anything good about myself. You all know that piece too, right? I think it’s a pretty common piece.

I got a fairly amazing email from someone I linked to this piece. I’m going to copy/paste here – not to toot my own horn, but to have it someplace where I’m less likely to lose it, and to remind myself to read it now and again.

Anyway, here’s the video. Sorry the sound is so crappy, my camera doesn’t have much of a microphone on it.

(and the email, for my own reference):

Well Uh, no WONDER she’s excited! Damn Shalora! I’m speechless! You are a different person on the floor, all purging your stuff but with this seasoned, obviously practiced grace and style and the most beautiful dramatic flair. I can feel your pain in the sad parts, and your joy in the exhilarant parts. And you came up with this yourself?? Of course you did, you are brilliant and I’m not saying that to make you feel better. No shit.

Let’s see, here’s what I was thinking while I watched:
Damn I wish I could move around on the floor like that! Especially going down – and then coming back up! All to music! Didn’t miss a beat!

Wow, I think she’s tapped into some serious creative juice here, she could have a future in choreography!

Damn there she goes rolling down onto the floor again and then up all in smooth flow like it was effortless. Wonder if she can teach me how to do that!

Did she loose weight too? Look how graceful her movements all are. Wowie! And look how she goes to each corner of the room the way that gymnasts do! And look how she points her toes so beautifully, like she’d been practicing for years, oh, right, she has. Well it sure does look normal on her. She has great style in all of this, great form. I’d give that like a 9.8 if she were in the olympics. She’s going to have to do more with this, choreograph more. She is GOOD.

Is that really Shalora or an alter self? She looks like a freed gazelle and a sad swan alternatingly. Wow I could never keep up with her! Wow, Shalora is Blooming! in all kinds of ways! Yay!!


I was born wanting to dance.

My parents apparently believe that one can only “succeed” at dancing if one is a professional ballerina or on Broadway. They decided early on that I would never be able to achieve that. Therefore I didn’t “need” to get any serious training.

Now don’t get me wrong. I ADORE the studio where I studied as a child. It was warm and loving and became a second home. However, I now know first-hand that competitive studios can be equally warm and loving (I’m sure that they aren’t all as wonderful as Studio One, but they clearly aren’t all as harsh and driven as the place in Dance Moms).

They searched high and low to find a studio that DIDN’T compete. Therefore, I never had a chance to test myself against any kind of objective standard. Our studio never even went to the competitions for the sake of the workshops. In all honesty, I didn’t even know that there WERE dance competitions.

I’m sure that finances were a problem, they didn’t have a ton of money when I was a kid. Maybe that’s why they kept me in just one hour a week, a tap/jazz combo, for so many years, not letting me add ballet or do any more hours in general. Ironically, they had constant concerns about my weight, and being more active (such as dancing more) might have helped with that concern. I did finally get to add ballet – when I was 11. I was put in the beginning class and then jumped up to join my age group. To this day, I run across things I never learned (two separate steps this past Friday that I’d never known) because my early training was so spotty. And yeah, not even the vaguest chance that I could ever have gone on pointe, between my mom’s weirdness and my late start (and now my weight issue, even if it would be possible for one to start dancing on pointe in their 30s, which I doubt).

Even with those handicaps, I might have had half a chance if I had been allowed to believe in myself. I might have been able to pick a college with a good dance program – in a style that appealed to me. Mills has quite a good program, but all modern, and I really did not like the type of modern that was popular in the 90s. I might have been able to do some research into other dance groups, other than professional ballet or Broadway-level. I might have found that there are such things. I might have at least been able to audition, see if I could have even held a candle to the girls with competitive training.

If NOTHING else, I might at least have looked for studios with adult classes. I might have harassed the owner of the studio I grew up in to offer some (she does now, but she didn’t then). I might have looked for a studio with adult competing teams that I could have joined, gotten some more intense training while I was still somewhat young (18 isn’t too far gone in dance, not like it is in gymnastics) and in relatively decent condition.

If I had kept dancing, I am POSITIVE that my depression would not have gotten as out of control as it did. Therefore I am also positive that my weight would have stayed somewhere in what could be considered a normal range. I strongly suspect that I could have finished college. Finishing college probably would have had me figure out how crazy my parents are sooner than I did. I would not have lost so many years. I would not now be fighting such a freaking uphill battle against my body – both the weight and all of the fun injuries I’ve had that have been direct results of the weight (stress fracture, hip injury, shin splints, etc). I might have known the camaraderie of a performing team, a good duo partner, a professional group… all things I can now observe from the outside, but will never experience. (I pretend sometimes that I might someday be able to join Pure, but let’s face it, I’m already 33. It will take a couple of years at best to get the weight off, my technique is nowhere near that level, it’s not going to happen.)

Then I see these girls at my studio. Some of them are AMAZINGLY talented, and I am so grateful to see that their parents are supporting them. But there are a few who have the talent… and don’t care. They don’t work in class, they don’t push themselves when they perform… and it baffles me. And yeah, it makes me angry too. I would give ANYTHING, literally anything, to have had the chances that these girls have, and to see some of them throwing it away just makes me die a little inside. Even seeing the ones who work for it (which most of them do) makes me jealous and hurts a little. Who would have thought that a grown woman could be jealous of 14-year-old girls?

Am I feeling sorry for myself? Yeah. I admit it. But this is the ONE thing in my life I have ever had serious passion for, and having been forced to lose any and all chance at being able to seriously follow it… Trust me, that kind of thing will destroy a piece of your soul.

There I Go Again

WARNING: This blog entry is entirely about me indulging in an orgy of self-pity. Proceed at your own risk.

You’d think that someday I’d just figure out the part where you can’t count on anyone. I don’t know, maybe I have figured it out, just can’t accept it. Whichever. But it’s still amazing to me that I’m still able to be shocked when I get let down yet again.

It’s not even about the stupid soup. It’s about having been forgotten about. Again. Cue abandonment issues running amok.

Here’s some totally awful truth – part of why I was looking for a boyfriend was just so that I might finally have SOMEONE for whom I wasn’t more than halfway down the list of priorities. Everyone thinks that I am such a priority for them – but the fact of the matter is that as soon as push comes to shove, I will be the first “priority” to be dropped. It’s frustrating to be the one who will do *anything* for a friend, yet have that eternally be one sided. Sure, everyone’s got their spouses and families and kids. Well, family isn’t really an option for me. And I’m back in a “never having kids” phase. But a spouse should at least be a theoretical possibility.

And if that’s not the most pathetic reason for wanting to find someone, I don’t know what would be. *sigh*

Just need to get over it and realize that it’s just me against the world and probably always will be.

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