The Body Electric (thebodyelectric) wrote,
The Body Electric

Unabashed: long ago.

I know that I left you in the lurch, but forgive me.

I had not learned how to see your way. And your way is probably correct, or at least more gentle to one's self. I thought it was the benefit of being raised as though you were smart and your interests were valid. Probably, that's why I didn't have it.

I've since tried to raise myself as though I was smart and my interests are valid. I'm better at it: I believe it part of the time. When it is here, that belief can be gentle and cool, but still I mistake it for ego and conceit. I fight my own attempts to undo what I learned. Sometimes, it is too uncomfortable to be in a place of confidence and calm.

When I was with you, I was not optimistic enough to rely on my resume and the name of my alma mater to earn me a livelihood. Because I was realistic. Because I did not have the fairy tale connections, legacy relationships, or constant, quiet self-confidence that would allow leaps over caverns of starting out in the world. At that point, I did not have the characteristics that stand out in a set of applicants, other than my interviews and my recommendations. When I leave here, I will have a wee bit more, but I still don't know how to talk about it without undermining it. I suppose that comes from choosing places that allow me to beat up myself to get the job done. We head towards comfort after all.

It's all chance and hard work after all. There's nothing fancy, magical, or genius to grad school.

I think I've learned that I will never have the cool, collected confidence of you. I still envy it, but I'm putting together my own mantras to whisper to myself when I am in over my head. It's not as thematic or cohesive as what you have, but it has been grown in adversity and pruned in less-damaging times. My confidences are lean and a bit prickly. Surely, those close to me know when they've run into them.

They feel a bit like costuming. I try on shiny pieces until something works today.

I nab little gleaming pieces of self-belief from movement. Yoga brings me: be not afraid. Biblical, but I can use it, as I am often afraid of distant and irrelevant things. I think/hope that this is what my grandmother was trying to tell me before she died. It flows into cliches about following your heart, and I try, but my heart often remembers hurt that has since ended. I don't want to follow it back there.

Then, dance brings me into contact with the joy of others. It may just counteract the non-sharing and built-in-sense-of-suffering from my family. It feeds into: pursue joy. Chase it, dance with it, and let it go when it's time (but not ever sooner or later than when it's time). Stay aware of the joy racing around you. It's fun to help others chase their joy. (Secretly, that's where the motivation for teaching rests: helping others find joy.)

From trapeze, I am only skilled enough for two lessons: I am strong and Head up. Chin to chest will get you nothing and will make you miss what is going on around you. Strength isn't what you learned it was 20 years ago. Instead of being about others, strength is about what is inside of you. Literally, your muscles and how they work together. Metaphorically, though, it's how you stand and move in the world. How you move with others.

What I'm looking for, though, is when those lessons expand outwards. I know that now isn't really the time, but if I do my work well, I know what comes later.
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