Saturday, November 20, 2010

Can You Kiss Your Own Butt?

Day 03→ Something you have to forgive yourself for.

Stellar segue. Wasn't I just talking about forgiveness? Yes, I think I was. Bravo, me.

I have to forgive myself for not living up to my own expectations...which it has been brought to my attention are super-human. That might sound poncy, but I swear on a stack of scrabble dictionaries, the thoughts and feelings I automatically have in reaction to not getting things exactly right the first time are ridiculous. I put an insane amount of pressure on myself. In some ways this is good. It inspires in me a fierce determination, and has led me to achieving most of the goals I have set out to reach. The main problem, however, is that when I am thinking like this, I usually can't give myself credit for the achievements. The first few years I was dancing and in color guard, I could give a beautiful performance that got a wonderful audience reaction, but if I didn't execute the choreography perfectly I came off of the stage furious with myself, ruminating about how stupid whatever I did was. On top of that,
if it was guard, or a group dance performance that went badly, I thought *I* ruined it, regardless of whether I had a bad show or a good one (there's that self-centered thinking again. Hello! Not everything is about you, dude). Perfectionism seems like it would be a good thing in theory, but a lot of time it is very self-defeating. Another problem with telling myself I was an idiot that was never going to do anything right was that I believed myself. This sometimes held me back from ever fixing whatever mistake I made, so it became an ugly self-perpetuating cycle.

Thankfully I didn't stay in that mode forever, because I had some really amazing experiences later in my dancing and guard days that would have nevereverever been possible with that attitude. I was able to perform in front of thousands of cheering people, and soak in the joy and enthusiasm instead of freaking out about being perfect. The last show of the '06 Zydeco winter guard season is the one that comes to mind as I'm typing this. I honestly don't even remember if I bobbled anything or not. What I remember is how it felt to see how excited the audience was and how insanely loud they were. They knew who were were, and they were screaming that they loved us. I remember seeing the lights shining down on us as we walked out as a group, all of us practically vibrating with nervous energy, and getting ready to go out on the floor for the last performance of the season. My eyes started tearing up but I wouldn't let myself cry. I could be sad later, right now it was SHOW TIME [insert a bunch of guard people jumping around like idiots and repeating inside jokes]. There is a palpable energy on the floor when you are performing with a group that you feed off of, in addition to the response of the audience. To give you an idea of what it was like that day, it felt like my leaps were twice as high and my smile twice as big as usual. Adrenaline, yo. The air was buzzing. I don't think there are words for all of the thoughts and emotions that went through me. It was just so much fucking fun. That season in general was so hilarious. Some of my fondest and funniest memories are with the friends I made in that group. I have to do some blogging about them. I'm so grateful for that experience. I think that everyone should have something in their life like least one moment that makes your brain freezeframe and go "Holy shit, I feel so great right now. I want to remember this moment foreeever(for some reason, in my head when I said that 'forever', I suddenly developed a spanish accent...?)."

opening pose I was referring to

a few of us after awards...there appears to a rose growing out of my head

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jen, the photos are a great addition. I am seriously impressed that you can bend backwards at right angles. No joke. That is impressive. I consider it an act of contorsion if I can manage to tie my shoes while standing.