parts of my whole story.


little known facts:
1. i miss dance more than anything.
2. i sincerely thought at one point that i was good at it.
3. i’ve always wished that i could sing, but that’s one thing i don’t even pretend to be good at. it doesn’t bother me much, but just like running or math, it’s one of those handy little talents that i sit and think about now and then.
(that one, i don’t think anybody knew. anybody. not even leighanne or beth or scott or lauren, or anyone else who has a good number of my deep dark secrets.)
4. i really do appreciate mrs debbie for a lot of things, as much as i act like i hate her. (i don’t hate her, i just hate how my best was never good enough for her and that she didn’t believe in me or have any respect for my feelings)

i love glee.

i was watching the episode where artie wants to be a dancer. now, glee always makes me miss dancing, since they do that a lot you know, but since this episode is all about dreams and a little bit about dance(it’s one of my favorites, after the one where mercedes has to lose 10 pounds and starts starving herself and quinn talks some sense into her. quinn’s my favorite too. but i digress), it triggers a lot of crap in my head.

i first heard of ballet magnificat about two years after i started dance. this was probably the highest point of my “career”; a great year had just come to a close, i was skipping a level(first nail in the coffin, but you know that story), and everything was going great. so when mrs debbie told us all about this amazing legit professional company that was all about using dance to glorify God, i was excited, but it was kind of an illusive concept since i hadn’t seen them yet. the next february, we went to one of their weekend workshops. the first night they perform for us, then the next two days we take classes from them, and if we’re lucky we get to talk to them some.

that friday night was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. besides making ruth one of my favorite books of the bible(i’ve read it at least ten times since then, i’d never studied it much before that), i saw what i could be, what i wanted to be. i saw how selfish i’d been in how i saw dance. i didn’t care what place God had in it. all i cared about was feeling important. (note, at this time it hadn’t become a nightmare. that started soon after this)

everything changed. i decided that one day i would be one of them. i would do what i loved and i’d do it for Jesus. what could be better?

for about a month, i was on a high. i let the comments about my weight and my short attention span and overall failure-ness bounce right off me. i didn’t have to be good enough for her. i just had to one day be good enough for them. that was the dream.

that was stupid. true, she said it much more harshly than necessary, but mrs debbie was telling the truth. i didn’t have the talent. i had passion, and i wanted it more than anything in the world, but despite what the movies say, wanting things isn’t enough. i just wasn’t, good.

i’ve only recently come to terms with that. sometimes i’ve wondered if quitting all together was a good decision, what life would be like right now if i’d gone someplace else after my days at footnotes ended. but i don’t think finding another studio after we moved would have helped. a new teacher might have undone some of the damage(corrected my belief that i was fat before it was too deeply ingrained to ever get out, maybe convinced me that i’m not an idiot or a failure), but there’s no point in sugar coating it: i didn’t suck, but i wasn’t great. and that’s okay. there’s other things i’m good at, and they’re a lot more important than having a stable arabesque.

i have a ballet magnificat poster that i got at that first workshop. i had a bunch of the dancers sign it, and they all put their favorite verses on it. i used to have it on my ceiling above my bed. while i cried to God at night after a hard class, asking why i was struggling so much, why no one could see how hard i was trying, i would look at that poster and dream of the day where all that would matter was that i loved Jesus and just wanted to live psalm 149:3 forever. now, that poster is hidden in my closet. it means something so different, so much darker. it doesn’t make me feel good like it did before. i look at it, and i hear my 5 least favorite words echoing in my mind. i see dreams that will never happen, i feel like i don’t matter, i start crying and look around for her to be asking what’s wrong with me and telling me to get up and go on, and if nothing else, i just feel fat and lazy for not being able to do anything i used to. but i can’t bring myself to tear the poster up or burn it; first of all because i paid for it, but mostly because i know that ballet mag was the thing that kept me going. if it weren’t for that ridiculous dream of mine, i would have quit long before i did. i’d be so much more messed up than i am. i would have had nothing to convince me that all the degrading things i heard all day weren’t true. i don’t know what i would be like right now. as stupid as i was to believe i would be one of them someday, i’ll always be glad for what i learned from them. plus, it’s just a pretty picture. it’d be sad to see that on fire.

afraid to remember. terrified to forget.

i really don’t care that i failed as a dancer. i was determined not to mention camp in this post, but i feel like i have to so that the two people that are reading this(no one ever does) won’t think i sit around feeling like a failure all the time. camp is where my purpose and calling is. i’m serving God there like i never did at footnotes. i’m there for all the right reasons and i love everything about it. i’m completely happy with how my life has turned out.

but it would still be nice to be able to dance around my kitchen while i wait for my hot pockets to cook.


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