We all have our demons we need to fight now and then.
Tonight mine are running rampant.
For some of us, it’s hard to believe in ourselves, to have faith in ourselves, to trust our abilities. We have self-doubt and frustrations.
While I do understand and have days like this, those are not my demons.
My demons come from being an eternal optimist and they come out to tell me that no matter what I do, life is not a fairy tale and I can’t click my latin heels together 3 times and make everything turn out right.
I got into dance when I reached a point in my life I decided to stop relying on the needs and wants of others to do things I always wanted to do. I never tried dance before then simply because I didn’t have a partner, or my ‘life’ partner didn’t want to dance. It was like I was waiting for a partner to magically arrive so I could learn to dance. Instead I decided to start learning to dance, and figure out the partner part later. Perhaps I would even meet a partner at a dance class–makes sense, right?
Well, that is not how things happened, and instead of finding an amateur partner, I discovered pro/am. It seemed like the answer to my prayers and a tangible and viable way to try and reach my goals.
But lately, I am finding that even with pro/am perhaps I am living a dance fairy tale. I am working really hard on my own to improve and get better. But in the end, this is a partnered sport. Am I really being realistic thinking that if I wish and hope for it hard enough that I can conquer this partnered sport more or less on my own?
I feel rather stupid and naive in that respect. I know I should be grateful that I can even afford to do pro/am (many can’t) and that it is at least an option for me, but instead I feel filled with frustration. Every thing I do, every goal I achieve seems empty–because it is half a goal. These days I feel neither like a competitor nor a ballroom dancer. At best I feel like a solo fanatic.
Part of the issue that is likely allowing these demons to run rampant is that it has been a very long time since I have really competed. My last competition where there was someone else on the floor was fall 2014. Right now, I don’t know when my next one will be. The costs of competing right now just seem astronomical and every time I do a budget estimate the final number is repeatedly too high.
I am trying to accept reality. As good as I am at budgeting and stretching my dance funds, I really will be able to compete probably once a year. I don’t think that is enough for me to feel like a ‘real’ competitive dancer. My other option is to do multiple local comps without anyone else to compete against. Again, same problem.
This hasn’t really bothered me before, but it is like there are demons in my head taunting me and telling me that I have no ‘real’ goals because pro/am doesn’t really have championships and there is no tangible over-arching competitive goal to work towards in pro/am. I can want to be a ‘senior I 10-dance champion’ but such a title does not exist in the pro/am world.
I am not really even preparing for any competition right now. Most of what I am working on is focused on improving my technique on my own, and I really don’t know if there is much in the way of improvement for my partnered dancing. Thursday, Boss and I ran through a small foxtrot sequence and he was really pleased with the result, but all I could think was ‘Wow–when was the last time I danced with a partner like this?’
It’s not that I feel I am wasting my time. The demons are just pointing out that I am still living on the magical hope that a ‘fairy-god-partner’ or some equivalent will come out of the woodwork to make my goals possible. They say I am living in a dream-world thinking that I will always either figure out the budget, find a way to make my goals work, or that opportunities will just come when they are needed.
Fighting these demons and clinging to hope and my goals helped me get through my illness and treatment. Now, I think it is harder to cling to that because I don’t HAVE to cling to them to keep fighting.
I feel a lot of pressure (which I am putting on myself) to compete and ‘come back’ and do well, but at the same time because of limited budget, I feel I have to make sure that the competition I choose is an experience worthy of the sacrifice and expense needed to make it happen. I don’t want to be disappointed after a competition and wish I hadn’t spent so much money on it. I have been through that before and it’s no fun. It’s like I have to put all my competitive eggs in one basket and hope there are no holes in it.
And my demons are there with scissors, just waiting to find the vulnerable spots in my armour. The idea of committing to a competition right now just seems like a fool’s errand and I don’t know why. Do I think I won’t be ready? Am I worried there will be no other competitors? Am I worried I won’t be able to afford it?
I honestly don’t know what it is about these demons that is holding me back. I feel quite lost and I wonder if these demons are really trying to tell me that no matter how much I might unconditionally love dance, it doesn’t mean that it is able to really love me back.
I feel like I need some help and guidance in working through this and putting those demons to bed. Help to find a way to really get back on my dancing horse and ride off into the sunset. I am trying to figure out how it is ok that I am insisting on doing this sport on my own.
Boss is great and can be very understanding, but some times I think that as good as his intentions might be, he has never had to compete or train as a pro/am student. I know he wants to understand and appreciate the difficulties with it, but I am not sure that is possible without experiencing it for himself. I do appreciate very much that he tries though.
For now, I am trying to not feel unreasonable, trying to keep these demons at bay and find little things I can focus on until I figure out the big picture and find that long-term goal I seem to be desperately searching for now that fighting just to live is fully over.
Fairy tales, magic and dreams can be reality, right?