Sunday, November 27, 2011

hitting the brick wall

Earlier this week I was thinking how time had gone so fast. How I had landed in San Francisco this year on that cold January night and then had struggled to get into a university in the USA. Now my first semester as an MFA student is almost done and I'm a quarter closer to earning my degree.

Then just this morning, a friend told me how she felt time had gone so fast - as if she had blinked herself into the end of the year. And it's true.

Let me tell you my deepest, darkest secret. It won't be my deepest, darkest secret anymore after I've told you, so at least that's one out and millions more to share. What can I say, my life is an open book and the secrets are there, waiting to be revealed to anyone who cares to read it.

Now, about that deepest, darkest secret: I sincerely wish I could stop time. I sincerely wish that I could take the happiest moment of my life with the people I care about and just freeze it and live it forever and a second. Maybe that's what Heaven is. Possibly.

The point is, as I'm getting closer to earning an MFA, that means my days of taking classes at the FatChanceBellyDance studio are also numbered. I had already complained about not being able to go to Thursday classes next semester (February until May) because of the new school schedule. This means I'm only limited to the Saturday classes and Dance Conditioning sessions. This means I'll be missing my friends who usually come only on Thursdays.

Then there's the physical limitations. There's so much that my brain has to process. There's so much that my muscle memory has to take in. There's so much that my reflexes has to train themselves to remember. I've been away from the weekly velvetRAQS practices for less than a year and now whenever I try to do the Turkish Shimmy or the Arabic Shimmy with my left foot as the dominant one, my shimmies will get stuck. Shimmies have never been my best friend. Layering movements on regular Oriental shimmies has been so hard. Doing the sharp pop, lock, and hit with my body has been almost impossible.

The fears and paranoia are the cherry on top of the cake. What if when I go back home to Indonesia, I can't find anyone to dance ATS with? This is not about the invested money and energy and time and what have you, this is about not being able to do the dance that you love so much. This thought scares the bejeebus out of me. The fact that this dance demands so much and the fact that I, as a teacher, also demand so much because I want to keep the purity of FCBD ATS, posture and all, they may not be appealing to many people.

Then I realized, heck, if I can get only one or two people to dance with and they give their best like I do, I will be happy. Then I realized, I am a human, there's just so much that my body can do. But I will work with my strengths and my flaws and I will learn to love myself and accept that probably I can never shimmy while doing a full split. And these realizations came after watching this video:

That is Oskar, the blind cat. I wrote earlier about Ms. Wendy Allen's three-legged dog, the sweet Abby Noodle Bumskooter. And I have to repeat myself: it's amazing how animals (some, like Oskar and Abby, aided by kind humans) can constantly amaze and inspire me to do more and never give up, even when I'm hitting a brick wall.

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