Now there is something to be said for setting goals, and respecting yourself enough to learn and grow. I am not talking about that. I am talking about feeling like you don't measure up when there is nothing to measure up to. I am trying really, really hard to break away from this.
In one respect, I am lucky to live in my little patch of cow pasture. I don't get gigs (there are none, its not that I am not getting any, there are ZERO) and so I have very few goal markers set for me by anyone other than myself and my teacher. I do dance in shows when I travel and I teach but I feel my growth and ability are on par with that. But sometimes I get that thing where I must be "the best dance in all the world" by last Wednesday. It is so defeating. Why do we do this to ourselves?
Anyway, I was having one of these and I had a "come to Jesus meeting" (Southern expression, no actual Jesus involved) with myself. Here is the thing. I am the only one who cares about what level I am dancing at. I could quit dancing tomorrow and honestly, no one would really notice. Most of my friends and family have never seen me dance. Again, it is not a part of my livelihood. So, I ask myself. "Why am I doing this?" The answer is, because I want to and I love it. So what does it matter if I am progressing slowly or it takes me six months to get a certain concept? It doesn't. If that is how hard I have to work then so be it. What if I get sick like I did in the spring and fall behind for months? Then that is okay.
I respect myself and my art enough to be continually learning and working. I respect my teacher so I will do the homework and tasks he gives to the best of my ability. But if it is hard for me, and if I have to work a long time or if for some reason other aspects of my life get in the way? Okay.
Also. this video from Nadirah Jamal could not have come at a better time. Not only will I be okay with where my dance journey is taking me (regardless of the pace), I will also celebrate the goals I do achieve not just lament the ones I don't.