Tuesday, July 2, 2013

That thing where I need to be perfect, a rant by me

I was doing that thing again. The thing where I have a bad practice and convince myself that I should give up because I am not good enough! See that's funny because I am good enough. The only bar that has been set is the one that has been set by me.
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.

1 comment:

Anthea Kawakib Poole said...

I know what you mean, but I think you're mistaken that "no one cares" whether you dance. I bet that your friends and/or family (hopefully both!) are secretly impressed at your drive and abilities, whatever they are. But that's the kind of thing people never say, so we don't hear it, you know?