Thursday, November 3, 2011

confessions from the bar(re)

I once dreamed of growing up to be a ballerina.

And that hope died when someone told me, at a very young age, that I didn't have the right body type, which is a nice way of telling an eight-year-old that she's overweight. Thanks, Jean!

But I got over it. Still, one of my favorite rainy day movies is Center Stage, which chronicles the lives of young ballerinas at the American Ballerina Academy in NYC.

Can I relate to most of what happens in this movie?


Being thin, being an amazing dancer, going to a special school in a magical city, riding on the back of a handsome stranger's motorcycle, hanging out with Zoe Saldana on a ferry... not my life.

But I had a needlessly difficult day today, the kind where you doubt yourself and doubt the world and end up devouring your kids' leftover Halloween chocolate and thinking, "WHY DO I CARE SO MUCH? I'M JUST SUPPOSED TO WONDER AROUND, EATING FRUIT OFF OF TREES AND KILLING SMALL ANIMALS TO MAKE A SHIRT. I'M JUST A DAMNED DIRTY APE WITH AN ENORMOUS HEART, AND NOTHING IS ACTUALLY WRONG, AND THIS IS RIDICULOUS."

And the same thing kept coming to mind, every time I started the downward spiral. This quote, from Center Stage, which I haven't seen in a year, since my VCR broke.

"You don’t like him very much, do you? I don’t blame you. He’s impossible. Headstrong, egotistical, arrogant as all hell. The thing is, you’d be hard pressed to find any choreographer or company director who isn’t like that.

The unwise dancers blame them; “He didn’t like me, she was unfair, I should’ve had that part.” The smart ones know where to look when things get rough.

It isn’t there. (Lays hand on barre) It’s here.

No matter what happened in class, in performance, last week, five minutes ago. If you come back here, you’ll be home."

And so I came home, to my barre, by which I mean my writing. I've written 8 pages today on the newest book, a YA quasi-dystopian. Writing is my escape, my comfort, my drug. When I'm making up stories, I'm not worrying or overthinking or feeling sorry for myself. I'm being the root of who I am, and it feels good.

I'll never be a ballerina, but I can dance with words.



Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

Awesome post! I can relate. I danced ballet until I was 20. Then I freaked out about attempting to break into the world of professional dance instead of getting a "real" job, so I gave up on ballet. Now I write, so I'm not 100% sure that this is a "real" job either. But, I'm happy with it!

Anonymous said...

Great post - love that - "dance with words"

EttyOop said...

I'll never be a ballerina, but I can dance with words.

I love this line... *smile*

And I love the sentiment