A Reason to Go, Not Stop
So I was crying during yoga again today. I wrote in one of the posts on our class’s group page that the teenage-version of Crystal is popping out this week, and she has some major issues. She is the aspiring actress in me who never got a part. The soprano with a beautiful voice, but terrible pitch who choked at every audition. The lady who could sort of dance. The girl with the pretty face, but…
She is scared to death, but still wants to show off how amazing she is to everyone. She has all of these talents that are obscured by fear, and resents everyone who can’t see past the fear. Hell, she resents everyone who can perform past (or without) their own fears. She vacillates between wounded and victimized, and deep self-hatred and personal criticism.
And she also always used her body as an excuse for why she didn’t get picked. She was too fat for the part. The directors wanted a different look – even though she wasn’t really fat back in high school. And that excuse actually deepened her body dismorphia. It made her hate her body.
I thought I had grown out of her, but she is back and she is playing the whiny victim in my head.
She showed up, because Monday night I auditioned for a play. I also got a call back. That means I am going to have to dance for the directors. So, last night I went back and I learned the dance. Sort of. Mostly. Okay, I understand the dance. I have it in my head, but I didn’t physically get all the way through it.
And I’m mad. I’m mad because the choreography is REALLY hard and REALLY fast, and because when I walked in at the beginning I thought, “I’m a pretty good dancer for an amateur.” Which is what I thought I would be judged on: my amateur status. I mean it’s community theatre, it’s not professional. No one is going to pay me. I didn’t join the union. (Hum…sounding like a snarky teenager already.)
But the dance is insane. And stupid. And they keep changing which direction you move and what foot you start on for each sequence.
“Well, we have to keep the audience guessing,” said the sweet (evil) girl who was teaching me the steps.
“Of course, Rapid City audiences are so discerning that they will totally be rolling their eyes at us for the amateurs we are if we always start on our right foot,” I said with an eye roll to myself.
Every time I stopped I was thinking, “This is stupid,” or, “These counts don’t make sense,” or, “this choreography doesn’t match the music.” I was really thinking, “I’m stupid,” or, “I can’t figure this out,” or, “my body can’t do this!”
“Okay teenage, Crystal. Stop it. You can do this, you are strong. I will take care of you.”
I thought I had silenced her. But I still didn’t get through it all, and my music is way too low for me, and man this going to be a huge time commitment even if I do make it…
This morning when I woke up, I was SORE. I used what must have been previously un-moved parts of my butt-cheeks like a million times on a sort of tip-toed, cha-cha step that’s in the beginning of the sequence. And I had a headache. (Probably from the ice cream I gave myself as a reward for dancing for two hours straight.)
It was the first time that I considered skipping yoga class. I had reasonable excuses: “I don’t want to hurt myself. I don’t want to push myself too far. I want to be able to dance tonight at auditions. I have a migraine and I need to sleep it off.”
(Stupid body – wait, where did that come from?)
But I committed to this, so I went anyway. I talked myself into it: I usually feel better after yoga. I can just sit on the mat if I need to. I can take the poses easy.
I went. I did it. I did all the poses. I didn’t even really take them easy. But I had a fight in my head the whole morning. Part of it was useful – don’t hurt yourself, Crystal. Part of it was just the negative crap that I had let myself think last night. I started feeling the “I can’t” again, because I couldn’t last night.
I still couldn’t do it; not by the end of the night. Maybe not in time for auditions tonight. Tonight, when they will judge whether I can dance well enough to be in the play.
(Stupid body – there it is again.)
Part of me honestly hopes that they do decide that. That they see where I am and decide it’s not enough. Because, then I won’t have to feel like this again at all the rehearsals – and maybe the performances.
So, teenage Crystal is sort of winning. Which means we are both losing. I thought I had let all of this go, but it’s back. I guess it’s time to let go again. (And again, and again, and again…) I am a better singer and a better dancer than I was in high school. I know I am. I don’t know if I am a better actress, but I was always a pretty terrific actress. So I got that going for me. Now I just have to calm the teen me down enough that I can do my best and then let it go.
I can accept whatever happens. I know I can. But it was a real slap in the face that I had such a hard time with the dance. I have made my body an excuse so many times before. I would hate for it to be the reason that I didn’t get something. I have let go of so much weight and I have gotten so strong. Today, after yoga, I thought, “I want my body to be a reason to go, not a reason to stop.”
And I made it a reason to stop so many times. The reason not to go swimming. The reason not to buy certain clothes. The reason not to go up that hill. The reason not to flirt with that guy.
But, I want my body to be the reason that I do go swimming, shopping, hiking, dancing…