Monday, May 24, 2004

jiggity jig

Home again home again, or in my case, back in San Francisco, back at AX's, back to figuring out what I'm going to be when I grow up. Although I feel like I've done a bit of that last, in the past month; I'm having some clarity that didn't exist before.

To that end, I sat up last night and made a list. Not that list-making is anything new or special for me, but usually I make lists so that I can stop thinking about the items therein. Sort of making a list of things I can then promptly forget. Which is not going to be the case with last night's list--I have today broken down by hour. Which I guess is what people with "real" jobs have to do all the time, but I'm not used to it.

First item on the list: do not squander most of the day online.

Okay, whew, got that out of the way.

I did some number-crunching yesterday and realized that buying an unlimited 3-month class card to the dance studio would be more cost-effective than buying the 16- or 20-class cards I've been buying up until now. Or rather, an unlimited card would make sense if I planned to attend four or more classes a week. And I do; one of the things that has become really clear in the past month is that I really need to dance. I wish it hadn't taken me so long to realize how important this is. I have always enjoyed dancing--my aunt told me a story recently about how as a child, I loved to dance, but only if I was wearing a special yellow hat. I have no memory of this hat whatsoever, but she was convinced.

I danced in the living room at night as a teenager, after my parents had gone to bed, mostly to Adam Ant. Sometimes my father would wake up and we would eat Wheaties in the dining room at midnight, in the dark, and then he would go back to sleep and I would go back to dancing. I auditioned for the dance troupe my first year of high school and was chosen as an alternate, which I didn't follow through on; I felt bad about not making the troupe proper when I should have be proud to have made alternate--with no training. Although I did ballet as a little kid, after a bicycle accident that kept me off my feet for months I chose not to go back.

Point being, for most of my life there's been this tension between loving to dance and not feeling like I had the natural gift that would make pursuing it seriously worthwhile. I'm unstoppable in nightclubs, but freeze up when someone tries to show me steps. I've dropped out of more dance classes than I care to admit because I felt like I was too clumsy, too slow.

And then there was aikido. And it was hard, and I cried my way off the mat virtually every class for the first six months, and I spent years convincing myself that I wasn't clumsy, that I wasn't slow, that I had what it would take to learn how to do a highly physical thing properly. It took ten years of aikido to lead me back to dancing. That, and a few people in nightclubs telling me that they enjoyed watching me, that I had something. Which happened again, incidentally, in Chicago last month. He didn't even try to dance with me. I never saw him on the floor. But he stopped by our table on the way out and said I will never forget you, which was damn weird. Do you know him? asked my aunt. Nope.

If three people call you an ass, better get yourself a saddle. I don't know who said this, but I'm trying to listen. Which is why I might not be here so much, or at least not swimming around vaguely... I have a three-month unlimited class card to go buy, and a few more pairs of sweatpants.