Months and months ago, when we first got to Phoenix, I discovered the one thing I've been looking for my whole adult life. Phoenix has adult dance classes. For fun. There's one studio, in particular, that made me so incredibly excited that I immediately purchased my first unlimited month. Except then I went insane trying to deal with living with the in-laws, and I never made it.
I've been making excuses since I got back. Some of them are actually legitimate reasons - since I sprained my ankle so badly in January, I didn't want to start dancing and hurt myself all over the place. I didn't want to feel like I was going to drop dead in the middle of class, and then be too embarrassed to go back again. I needed to build up my stamina and my strength. Those were the legitimate ones. The others, not so much.
I've been feeling like going for two weeks now, but refused to consider it. Was I ready? Could my body handle it? Worst of all, what happens if I start, absolutely fall in love with it, and then one of us gets a job out of state? I don't want to stay in Phoenix. We had our first 90-degree day last week. In MARCH. The heat does really bad things to my circulation and blood pressure, and it makes me miserable, besides. I CAN'T stay in Phoenix, especially with the in-laws who won't let the house be less than 85 degrees when it's hotter outside. I'm really freaking out about it. I WANT to leave. So what if I start these classes, and love them? I risk losing them. Breaking my heart. Never finding another studio like this one.
A couple days ago, I stayed up late and danced. I'd been doing homework all day, and my hips and back were sore and stiff, and my whole body just hurt. I was intending just to limber up a bit so I could go to bed without so much stiffness. Except I danced. And danced. And danced. Normally, I do this in spurts. Dance a little, daydream a little. Or brainstorm stories. It's a good system. Refills the creative well beautifully. It's been a long time since I was able to just dance until I dropped.
But I did it.
One of my "Gypsy Flamenco" songs came on - the one I like the most. I figured, what the heck. They're really good for stretching. Might as well tack that one on before bed. I haven't been able to complete a song from that cd for years. They're fast. They're long. They require actual stamina to get through. I got to the end of the song. I was breathing harder than dancing at home has made me for years - which is really a mark of how much I'm allowing myself to do, not what I'm capable of. I was sweaty. Not dripping sweat, but the kind that films the body after a great workout.
I danced until I couldn't dance anymore.
I don't even remember when I did that last. It felt AMAZING.
Yesterday, I signed up for my first class. I'm going tomorrow morning. It's not a dance class; I still have a ways to go yet before my ankles are strong enough for that. It's a barre class, all about strengthening and stretching. Creating form (which I already have) and control (which I only sort of have) while building up them muscles into long, lean, beautiful powerhouses. I'm going to try Zumba over the weekend, and a cardio striptease class just for fun. Maybe after a couple weeks of those, I can move on to ballet, jazz, and tap. And after a couple weeks of those, maybe I'll get up the courage to use my Groupon for ballroom lessons.
Fulfilling dreams is so SCARY!
I'm tired of being angry with my body for failing me. Tired of blaming myself for never getting in shape. For not controlling my descent into obesity. I don't want to hate my body for its failures or its complications. Most of all, I'm sick of allowing that one, defining incident in my past to define how I feel about me. 8 years ago, somebody shattered everything I was to myself - my confidence, my belief in my own power, and my love of myself as a woman. I know it's made me literally sick for all 8 of those years. It stole my power to make change happen. It stole my power, period.
Not anymore. I believe in my body. I believe in my power to change things. I believe in myself and my abilities. I believe I am a strong, competent, intelligent, beautiful, incredible woman with poise and grace and a deep, intimate acceptance of who I am and why I am here.
This is me.
Allowing myself to be me is an enormous risk. It starts with this one class. This one choice that insists I am a person worth the time. This one choice that moves me away from who I've let be defined for me, and back toward the woman I was born to be.
I believe the Universe will support my positive change, my shift back into harmonious rhythm with it and myself, and call greater positive change to dance with me on my path. I believe it, and my intuition tells me it will be so.
That small voice that has been me for 8 years wonders if my whole world won't fall apart around me, instead, but I choose to lay it to rest. Yes, it's a risk. Yes, my world has a great proclivity for falling apart. But it will not happen this time. I may not get everything I hope for, but awesome things are coming my way.
The transformation is already fully in progress.