Monday, October 3, 2016

Ups and Downs

Last week I had a startling boost in mood. I enjoyed my classes, and more importantly I went to almost all of them. More importantly, I finally discovered a grad school that looks like exactly what I want. There are prominent dance researchers on faculty there and it is very much research based rather than performance based -- and yet it's still dance. Only downsides are that it's in LA, is pretty expensive, and the application deadline is incredibly soon.

Despite all that, I was walking on air for an entire afternoon, telling anyone who would listen all about UCLA. That same day, however, I was in an environment full of tension and aggression, all directed towards one of my best friends who wasn't even there. What had been such an inspiring and hopeful day turned into one of the worst nights. I was overwhelmed with how mean people could be, how petty, how rude, etc. Yeah, yeah, I was biased, I know. Perhaps if they'd been talking about someone else, I wouldn't have been as upset. Either way, it all freaked me out and so I resettled into my hopeless despair.

That weekend, I got to experience one of the worst work days I've ever experienced. It was awful.

Somehow, despite that, my mood picked back up as I washed my Starbucks apron and went to work the next day. I created a little hashtag to try to cheer myself up. I do that sometimes: try to come up with little ways to encourage myself and make myself keep going. I kept telling myself, "You can do it. You can go to all of your classes. You can be something."

Today is Monday. Maybe the only reason I made myself get up and go to my first class was because I was supposed to present (though we didn't even get to me, but still), but I'm very glad I did get there. That class, which is discussion based, sometimes can really get on my nerves. For someone so interested in collaboration, I can get real sick of having to talk to other people and listen to their opinions and ideas. I like to think I'm pretty respectful and patient, but there are times when I just cannot listen to the same opinion be rephrased over and over again or the same question be asked over and over again. Being around people is hard enough, but somehow it's worse when all we do is repeat each other.

Right after that class I went to ballet. I love my ballet class this semester. But it was a very bad class for me. I did not dance my best at all, and had to leave a few times to have panic attacks in the bathroom.

So here I am, hiding in Starbucks, knowingly missing my modern technique class and probably my choreo class as well. One day after believing I could be a good student and a good dance and a good human being.

I am probably going to fail all of my dance classes. Heck, maybe my geology class too. I feel like an idiot trying to talk to my professors about grad school when they obviously know I'm not in class half the time. So why on earth would it be a good idea for me to go to LA of all places and just miss some more classes there?

Why am I trying to study a subject that is so community based? You can't be an isolated dancer. But people stress me out. Dancers stress me out. They're dramatic and gossipy and loud and scary. They're very human. They're great people. But I can't handle people. My social anxiety gets worse and worse.

Why am I trying to study such a physical subject? My ankles never quite healed right after that bad sprain in high school (probably because I danced on it for a month before getting it looked at) and I have tendonitis in my knees (which you can't just cure). Dancing is a constant battle between movement and my body, between trying to improve and trying not to injure myself.

The dance world has no place for people with broken bodies and broken minds. I don't have the willpower to push through the pain anymore and I don't have a well-functioning body to coast through the mental turbulence.

The worst is feeling determined and hopeful one day, and the next morning being back to nothing.