[She] “Sometimes has to Cry” (On the Bathroom Floor)

This is usually where I tend to find myself when I’ve come to the edge and without stoping gone right over and then I’m very much stuck. It’s not often, but 3 very distinct life changing times come to mind any time I find myself back there on the cold hard tile.

Most recently… today actually… avoiding eye contact, I slumped into the bathroom at work and crumpled onto the floor. I knew I was feeling overwhelmed at work and that I’d let some things slide, but I didn’t realize just how bad it was till I had a meeting with my boss. The meeting wasn’t all bad and I love my job and my boss- don’t get me wrong- but I realized how much I’ve been holding back… holding in… and that it was starting to negatively affect my work ability and performance.
I felt so embarrassed for bursting into tears then slinking around the studio because my face was red and blotchy and my eyes bloodshot. But I didn’t realize how much I needed to cry.
After the breakup and move, I felt like I was cried out… I don’t think I’ve cried sense then, till today. I was tired of being emotional and teary-eyed everywhere I went… But given the right time and place, a good cry can actually be a good stress release and allow you time to clear your head and be ready to come back to the situation with better perspective. At least that’s what I’ve found.

Over the years I’ve learned that it’s hard for me to show weakness, fear, and insecurity. I’d say it’s something I work with regularly… and just when I think I’ve made improvements, I find myself drying at work and posting about it on FaceBook– maybe one of the most un-adult ways to handle a situation… and I remember I’m not as strong, brave, and stable as I want to be or as others think I should be. This has cost me relationships and trust, but it’s also pushed me in better directions.
It may be embarrassing, but I’ve learned something every time and come out somehow better in the end, and I hope that by sharing, I inspire someone else to face what it is that they struggle with and come out stronger on the other side.

The first time I can remember I was in 10th grade… in dance class. I had just decided I was going to be a dance major and was placed in a more advanced class. We had a guest teacher that day- a DSA grad come back from college to teach us a special master class. I tried, oh boy did I try, but about 20 minutes in we were going across the floor and I couldn’t, for the lit of my, keep up! I was used to not always getting the movement combinations in class- Marci and Dean can vouch for that!- but I’d give it all I had and look fierce while doing it regardless… but this class got me. I’ve never run out in the middle of a class except for that day– we were gonna go across again faster and I couldn’t– I bolted. Out the door I ran trying to get away before the tears and self doubt poured out.
I found myself on the floor of the girls bathroom at DSA, in a black leo and tights, crying. Questioning why I had ever thought I was meant to be a dancer and how in the world I was gonna walk back into that studio. A classmate, a senior, came in after me. She let me cry… She told me it was fine, that it was hard for her too and that I was going great. I pulled myself together, we went back in, and she went across one last time with me, helping me through the combination.
I realized then, that I had a family and support system in the dance world and that it was ok to not get every across the floor every time. I promised myself then that I wouldn’t leave a class like that again, but that I would take a breath and go across that one last time, not worrying if I got it or not. I went on to get my college degree in dance performance and I haven’t left another class yet.

The second time was very early the morning of my fathers memorial service, 3 years ago this month, after his 10 month battle with cancer. Now, of course this wasn’t the first time I’d cried during that time, but it was the first time I felt like I cried with nothing holding my back and didn’t know when it would stop. I wasn’t worried about my looks and presentation, or having to communicate with anyone, or having to take care of anyone, or having to run errands… It was just me and the dark pre-sunrise day, and my college apartment bathroom floor.
It came out of no where and I found myself willing to let it run it’s course. I felt scared and alone and worried… confused and mad and very much small and alone. There alone on the floor I yelled, I laughed, I sat in silence, and I cried (of course). I don’t know how long I was there and I don’t really remember going back to bed… But I did, cause when I really woke up that day I felt clean. I knew I needed to be calm and collected for the service… but I know I left a lot on the floor at Avery Glen Apt. 127.

The third time was a few months ago, when my significant other ended our relationship. I couldn’t even pretend to hold it together, I was so in shock and upset. I’ve never had my knees literally buckle under me, but there I was, in the dark on another (much smaller, this is NYC after all) bathroom floor, sobbing my eyes out as a wave of emotions and worry flooded me. Was this real? Why couldn’t we talk about this? What was I doing to do? Where was I supposed to go?
I couldn’t really stay in the bathroom all that long (as between 5 of us roommates we had one bathroom) so the crying continued in the bedroom late into the night, but again I was scarred and wondering what I was thinking getting into this again and hating myself for not being better to someone I said I cared about.

I don’t really have a good way to end this post. So I’ll quote a song that I love and that some people were playing in the subway last night as I was waiting for the train home from work. For the video– check out my Instagram http://instagram.com/p/t6jXyYG4NH/

I pray you’ll be our eyes,
and watch us where we go
And help us to be wise,
in times when we don’t know
Let this be our prayer,
when we lose our way
Lead us to a place,
guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.

love always, christiane

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The EX-Factor

Sometimes, as much as we love to hate them, or hate to love them, or love that they hate us, or hate that they hate us, or love that they hate us (I could go on) we have to eventually admit that our Ex(s), as in someone you were in a significant relationship with and are no longer with, influence our lives and our feelings.

Do you ever find it strange how many feelings and memories can be evoked by a location, a song, a smell, a color, a food, or even a way of life? Sometimes bringing back fond memories of a different time, sometimes reminding of heartbreak, confusion, and even self doubt.

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Now that I’m back in NYC (and I’m sorry, but isn’t that the MOST AMAZING pic. of Midtown NYC– as I flew over Manhattan from STL!!! click to enlarge it!) I’m finding this may be something I struggle with. For example, a year ago today… or maybe it was yesterday, I reconnected with someone who I truly thought I would spend the rest of my life with, in Bryant Park. We talked, laughed and started to lay the ground work for a future. Fast forward to right now, and my life track looks like it’s just me… but I still have a hard time visiting Bryant Park. Just being there reminds me of that night that changed everything. So what do I do? -Go there everyday and wallow in my regret and sadness, wishing I could go back and change things so I’d still be happy? -Never set foot in that park again and avoid it at all costs, in so doing, miss out on all the events hosted there year round? No, that all sounds like it’s going a little over board and bordering on crazy. Instead, when I find myself chilling in Bryant Park, I acknowledge the memories and the feelings, but I let them go… and I enjoy my time.

I have a dear friend who very recently went through something very similar to my recent events. She retreated home in order to get ahold of her feelings and make a plan to take her life in a new direction. The other day she was headed to a wedding with family. Once at the venue, it hit her that she and her significant other had been there just weeks earlier and had enjoyed a wonderful evening. Now being back and alone, all those emotions hit her… hit her hard. Tears began as she tried to make her way into the reception room and join her family, but the memories won out- she turned and high tailed it out of there.

Can you blame her? I know those feelings all to well. All we can do is hope that time will make it easier to cope and that eventually these places will hold new and better memories for us.

However, not all Factors are something as easy as a location. This is where my current struggle kicks in. My now-Ex and I had begun a very strict vegetarian diet and lifestyle together… and now that I’m on my own I’m having trouble deciding if I should (or want to) remain vegetarian or, if in attempting to “purge” myself of all reminders of him (ya right, not!), I should let it go and eat whatever I want.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

I have found I naturally tend to lean towards a vegetarian diet regardless (I really don’t like to handle raw meat, so I don’t cook it often) and I have come to truly LOVE many of the vegetarian meals I have been introduced too. Am I holding onto something by continue with this lifestyle choice? I know that I do feel better when I eat less heavy meats and I’m enjoying trying new foods that otherwise I may never try. But it does remind me of him… and as we have to eat somewhat consistently… it’s almost a consistent reminder. Eventually I know it won’t be, but for the present moment… sigh.

This whole experience and how I’ve managed to (somewhat) overcome it and continue to live, has been a true eye opener. You may never realize how closely tied your life is with someone else until they are no longer a part of it, for better or worse. Then it’s a healing and growing process… which, as much as we wish it would just happen over night… actually takes a lot of time (whether we admit it to ourselves and others or not).  Sometimes it seems like the easiest answer is to delete all reminders of that other person (I don’t do this but I know someone who does) and pretend like it’s not something that keeps us up at night, or surfaces after a few to many drinks, or seems like it would be a comfort when things are hard and no one is there for you.  (more on this concept in a post coming soon).

So, what’s your Ex-Factor? What things stir up memories that you struggle with? 

Feel free to Share, Comment, Like, Follow, ETC!

There are some great posts on the way, including some travel stories with great pictures, the importance of balance and how I find that, and my newest post work-out treat! So I know you will want to stay tuned 😉

Love always, Christiane

Reflection

Well, it’s 2:15… AM… And I have been packing, cleaning, unpacking, removing items, re-packing… You get the idea. Thank goodness for vacuum pack bags… I feel like I’m over packing a little, but there is so much I’ve already decided I don’t need! Anyway… As I have to much on my mind to sleep, I decided a pre-departure post would be nice.

I’ll actually be leaving Wednesday afternoon and training starts Thursday morning, but doubt I’ll have tome for a good post then, so this will work 🙂
Hopefully jumping right in a being busy will help with the sadness I am feeling (no matter how much I try to hide it).

This past week has been crazy. Besides pinning down a place to LIVE in NYC and booking the flight… I still wanted to keep some continuity and continue doing the things I enjoy and have committed here at home… AND to top it all off, FINALS. So here’s a list to recap all the events of the week:

Alliance open dance audition
Classes ended
House/cat sit for 5 days
ROMAN CIV final paper
Lunch with Marianne and Maria– YAY McCain Library Archives!
Dog/house sit
300 LATIN LYRIC RESEARCH paper
“Beat the Street for Little Feet” Pete the Cat 5K run– Saturday morning… IN THE RAIN
DSA Fringe Fest– ❤
Athletic Club Northeast– Final day of work. 2 years, I'll miss y'all! AND Staff lunch!!
PACKING
Clothes shopping for the job
Visit with BFF Jessica
PACKING
Rug Cutters Swing… Last rehearsal– y'all made me cry! I'll miss you so much.
PACKING and CLEANING

and that brings us to right now.

It's been a busy week, but I have never felt more loved from all the people around me. And realizing how much they mean to me and I mean to them. I'm technically not done with my Undergraduate career and a graduate of Agnes Scott College 2013. In a way it's all a little bittersweet, but we must keep moving on.

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There’s the photo montage to go with!
This weekend I also got my schedule and training information for MoMA Rain Room so this is becoming very real. The NY subway system is still intimidating, but I have an app for that!! Haha, so when I get there maybe I won’t be totally lost. Having borrowed “The Devil Wears Prada” on DVD from the library all this weekend, I have been channeling my inner New York fashion diva, and it was a great relaxer between papers!

And it’s pushing 3AM… There is much more I could write about, reflect about, but I’ll save that for another post, probably from an air port or NYC itself.

So, until then
<3always, Christiane