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