Ahhhh, spring cleaning. I had no idea you would hurt me so much.
I’m having a moment.
Having tackled the master bedroom, the hall closets and the storage bins under the master bed, I braced myself for getting started on the catch all of stuff I don’t know what to do with…the guest room. I still have moving boxes and have basically lined things up in the closet, under the bed, and a few boxes along the wall. If you were to glance at it, you would think “oh, she’s so organized.” Let me assure you that would be incorrect.
I worked my way through the room and finally found myself in front of the closet. Wide eyed and gulping, I surmised the carnage and just started grabbing things. Good bye extra printer that hasn’t worked in years and oh dear God, I still have that awful dress?
And then I pulled a blue bag off the shelf.
My old dance bag.
A bag that used to be in my car all through high school, college, and beyond. A bag that I put on a shelf when I was first diagnosed thinking “maybe, someday.”
I’ve mentioned running here before- I started running after college because it was fast, cheap, and I could do it with guys. And I love it, yes I do.
But I’ve danced since I was five years old. I started with ballet with an amazing ballet instructor who trained with San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest, toured all over Europe, and then thought it would be lots of fun to settle in NC. Still don’t understand that last part but man, am I glad she did. I met her when I was five years old and have pictures of me and her from the week after my college graduation.
I later took tap and jazz. I danced in competitions, in pageants (as entertainment, not a contestant- my mom thought they were tacky), at school events, at church, at community events…you name it, I probably danced at it.
In addition to my ballet teacher, I had two other teachers who were enormously influential. One of them I still hear yelling at me when I want to give up- imagine a tiny blond women with a thick Southern accent screaming “BUCK UP. DON’T YOU DARE STOP. AND DON’T YOU DARE CRY.” Even though I may have once referred to her as the Anti-Christ in front of her husband (oops), I credit her with teaching me how to work, how to be disciplined, and there are things to this day, RA related and not, that I don’t think I could’ve gotten through had I not known/experienced her.
Back to the bag…
I unzipped the bag for the first time in a long time and started pulling things out, lining everything up on the bed.
2 pairs of ballet slippers, 3 pairs of pointe shoes , three pairs of black taps, one pair of tan taps, black jazz taps (I remember being pissed that I had to buy these and not the Spectator ones I wanted), jazz boots…and a knee brace.
It brought back a lot of memories. I used to take all my heeled tap shoes to a shoe store near my parents house- the old man who worked there would fit a piece of rubber on the bottom to make them less slippery. He would also put the metal heel reinforcements on them for me, something I learned I needed the hard (but hilarious) way. Picture me breaking the heel off running through grass outside a performance venue. LOL. I used to cut the satin off the top of my pointe shoes- less slippery and they got so dirty anyways that from an aesthetic point of view, it didn’t matter. The stain you see on the front of one of them? That was from dipping them in water and then resin and then dancing on a super dirty floor.
That last pair barely got used.
And that knee brace….I wasn’t sure if I should laugh hysterically or cry hysterically over the fact that I had that thing on me at all times “just in case my knee got sore.” Oh sweet Amanda of 6 years ago…there is so much you don’t know…bless your naive little heart.
It made me miss dancing all over again. I’d love to take a class…but I’m terrified to. I’m not terrified of hurting myself- don’t really care about that- but I’m terrified of not being able to finish the class. Not being able to even finish something when it’s something that used to come so easily and used to be so self defining of me….I’m terrified what that would do to me. Even doing it and feeling like I wasn’t doing it well…that would also be devastating.
So, I’ve been a little sad that there may very well never be a “maybe, someday” for me and dance.
RA is so effing cruel.