I am my own mountain. I am so much my own mountain that I don’t even know where I begin and it ends. Meaning I am the only thing standing in the way of seeking out what I want for my life, but aren’t we all? Ah, it is ridiculous, soooooo ridiculous that the only barrier I really have is the one I created on my own. It’s a mountain, a mountain of me! So why does it seem dang near impossible to take on. Why can’t I climb over it, move around it, or at least get to the top, put a flag in it and get over myself? Why am I so afraid, terrified even of the possibility of me.
What if? That’s why. Don’t even get me going on the “what ifs?” which are endless and downright depressing! There is no point on even trying to list them out because let’s face it,we all share the same list of silent dream killer doubts that weigh us down. Same shit, different dancer. What is even more messed up is the fear of possibility. Meaning it’s easier, no safer to believe the “what if I’m not good enough?” over the “what if I am?” Woof. Since when did we become our own emotional terrorists, our own mountains made up of fears, excuses, insecurities, and safe-ass tries?
Here’s the thing with the “what if I am good enough?” possibility which comes with unknown expectations, new challenges, and immeasurable growth that will inevitability bring us to new breaking points and face to face with our own mountains, thus spotlighting our limitations and inadequacies. Leaving us vulnerable in anxious anticipation, and psyching ourselves out before we can even try. Hence why I call this blockage a mountain, you stand at the foot of it, look up and you can’t even imagine how hard the journey will be, what it will look like, or if you’ll be up for the task…all you see is where you’re at and the final destination of where you want to be. It’s the empty space between the two that’s paralyzing. It’s intimidation at its best, but it’s just you.
Recently I’ve had the time; no taken the time to re-evaluate, revisit my movement in and out of the studio. The time to let go of all that is unnecessary in my life and in my space, and by doing so I’ve found the “things.” All the things, smacking me right back down to the dance floor, pulling me to the studio where I belong. The things that I’ve always wanted to do, the things that preoccupy my mind, the things that fill up my heart, the things I dream about, the things that are STILL on my list. The THINGS! What is so frustrating about this discovery is that I’ve realized life keeps changing and some of my deepest wants still remain the same. Same things surrounded by my mountain. Some dreams have gotten bigger, and yet so has my mountain. Ha! It is comical, laughable even to see just how hard it is to allow these things that I hold so dear to surface, to escape from being my constant daydream, to even becoming a tangible goal that exists on a piece of paper and not just a wish list in my mind. I’ve been dancing around them, marking the steps, choreographing my future in such a way to feel as though I’m attempting all the things but I kept getting in my way.
It’s a well-known fact that dancers have a work ethic that is second to none. We never settle, we don’t know how. Quitting has never been an option for us, nor has mediocrity. We learn through endless repetition of mistakes, to examine our failed attempts in order to excel, and that our best can always be better. We are more than aware that there is no such thing as making it and that it is a never-ending road to becoming a dancer. Once we get to where we need to be, we realize we still have miles to go. In other words we know how painful the “try” can be. We know that half the battle is being brave enough to commit to the first try and the other half is continuing to try after you’ve failed over a dozen times, again, and again, and again. Our art form is shaped motion that is constantly evolving, so there will always be mistakes…but the moment we stop trying is the moment we get lost.
So it’s about the try, that first annoying step that feels like it’s make or break. So I did, I tried, I made, I broke. I tried all the things and everything got in my way. Mountains. Mountains of excuses, mountains of what if’s, and a range of not good enoughs. All I needed to do was everything I knew how to do, and I couldn’t even figure out how to do it. That doesn’t even make sense, but it does! Thirty seconds, I needed thirty seconds of improv AKA thirty seconds of being me. Just for a video submission for an audition. I had all the things, an iPhone, a studio, the music, and the moves. No excuses. But I couldn’t even allow myself to be good enough. I let perfection be the enemy of good; I let myself become my own mountain and crawled under it. Dancers are the worstttttttt! We want to try, but our expectations forbeing our best become our biggest enablers. Funny how we can move for an audience and everyone else, but not always for ourselves.
Needless to say I quit trying. Nothing changes if nothing changes, so I changed my perspective, my try. I needed one that I couldn’t get in the way of, where I’d have an audience and some pressure to keep me going. You know how the dancers get. So I booked a ticket to New York for the live audition…half the battle was over. I straddled my mountain and got over myself. I guess you have to try different try’s to try everything, so you can do all the things. You don’t have to move mountains, just get on’um. Onward and upward.