Happy New Year! Vacation is over and I’m refreshed after a week back home, unplugged, playing with my best friend’s baby, my godchild. My colorful photos of her delighted grins remind me of our lazy days, crawling around exploring the mysteries of the Children’s Discovery Center, the bed, and the beach. She spoke her first words and we giggled over games of silly mouth sounds, as I introduced her to the wonders of sand, the sea, new foods, and the names of birds. She loved it best when I held her and we just danced.
One night during my trip the baby was up crying. I slept, barely aware of her wailing. Then the cat was pacing up and down my leg, and finally my friend fell asleep, snoring next to me but I was comforted by all the commotion. When they all got quiet, curled up, and cozy around me, I suddenly blinked wide awake in the silence, alone in the dark with the murmuring brook of my tumbling thoughts. I obsessed over all I was doing wrong, all the ways I’d already failed in my new resolutions, all the ways I sucked. I’m sure you’ve done this too, but in the solitude of my wretched thinking, despite knowing it was silly, it somehow translated into my being a terrible person.
It’s a fine line, negotiating the gap between where we are now and where we want to be. It’s a challenge we face as dancers struggling to improve, as humans coping through our lives, as writers sharing our thoughts in an imperfect blog. Luckily I realized I needed to stop my nonsense and celebrate my wins – something I tell my students to do all the time. “Celebrate simply showing up,” I tell them. Now, I am taking my own advice.
Recently two blogs have captured my attention. Damn Girl, Get Your Shit Together is downright hilarious. Her writing is blunt and absurdly funny and should come with a warning not to drink big swigs of coffee whilst reading. Her brilliantly written and unsolicited advice on things you didn’t even know you were doing wrong, (her tagline), is savvy, saucy, and spot on. She nails it every time and I’m hooked. I was thrilled – and humbled – when she chose to feature my blog on her website in a section where she promotes “Awesome Female Bloggers”. (Blush!) Thank you, Damn Girl!
A blog I’m featured with on Damn Girl is The Pages of Paige, is the other blog I stumbled on – when commenting on Damn Girl’s blog. Her writing is smart and honest, vulnerable and sassy. Her post on being an underdog – which I’ve linked to here – really sucked me in and I’m now an avid fan. She’s a great writer. Paige in turn read my blog, and then nominated me for The Leibster award! Very cool. It’s really nice to know that people read and like my blog. It’s really very gratifying and I am truly touched. Thank you Paige!
The Liebster Award
The Liebster Award is an award that exists only on the internet and is given to bloggers by other bloggers, whose work they find interesting, to motivate them and promote them as well. The earliest case of the award goes as far back as 2011. Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.
I started writing this blog three years ago in a business class in response to an assignment to “create something”. I wanted to say more to my ballet students than there was time for in class. I was inspired to start writing by a blog called Zen Habits. What I love about his story is how he transformed himself from hating his life, his diet, his body, his job, to excercising, eating well, writing and blogging, etc. through the methodical creation of habits. He talks about failing, and about starting small. He says when he started his blog he wrote it imagining his mom reading it because she was always supportive of him. He talks about starting a habit like flossing by doing just one tooth. This cracks me up, but I’m still working on this habit – 2018 may be my year! One tip he suggested was to write five sentences a day. I almost always write more, but it is an easy, no pressure place to start. His posts are usually longer but here’s a short post he wrote to give you the flavor: Self-Discipline in 5 Sentences. Amazing, right? Also, I love this blog, TheBitchyWaiter. Who doesn’t?
This feels very forced, but now I’m supposed to divulge ten random facts about myself:
- I danced ballet growing up, and in high school began musical theater. I love tap and swing and jazz and fosse. I’ve also done modern, hip hop, salsa, african and blues dancing.
- I once canoe paddled 28 miles around New York harbor as part of the New York Outrigger Canoe Club’s Liberty Race!
- I am from Hawaii. (Explains the outrigger canoe paddling.)
- The farthest places I’ve traveled are New Zealand and Singapore. (I sometimes tell my students to reach their legs to Singapore.)
- I am good at making soup.
- I’ve held many diverse random dayjobs – I ran a study on Autism at Colombia University, I was the Marketing Director and Vice President of a Software Development company that did underwater mapping, I was a personal assistant for a Kennedy…
- I once directed 4 operas in three months.
- For me ballet is best when there is a story – even an abstract ballet with an abstract story that I can imagine. When the feats of the human body express something emotional that moves the viewer as the dancers move, that is the best – whether I’m dancing or watching.
- I’ve been to New Zealand. I guess I said that. Can I just do 8? It’s well known that dancers can only count to 8…
- I love tea. I drink coffee too, and trying to quit, but I love tea.
Here are some great bloggers I nominate for this award.
- Dorky Dancing
- Danseur IgnobleThese two bloggers were two of my first followers and have been very supportive of my blog. They write about life and dancing, and both do so with grace and humor.
- KatieBeats: Katie writes on life as a recovering anorexic with humor and honesty.
- Anjalisk96: Do what you love. A great motto.
- The Incurable Dreamer: An inspiring and hilarious writer I ‘met’ via Damn Girl.
If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award AND YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you:
- Thank the person who nominated you, and posts a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you. They will thank you for it and those who you nominate will also help you out as well.
- Display the award(image) on your blog.
- Write a 150-300 word post about your favorite blog that is not your own. Explain why you like the blog, provide links.
- Provide 10 random facts about yourself
- Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 200 followers.
- List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here as well.)
- Once you have written and published it, you then have to Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your blog.
Thank you so much for reading my blog. I’m grateful for this community of writers and readers and excited for more writing to come!
What wins are you celebrating? Let me know in the comments. Are you coming to class today? Ballet is 12-1:30 at 380 Broadway, Buzzer #5. Saturday classes are a minimum of $10. Guys – that’s like half the price of other ballet classes in the city with money left over for lattes and trips to China and stuff! Come on down and let’s dance.