Not-so cool

Last night, we went to a Halloween party. There was much alcohol drinking and some cigarette smoking. Music was not very loud, but people were somewhat loud. The space wast crowded, except in narrower passageways on occasion.

I had a decent time. I’m glad we went, as it was an important event for my man’s family. We also both looked awesome, both in terms of outfits and in terms of fitness and overall adorable-ness.

However, I typically prefer staying home over going to such events. I felt so fancy, going to a party and on a Saturday night… like all the normal people, I passively thought.

Coincidentally, the story I did in Duolingo tonight was all about how these two girls stayed home every Friday evening and watched their favorite television show, instead of ever going out anymore. When their flatmate walks out in a party dress and says she’s going out dancing, they decide to go with her. The one who declared they were going with her finds at the club that it is too dark, the music is too loud, it is too crowded, and her feet start hurting rather quickly into the night.

As I read the story, I couldn’t help but notice that, aside from the feet part, I usually experience the same things whenever I have to go out to things. Though, as in her case, no one else ever seems to care.

What was funny with the story itself was that, as this girl is commenting on these things, and declares that she wants to go home already, she asks, ‘Am I the only one who isn’t cool anymore?’, for they had said earlier that the cool thing to do was to go out on Friday nights. Her friend replies, ‘Don’t worry – you weren’t ever cool in the first place.’

And, somehow, I found immense delight in that statement. Perhaps it reminded me of me and my best friend, and how we always are honest with things, and how we find it comical when our honesty, to an outsider, could sound terribly mean, but that it is very much not a big deal to us. Also, though, she and I never really were considered “cool”, anyway. We were fun and smart and goofy and weird and kind and sweet and reliable and all sorts of good stuff. People got along with us rather easily, and enjoyed our presence, of course. But we just weren’t exactly ever cool. She was even student body president in high school. She got closer than I did to cool, but she still wasn’t cool. So, we would have definitely had a conversation like the one in this Duolingo story tonight, my best friend and I. And that was a good feeling.

Anyway, I absolutely could relate to the story in all levels, and I loved that ending to the story, somehow, in a very personal way. It was awesome. Thank you, God. Amen.

Post-a-day 2022

Dancing

We went to a dance event tonight. It was a country event, but we came for the west coast swing finals part of it, and the social dancing after those events. My man and I did.

And it was awesome.

We danced with each other and with other people. I gave him a sort of mini lesson after we first went downstairs and he got a bit overwhelmed just by seeing everything. (Apparently he had spent the whole day being scared and nervous and trying to create reasons not to come because of that. I had kept asking him all day what was wrong and what was going on, since he was being so snippy and unkind toward me and stressed and all. He had only ever told me that he just needed to ‘get over it’ about each little thing.m, though he never really did… until we started dancing, that is.) He then asked me to dance in the main room before and after the competitions and awards, and he voluntarily sought out four other women and danced with them (always while I was out of the room, naturally). And he and I danced more and more, and I showed him more and more bits, and he got better and better. And it was awesome.

I had begun being comfortable with the idea that I likely would not get to do west coast swing with my husband, whoever he would be, because I never much liked the men who would frequent events and get involved in the typical social culture of dance events and all – read ‘lots of alcohol and sleeping around and being pompous’ – and found it unlikely I would meet my man at any event. And then this guy showed up. In our first night of knowing one another, he voluntarily offers up that he grew up doing a bit of ballroom for kids, and that his favorite dance was probably west coast swing. He’d only learned a bit, and it was all self-taught, but he loved it. And so, God blesses us…

Thank you, God, for this lovely opportunity. Thank you for bringing my man and me together. Thank you for this awesome step into the dance world for the both of us this weekend. Phew. Thank you. In your name, I pray. Amen.

Post-a-day 2022

Friday night

We had a birthday dinner at Benihana for my sister-in-law tonight. We brought gifts that all were shades of purple, and the smaller ones were wrapped somewhat Japanese style, what with the wrapped item then put inside a decorative bag and tied closed, while the larger was simply wrapped in purple wrapping paper. The money was green, but it was wrapped in a cute pink Japanese gift-giving cloth. (My mom had gotten a money envelope, but I couldn’t remember the kanji that were right for birthdays or general events, so I wasn’t sure it was the right kind, and thought it actually was a wedding one…, so we didn’t use that.)

We also brought glow sticks for everyone to choose and wear. And Haribo Goldbären and Kit-Kat minis and mochi doughnuts – also wrapped in Japanese style baggies with colorful ties and stickers – were the party favors we gave everyone.

Basically, it was a silly little surprise-party-type dinner, without being an actual surprise party. Just the level of festivity was a surprise, I guess. Oh, and we also had a candle that we stuck into her ice cream when they brought that out and sang to her.

And I am exhausted right now. But that’s okay. I actually had a great time at dinner, even though it went until around 9pm, which is already late for me to be out, but especially so after this tough, tough week and the start of school.

And we’re going to a dance event tomorrow night, just for the night. I’m slightly terrified.

God, please, help me to have the energy and comfort in my body and mind to enjoy tomorrow and tomorrow night fully. Help me to help my man enjoy it all fully, please. And thank you for getting me through everything this week. In your name, I pray. Amen.

Post-a-day 2022

Alas

We had plans to go to a dance class and small social tonight, and we were excited about it. It’s just down the road, not even five minutes away, and one of my good friends was going to go with us. But, after getting home after the afternoon workout – how many times can I use “after” in a phrase??? – my man and I both realized that we really just wanted to stay home for the evening. We both have a long list of things we want to accomplish after all the activities this past weekend, plus all the stuff we already had on the lists. And I start school stuff in another week. So, the pressure is on – I want to get a foot handful of this all handled before then, so I’ve to step it up and get crackin’ big time this week.

Anyway, we stayed home tonight. And I just say that I truly believe we both got a good chunk of stuff handled this evening, and we both are glad and grateful that we chose to stay home this time, even though we had been looking forward to the dancing. Thank you, God, for the discernment.

God, give me the way, the will, and the strength to get it all done this week, please. Bless us both with your grace and power in our endeavors. In your name, we pray. Amen.

Post-a-day 2022

P.S. What, it isn’t 2023 yet? We just had Christmas on Monday. It must be time for the new year now, right?!

Dance, dance, dance

We went dancing tonight. He attended a little lesson, then, as I had sent a photo of where I was to a friend of mine, we stuck around actually to dance for a while, because my friend wanted to join us. She brought me some shoes of hers that I could use to dance, as I only had really grippy tennis shoes or unsafe sandals with me (I had just intended to watch the lesson, then go home shortly thereafter.), and we all danced.

So, my friend and her dad and my man and I all had a jolly ole good time dancing tonight.

Thank you, God, for such a lovely and love-filled blessing. And thank you, especially, for this spectacular man. Help me always to express my love and gratitude to him, that he, at least, begin to grasp the immense blessing that he is in my life. Thank you. In your name, I pray. Amen.

Post-a-day 2022

Saturday, Saturday, Saturday

I went to the gym for the early Saturday workout today at 7:30. Then I went to meet my mom and a friend to help remove and dispose of the Christmas wreaths that had decorated all the graves at the Houston National Cemetery for US Veterans. It was really neat, and there were loads of people there to help. (I even got to see the spots for an old family friend and my current housemate’s/host’s grandfather.)

Then I had food and goofed around with the baby for a while before finally showering and taking a needed nap before tonight. Then I went to our rodeo committee’s social, collected some tasty barbecue that I’ll eat tomorrow, danced with a friend to live Kevin Fowler music, and then rushed into downtown to attend another live concert – but this one was unknown to me until this morning: Elton John.

There is so much I could say about this man, this master of his art, but I will keep it short here: I grew up with this man already being a legend to me. He was unreachable status, and I never even considered one day attending a concert of his – it just wasn’t going to happen, so my brain didn’t even give itself the time to be sad about it. And then, at the gym this morning, someone invites me to go with her, and she states clearly that she won’t have me pay her for my ticket. She just didn’t want to go alone, and her friend had bailed on the concert. I was absolutely delighted to step in for the drop-out this time(!!!). The concert was fabulous. This man is about to turn 75 (on 25 March). This was his 20th concert in Houston, Texas, the first having been in 1971. He can’t sing really high anymore. He hobbles slightly with his walk. He wore two sparkly suits – one all white with a Long tail and a red snake on the back, and one like his famous red checkered blazer (super sparkly, though) – and then a pink lounge-y kimono with a sparkly butterfly on the back, which he eventually took off to reveal a sparkly red and blue track suit. He changed his glasses twice, but all three pairs had rose-colored lenses. He wore his iconic right pointy earring. He plays piano like on the record albums. His spirit is evident in everything he plays and in every arm thrust and body shake he does. And, get this, he gets up from the piano after every song, (sometimes walks around bowing and encouraging folks to cheer and make noise a bit) shuffles to a little table/stand behind him, spits in a bucket, takes a sip of water, and then shuffles back to the piano and sits back down.

I am extremely grateful for this lovely opportunity, in addition to the beautiful blessing that has been the works and passion and gracious giving and sharing of Elton John’s art. Thank you, Good Sir, for all you do and have done. And thank you, God and Universe, for letting me be part of this glory tonight. May we be blessed with such love often in our lives, and may Sir Elton John truly feel the loving gratitude so much of the world has for him. Amen.

One of my favorite songs ever is “Crocodile Rock”, which he played, of course. But he sang way low for the “la”s, and it was adorable and awesome!
Beautiful concert. And all the better for not having massive screens to distract us from just seeing him and listening to the music and the feelings thereby evoked.

P.S. He said that “Your Song” was his first hit in 1972. Is that right, or did I mis-hear him? Perhaps it released in 1970… But, also, that was 50 years ago. FIFTY YEARS, and his music and performances are still amazing. Thank you, Sir!

Post-a-day 2022

(Barely!)

Forgotten Gifts and Talents

Do you ever forget that you are actually really good at something, simply because you haven’t done it in a while? I think it happens to me rather often. Whenever I am not doing something consistently, I tend to think that I had previously overestimated my ability in it, and I the have at least a little bit of fear when it comes to doing that something again. It happened to me recently with teaching. And it has happened certainly with dancing. For the teaching, I always have a sense of imposter syndrome popping up, keeping eye in check – there’s always somewhere I need to improve and sort things out better. But, as I have now read from Adam Grant, that is actually something that tends to produce the best-quality individuals in something: When people experience the imposter syndrome but stick it out, they tend to give a better and more effective effort than all the rest. Of course, no matter how much evidence I have for that, I doubt my imposter feelings ever will go away fully.

Turn now to the dancing, which cam up for me this week. Someone asked me to help out – not lead, but just support – with a two-step dance lesson for a birthday party of a friend of his. Somehow, it felt right to agree to do the lesson, and so I did. I was nervous, and I felt like I didn’t remember anything important involved in teaching two-step. But I went, anyway, trusting that it felt right, and also trusting in the fact that this other guys was the one in charge of teaching, and I was just there to help with the demonstration side of things.

At the birthday celebration, though, in the lesson, I proved invaluable. My own knowledge surprised me. My own aptitude in teaching and, especially, in speaking up surprised me. I helped tremendously in the lesson, though, I believe, I successfully allowed for the other person to be the lead of the whole affair, even when I took over counting and starting and stopping everyone and determining the order of the patterns and moves and all.

And, you know, I had an amazing time. I had forgotten how much I love not only dancing but sharing dance… teaching it.

Because I love to teach. Period. And I especially love to teach those who want to learn what I have to offer.

It was wonderful on its own, but it also has been a wonderful reminder. When I watched a little video that somehow is still on my desktop of my computer, I was enthralled. I could hardly take my eyes off of me, though it was a group dance we all were doing. I was surprised at how good I was at the dance – a dance we had only learned right then and there, and to a song I had never heard before then. I was so chill and calm and on time and comfortable… it was beautiful.

And so, these two things – the dance lesson last night and this video today – have me wonder if it wouldn’t be extremely beneficial to the world for me to find a way to start teaching dance for real… Because I have much to offer, and I want to share it.

Post-a-day 2021

Dance, if you wanna

One of the most upsetting things in our society right now for me – one of the day-to-day things that really bugs me and kind of breaks my heart – is how much gender is used as a restrictor by so much of society.

I mentioned how I thought my nephew really would love learning and doing ballet and other dances, and I was met with a passive laugh and a certain, somewhat snarky comment to say that it never would happen, but what a cute idea. I was gobsmacked. The person didn’t even think I was saying it because I meant it. She actually thought I was just saying it passively, as opposed to my sharing something I genuinely believed and had hopes could happen.

Granted, my sister has very much played the gender toys game for her kids – pink and purses and baby-dolls are for girls, and blues and trucks and superheroes are for boys. However, dance is something amazing for any and all people to do, especially athletes. My sister is an athlete, and she can understand that benefit of dance especially. I think she might be willing to consider the idea of dance for my nephew, if it were presented appropriately and he showed interest in it openly.

Even that, though, has its own degree of upset and disappointment for me: that it has to be presented appropriately. I don’t just mean showing that dance is awesome, but showing that dance is so awesome that it is okay for both genders. Because I know, that likely would be part of it for her.

If I ever have children, no matter the gender of each and every, they all will do karate and dance and volleyball and all the fun, beautiful, beneficial stuff out there that we can find and/or create for them to do. Gender will have no value in the matter. It merely will determine which bathroom they use while at the activity.

Post-a-day 2021

^ Wrote that wrong at first again, but caught myself before submitting! Happy 2021, folks!

Extra ouch

Well, today felt like much of an improvement after yesterday. I tutored in the morning, finished up mixing six CDs for a student to have some exposure to French-language music – these have been taking me weeks of on-and-off effort to organize them out and pick which songs to include, which genres go where and belong at all, and figure out what degree of effort it is worth as well as how many CDs would be acceptable – messaged with a good friend about her wedding planning and tres leches and not feeling like working out, and then I worked out and watched a very interesting film of Natalie Portman’s. I want to look further into the film to see what it was all about, and whether it was inspired by a specific story or many or what. She sang very well in it, by the way, and I was quite pleased with her performance on all levels, especially the concert portion, which was a surprising yet lovely part to me. As for the workout: man, it had a 3k run in it, as well as 80 jumping up-downs (burpee without the push-up)… talk about a sore calf feeling the heat! Both calves have been sore for a few days now – I genuinely could barely go up and down the stairs two days ago, and walked with a limp, all because of my calves. Finally, when they show signs today of recovery, I have to put them through so much work. Ridiculous, just a bit, I dare say.

But the greatest part of the workout, I think, aside from doing it, was the part where I hung out in the pool afterward to relax and stretch out. That was awesome. Though, the effort to swim breast stroke for a few lengths of the pool felt like it might paralyze my arms, my shoulders and all were so worn out from today’s workout. 😀 Haha

Anyway, I’m off to read and sleep, now. Today was a lot in a good way, but it was nonetheless a lot, and I am exhausted. Goodnight!

Post-a-day 2020

Dancing and Dejection

I watched the 2011 version of “Footloose” tonight.  I had seen it before, but I wanted to watch it again.  Part of it was simply because I like the fun of the film, but I think a part of it was because I have been missing dancing so much in recent months.  I had just determined to go out dancing, when the whole beginnings of the shutdowns were happening – I had even told people that I was excited about going dancing that weekend… I was quite bummed when it didn’t get to happen.  Sure, I was excited that it meant I got to hang around the guy I liked longer, since the dancing wasn’t happening anymore…, but I was still bummed about the dancing’s being canceled… Besides, dancing is still part of my life, and it likely will be so for many, many years to come…, and the guy isn’t exactly on the road to be part of it, almost at all… so, anyway…

haha

It’s so funny to me how things can change rather easily, when circumstances change – we kind of just accept what changes and roll with it, as needed.  But, when we want to have change, it always seems so difficult to make the change happen ourselves… even if it is changing something about ourselves, and it is something we truly want, it often seems to be difficult to make happen… but, throw in some crazy event, like a natural disaster, and we willingly and easily adjust to a totally different way of doing the daily… I’ve seen it so many times with hurricanes in my life so far, yet so few times with self-inflicted changed… because it always seems to be an inflicted change, not something truly wanted, even if we do want it.

Anyway…, I’m kind of rambling here, so I’ll let it go for the night, I think.

No, one last thing:

In college, my third year, I attended regularly events hosted by this one particular fraternity.  I was not part of any Greek Life groups, but I went to things hosted by this particular fraternity because of what the activities were – they were things that actually interested me, like pick-up sports games and other silly stuff.  I had been invited by people in the fraternity, so I had not barged in nor forced my way in to the activities.  I had begun to build relationships with various members of the fraternity… I even considered, long and hard, how I rather likely would have joined the fraternity, had I only been male and not female.  That was how much I enjoyed the activities and the company and the environment as a whole.

One day, though, I was told by a member, in private, that I kind of needed to stay away some – it was inappropriate that I was participating in so much.  Now, these were open activities – open to all students.  But, they were only so on paper.  They were actually for recruiting purposes.  The fraternity doesn’t recruit females, so they didn’t want girls hanging around who weren’t the little sisters of the fraternity. ***As a note here, the only little sisters they had were from a particular sorority, and almost none of them were even interested in these activities, let alone athletically inclined… only the occasional little sister showed up, and never for long, and she never played any of the sports.

I was heartbroken and embarrassed.  I had been so cautious and careful, always verifying that I was allowed and invited by a fraternity member to each event and activity I attended.  And yet I still was told that I shouldn’t have been there, and that it was inappropriate that I had attended so much.  What else could I have done?  I did everything I could to follow rules and all of Greek Life, yet it did me no good.

Suddenly, I had no interest in being part of the fraternity, even in the imaginary life where I am a male instead of a female.

I don’t remember what exactly happened after that conversation – that oh-so-miserable conversation – but I think it was actually the same day that the next conversation happened…

You see, I think there was some event happening that evening, and I was supposed to attend it – several guys were expecting me and had personally invited or reminded me of it.  I think I was a puffy-eyed crumple near one of the quadrangles on campus, when a couple guys from the fraternity came across me.  They tried to figure out what was wrong with me, and encouraged me to come along with them to the event (to which they were at that time headed).  I explained – with struggle – the conversation I had had, the one in which I was told, essentially, to stay away from the fraternity for a while.

Frankly, they were appalled.  I don’t remember their words exactly, but I remember how they worked to convince me that the person who had spoken privately to me had been out of line – I had, in fact, done everything appropriately.  I had always been invited, they reminded me – I was wanted at the activities I attended.  And one guy’s opinion was not the opinion of everyone else.  I loved them for their words…, but I think I didn’t entirely trust the fraternity again after that… I just remember feeling so shaky, inside and out.  My world had been shaken.  I had followed the rules, and I had still been hit with an earthquake, and slightly shattered from it.  These two guys were super sweet to me, but the hurt was never erased.  I think that’s because I believed it, what the first guy had said to me.  Yes, there were some guys who wanted me, but I fully believed that several were of the same belief of the one guy… and they didn’t want me around.  And why didn’t they want me around?  I was neither a guy nor a member of their unofficially linked sorority.  Because I didn’t have the labels, I wasn’t good enough for them.

I think I established for myself that I was done with Greek Life after that.  I had never liked it much in the first place, but now I had reason to dislike it… and I did.  The whole point of Greek Life was to bring people together (originally as drinking societies, but we won’t get into that right now)… and they had pointedly excluded me… me, a person who fit in beautifully to their events and activities, to their conversations and general atmosphere as a group…  I had secretly hoped that I could become a little sister with them…, but they inevitably picked some girls who couldn’t have cared less about what the fraternity actually did, yet belonged to the right sorority and were besties with the current little sisters.

Anyway, that sucked… and I think I haven’t ever talked about that with anyone, aside from the two guys who tried to convince me that the one guy was being an a**hole, and that they really did want me around.  I think it’s always been easier for me to believe that people want me not around than that they want me around.  So, this event didn’t exactly help me get over that.

Ugh…. big sigh just now…

Okay, that’s all I care to say about all of that… I think I’m okay with leaving it all there and being done with it for now.  🙂

Post-a-day 2020