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

 

The story for tonight

Tonight, I keep it extremely short:

Lin-Manuel Miranda, I thank you – you have given the world such wonder and love and beautiful creativity and expression, and we, the people, are grateful. 😉

And for all of it – you are a gift, and you have shared your treasure with the world at large… for that, and for following your passion and love, you have helped to make the world a better place on both a personal and a global level.

Thank you.

Post-a-day 2020

Waltzing with trauma

Yesterday, a friend shared a recording of a waltz he sang.

It was lovely and inspiring.

I danced around my living room, true form and moves and everything; I felt it all through my back, that fabulous stress of tension that looks just glorious in the posture while waltzing… and I loved it.

And, while I was doing it, at one point, as I stumbled mentally on certain moves, I had the thought – the kind of thought that is more of an all-encompassing feeling and experience than it is actual words in my brain – of wanting to dance with a specific individual, as it would be so much easier if I were just waltzing with him.. it always was so easy to waltz with him…

It was a thought that made me open my eyes wider… it made me want to consider, but not too hard… for the moment, I would dance, and just set the thought to the side, and allow myself to return to it later on, so that I could enjoy my waltzing for the moment.

Today, listening to a faster waltz – a Viennese waltz – I found myself thinking again on how easy it always was, and therefore nice, to waltz with that same person who had come to mind yesterday…

I had, yesterday, found discomfort in my thoughts, via a slight worry that I actually would put myself back into interactions with this person – a person who hurt me terribly – , and thereby degrade my terrible experiences and all the feelings associated with them… kind of like just ignoring that they ever happened…

And that would feel like a disservice to myself, and a denial of my own value – for it was terrible, because I deserved and deserve so much better than the treatment I had been given – and I don’t want that to happen.

Yet, tonight, as those same thoughts arose again upon consideration of the somewhat surprising desire (?) to dance with him, I asked myself if there were something beyond that concern… What if that weren’t an issue? Is there something else to be noticed about this current scenario?

And there was, as it happens.

Just as I have said lately, and have very recently not so much discovered, but begun truly to acknowledge as being so within my own life, people are more than their good deeds or their bad deeds…. also, the good do not negate the bad, and the bad do not negate the good of an individual.

Said differently, if someone does loads of amazing things, and then does one bad thing, that one bad thing does not erase all the good things… and the reverse is true, as well, with one good thing not erasing all the bad things an individual has done.

What is the case, however, is that each action can stand for itself… a good deed can be taken as a good deed, a bad as a bad, and the one does not have to affect the other.

So, applied here, the terrible string of events and everything that happened because of that individual does not mean I need to feel guilty or worried or paranoid about wanting to waltz with him… I enjoyed waltzing with him, because he was good at waltzing… period.

And, just because I want to waltz with him, does not mean I am excusing him of all of the terrible he gave to me and my life, or even than I am saying it wasn’t a whole lot of terrible (because it certainly was a whole lot of terrible).

It simply means that, despite all the terrible, there was good, and I valued and still do value that good – in this case, the waltzing.

So, yeah… there’s that to think on for a while, I suppose.

Post-a-day 2020

Singing Sunday

Well, I accomplished a lot today, I believe.

I lay in bed, exhausted, for an extra hour and a half, after already having woken up almost two hours later than usual (!) (and I went to bed earlier than most nights); danced around my living room to the test recording of my song, to grow accustomed to it before recording it properly; stood in my open doorway, enjoying the weather, and watching people pass without even noticing me; I walked in the sun and shade on my own; I heard French(!) from some neighbors; I practiced, finalized, and recorded my song (only a video and simple audio version [versus with a good microphone, as for a CD or something], but still a finalized one!); played it for my mom (she almost teared up a bit, and really complimented it with her words along the way and afterward); painted a whole painting (from a fun and loosely-guided tutorial) on the porch, with my mom painting alongside me for a good while; I made another mala; I ate a lot of home-cooked food; I shared my song online (eek!), carefully excluding certain relevant individuals from seeing the post (okay, well, it was really just one person, but that’s beside the point); I listened to a lot of music from musicals that I hadn’t known until this weekend (Hadestown [stellar music!], 36 Questions, Heathers, Co-Op, and one whose name I am not currently recalling [only got one song so far from it and Co-Op and Heathers, but I’m liking them all so far!]); and I started to figure out the chords to a set of songs I want to learn to play on guitar.

Suffice it to say, today was a good day… emotions are very real and honest, yet very light… it is a beautiful feeling.

So, yeah… this was one of the best standard Sundays of my life… and I also stuck to my regular goal of having Sundays include painting, without even originally realizing that I was planning this particular paining event for Sunday.

With that, I go to sleep, exhausted on the other end of the day, and deeply satiated… for now. 😛

Post-a-day 2020

We hiked!

Yay!

We hiked today, my mom and I (and a small group of dance people I don’t know very well, and my mom didn’t know at all).

It was faster than my mom and I wanted to be hiking, leaving us almost no time to look at anything other than the be-knotted ground at our feet (to keep from falling), so we didn’t exactly like that part.

But it was still a nice activity, and the few times that we did purposefully stop to look around were great.

We found the cave where Ayla must have stayed when she visited the continent…

(And a closer view… I didn’t want to get too close and bother the spirits guarding it…)

… and Rafiki’s tree(!)…

… and lots of other great bits of water and wild-life.

Totally great, right?

Right.

And then, to finish out the day, we all converged from our various activities – not everyone is up for hiking, as we all know, so there were other outdoor activities for the afternoon – to watch the sun set from a balcony at a fancy brewery that overlooks a lake.

It was beautiful.

It all was great, and it was especially lovely that this was part of a dance event – doing something outside of the dance hall / hotel / ballroom for once, and enjoying the fabulous weather together, and just being people who share a passion yet are not overtaken by it (that is, we can go do something else from time to time, and enjoy the something else together, too).

So, yeah… good day today… good weekend overall…

Despite that panicked anger that sprung up on me when I thought the beginner dancers were supposed to be considered to be of my level. 😛

(I admit that I grew very judgy and angry in those moments of misinformation…)

But, yeah, it was a good weekend, and the first time my mom tied in to a dance event’s events with me – and that was really cool. 🙂

P.S. Ayla is from the Earth’s Children books, and Rafiki is from “The Lion King”.

Post-a-day 2020

Dance (dance) revolution

Today, I went to a dance workshop (a workshop!) as an attendee follower – and I enjoyed it(!).

Once I got over the panic and stress and frustration that had built up and then practically exploded when all the semi-beginner dancers seemed to be waiting to attend the Not-at-all-for-beginners workshop, and I panicked that the competition guidelines for rankings were utterly superfluous nowadays, that is… fortunately, I got over all of that (and the timing was just off from when I understood the workshop to be happening).

And then, tonight, I danced… socially… at a kind of event… for the second time this month…

Total craziness, I know.

But whew…. I did enjoy it.

I am grateful for the opportunity given to me for this dancing today and tonight.

They both reminded me that I can do this, whatever version of this I want to do in regards to dance and my future.

Yes, I can do this. 🙂

Yay.

Post-a-day 2020

Friday Night

Usually spent with friends in bars or clubs, or at least hanging out at someone’s house or apartment, Friday night is a busy one for adults my age…

And yet, how do I spend it?

Mostly sitting on the floor in the corner of my bedroom, next to my phone (which is plugged into the wall), listening to an audiobook that I can’t seem to stop without immense struggle…

It is that good.

And yet, it is also rather intense and somewhat frightening at times, leaving me slightly paranoid at every sound I hear around me…

But it is oh, so good…

And I have no idea why I prefer an audiobook to going out dancing, especially when I had just said at the gym this evening that I must need to go dancing, since I’ve been dancing around to all the music at the gym lately…, but perhaps it is because I don’t have to put forth any effort for it, but dancing would require social interaction, driving, physical movement in dancing, and then also money…., and reading this book is free of monetary charge….

It takes only my time and my sense of safety and ease. 😛

Anyway…, I’m super tired, so I’m going to sleep now (the only reason I could get myself to turn off the book).

And then I can get up all the earlier to listen to more of the book before going to the gym (I know, I go to the gym a lot these days, but it is part of taking care of myself). 😛

Post-a-day 2020

Sioux living

I watched the film “Dances with Wolves” tonight for the first time.

It stressed me out a lot.

It was a really, really well done film…. really…

Kevin Costner is adorably handsome in it.

It hurts my heart that people like the “white men” in the beginning and end still exist today – they are the kinds of people who give me stress whenever I cross them, for I cannot understand their misplaced, narrow viewpoint of the world… and I do not yet know what to do about it – I know something must be done about it, however, if we are to survive as a people on this planet.

Anyway… it is a beautifully done film, and it is very much worth watching… I am glad I finally saw it as an adult, for I think it would have been perceived extremely differently by me as a child, and I want to have had this experience, as an adult watching it for the first time.

And the soundtrack is spectacular, totally worth hearing.

Give it a watch (and listen).

And then, just because it is related through the director and main actor of the film, go look up some of Kevin Costner’s music – he has a band, and they perform together, and the music is wonderful… that man had spirit worth sharing with the world, and I am grateful that he shares it with us.

Post-a-day 2019

Sunday, fun day

I painted today.

Twice.

I really enjoyed it, and it made me want to do loads and loads more, and kind of right now.

Something about painting feels addicting – the everything about it, really – and I love it.

My mom was attending a workshop demonstration, and I went to watch and learn the technique, but there were extra spots available, so I even got to participate.

Then, I took home our leftover paint bits, and used them as the first part of the bedsheet I am painting with mixed splatterings of color for a photography backdrop.

On that note, my mom has figured out what to get to make my frame (because I did my measurements this morning) for a backdrop in my sort of pop-up photography studio.

I told her that I want to do photos either next week or the week after, so we need to kick things into gear two or three at this point, and we have.

So, she’s getting the frame stuff hopefully tomorrow.

I’ve asked the model for her schedule in general and on the desired week.

And I even made a Facebook page for my photography, in addition to the Instagram page I already have for it.

I don’t love the Facebook page yet, but it exists and it isn’t bad… shown here.

All of this has arisen out of a visit with a good friend of mine last night at the party.

It lights me up, and I had forgotten that, so I am extremely grateful to our conversations last night. ❤

(Although, I dare say I am not yet convinced of her other ideas and recommendations regarding my [non]dating life and my next steps… we’ll have to see on that one…) 😛

On a separate note, I lived a short time in a little town in southern Germany several years ago.

I was looking up someone this morning who lives there, checking out his company for which he had given me a card at one point, and which I crossed today.

Tonight, as I see the Instagram story of an old student, I see a photo that looks crazy-familiar to me… I click to see the video that is freeze-framed, and recognize the place even more still… I feel like I know not just the town but the little park area where this video is taking place…

I check, and the location is the right little city – hoorah!… I’m a genius, as we all know!

I then go check some photos of mine and – duh du-du duhhhh – it is exACTly the spot I was thinking…. I even have photos of the same buildings.

Shown here:

The video freeze-frame

My photos at the same location,
though from a slightly different angle

Isn’t that nuts?!

Super cool, though.

I love things like that happening.

I remember once talking with a pair of people who were recent visitors of Rome, and one shows the other a photo in front of Trevi Fountain, at which point the other pulls out his phone to show the same lady in the background of his photo as who was in her photo – they had been there at the same time, and had the same woman in the background of their photos from different angles.

They, of course, hadn’t known each other at the time, and so wouldn’t have noticed to greet one another, and therefore did not notice one another.

Anyway, fun stuff, right?

…….

One other thing I want to note about conversations from last night:

When discussing the whole recent conversations with a girlfriend and guy regarding physical comfort and confidence (see here), I was mentioning how the guy had said that I needed to worry less about what other people think, as part of sharing the conversation.

At this point, however, a friend across the room cut in, “Okay, wo-wo-wo-woah…. someone said You need to stop caring so much about what people think??…..”

“Mmhmm,” I start to reply, but she continues over me, addressing me and the room at large.

“Does he know you, like, at all??… I don’t think I know anyone who cares less about what other people think than Hannah…”

The other friends in the room give their agreement confidently, and we all begin popcorning smiles and laughter around the room as people give further comments and repeat what the guy had told me, amazed.

I hadn’t thought much about it, but I definitely see her point – I really don’t care much about what other people think of me.

I do care, but only so much, and that ‘so much’ is a whole lot less than the average person’s level of concern for what other people think of him/her.

For the most part, I worry only in the situations that could directly affect me, like avoiding doing something that would have my boss/superiors wanting to fire me, or something like that…. and my only other sensitive area is specifically making sure my body doesn’t come across as displaying the message, ‘Do me now, oh, baby, oh, baby.’

Because, unfortunately, that one can result in actually dangerous situations…, so as I’ve mentioned before, I care about my own safety, and therefore will care accordingly about how people perceive me…

Otherwise, though, it’s laughable how often I do things that most people would avoid for fear of what others might think.

Aka constantly…

Anyway…., goodnight fair World.

I am off to sleep for an early, early rising tomorrow.

Sweet dreams unto you.

Peace

Hannah

Post-a-day 2019

Family

………………….

Journal entry for August 2, 2019

Today, we learned that C— has no penis…

………………….

This evening was an extended family evening, and a rather wonderful time.

There was chatter, discussion, story-telling, and lots of laughter.

At one point, one of my cousins, G—, shared this delightful story with us, and I knew immediately that I just had to write about it, because it was well worth sharing with the world.

She and her husband have two little girls, approximately aged four years and two years, and then a baby boy aged almost ten weeks.

Her husband, C—, was changing the diaper of the baby boy, and A—, the eldest girl, was observing.

A: Daddy, what’s that?!

C: Uh, well, it’s a penis… it’s because he is a boy… he is a boy, so he has a penis… that’s what makes him a boy, instead of a girl…

A:……. But Daddy, you’re a boy and you don’t have a penis….

C:… Actually, yes, I do have a penis…

A:….. Really?????

Conclusion from my cousin telling the story: Emasculated by a four-year-old. 😂

Afterward, my grandma commented that she thought it was such a shame that no one was documenting this sort of thing, – I had already determined that I was definitely writing about it tonight, but I didn’t mention anything about it – and my aunt said that the point was people telling one another stories…

My grandma was worried that the stories get lost, you see, and so my mom leaned over the counter, and starter scribbling with an imaginary pen into an imaginary book, saying aloud, “August 2, 2019: Today, we learned that C— has no penis.”

My uncle, whose son-in-law C— is, and who genuinely likes C—, nearly cried himself out of his chair, he laughed so hard at that – I mean, we all laughed rather hard, but he practically exploded with his laugher.

It was a very good little time tonight. 🙂

Thank you, God, for this blessing.

Note: Yes, yes, I know gender stuff is all up and about right now, however, I am not letting it disturb the hilarity of this particular stupendous father-daughter exchange – the story is not meant to offend in any way; it is merely something that happened that I find wonderful and worth sharing.

P.S. It occurred to me that, while I still am not there with the solo dancing I want to teach in prisons, I am at the very edge of receiving my yoga teacher certification, – a type of yoga that uses lots of meditation and mantra and healing exercises – and I could look into teaching that in prisons… something also incredibly beautiful and powerful and potentially extremely beneficial to those living in prison, especially as part of their preparation to move back into the world outside of prison… So, yeah… I’m suddenly rather inspired to get that certification finished ASAP.

P.P.S. And then, that had me thinking that I might somehow get the opportunity to do portraits of people in prison…. and that could be a beautiful project, be it for their future work portraits or for a neat project of sharing about prisons with the world… yeah… that’s gonna stay on the side in my mind, ready for when the time is right to act on it… definitely… 🙂

Post-a-day 2019