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Today I played a more active role in helping out in my dance club’s technique session that is specially catered towards our juniors. I was in front along with my vice-chairperson, who led the session, most of the time as she went through each exercise. I took the initiative and approached juniors who I thought weren’t sure of some steps. And when we did the exercises in small groups, I wasn’t embarrassed to consult my better juniors on steps I was unclear with, or executed wrongly.
Today I was among the front few dancers as our instructor taught the exercise for this week’s technique session for the entire club. Today was the first time I willingly let myself be one of the first few dancers to do the across-the-floor exercises. I have always been one of the back few, but I stood in front today. And when my instructor guided me with everyone else watching, I wasn’t afraid.
Today I realised how much I’ve improved. There were certain across-the-floor exercises that I just couldn’t grasp in my first year. I really struggled, and I seemed to be the one that struggled the most. I even had seniors call me out to try and teach me one-on-one. But today, I could do those exercises that I previously struggled with and feared doing.
I thank my seniors for their guidance and well-intentions, even though I felt more embarrassed than I am learning in the past. There is still a lot of room for me to improve on, and I mean A LOT. But I think I can take a moment to reflect and be happy for myself with the progress that I’ve made, that I could recognise rather clearly today.
“But somewhere along the line, you changed. You stopped being you. You let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you’re no good. And when things got hard, you started looking for something to blame, like a big shadow. Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!”
– Sylvester Stallone (Rocky Balboa, 2006)
Was reminded of these lines from the 2006 film Rocky Balboa. I’ve forgotten about them since…I can’t remember when I last encountered them haha. There was a time when I used to collect quotes about life, about persevering. I think now is a good time to revisit them.
R and I had an interesting, brief discussion about this local band we like very much while they were going through their second set tonight.
I kept teasing her that tonight, we’re gonna talk to the lead female vocalist that we especially admire, and I may have taken my teasing a little too far till, I think I may have reduced R‘s liking of her. Then I suggested asking the band for a photo after they were done for the night, which we didn’t in the end being as shy and reluctant as we are. But it was when R initiated taking a photo of me with the band when I began to question if that’s what I really wanted, to bridge the gap with a group of talented people I’ve only admired from a distance so far.
That was when the distance came about, and I said something like, “Nah, I’d rather maintain the distance between us.” This distance refers to the relationship (albeit one-sided) between a performer and an audience member. It is professional, it is transactional; the performer is there to entertain, the audience member is there to be entertained. I decided that it was better to preserve the distance, which R agreed. Why? One, because I don’t get to have expectations of the band I admire, expecting them to reciprocate my desire to climb to a more personal level with them. Two, let’s say I do get to know the band more personally and they are cool with that, bridging the gap leads to a loss of some of that allure and admiration that was once there.
That’s why the distance is important. That’s why bands and fans should maintain this distance, so that performers can just perform, and audience members can simply enjoy; no expectations.
It’s been a busy 5 months, so much so that I haven’t had time to check my wordpress. And even when I did have the time, my wordpress did not even cross my mind. I stopped expressing my thoughts, because it felt better to just let them come and go as soon as they came. A quick relief became my priority, escapism became my philosophy.
But now that I have the time, and now that my wordpress came to mind, I just want to say how tired and frustrated I am of all that’s going on. I’m on my break now, but things don’t seem to be showing any sign of slowing down at all. The academic stuff is out of the way for the year, but other matters have become more salient: my committee commitments to my dance club, settling my exchange for the next semester, and doing something about my pathetic curriculum vitae/resume before it’s too late.
I’ve always wanted to live on my own ever since I was a teenager. Though it sounds selfish, this desire stemmed from wanting to just have to care about myself. Somehow, I find it more and more tiring to live with others the older I grow. To have to consider their feelings, to meet their unspoken expectations of me, to keep them in the loop of every other thing, to explain things again and again when they can easily get it IF. THEY. JUST. PROCESSED. IT. WITH. A. LITTLE. MORE. INTENT.
(Although I admit, paying attention, as it seems, isn’t my strong suit nowadays.)
But living on my own isn’t easy either. It is so easy to fall prey to laziness when living on your own. There’s something about doing laundry, ironing, cleaning, and having to settle meals all by yourself, that just takes the wind out of your sails. I need to learn from people living independently how they do all of that, and still find the drive to exercise, pursue their hobbies and interests, and ‘have a life’.
Or maybe I just need to give myself a kick up my own ass because I shouldn’t expect anybody or anything else to motivate me.
There was a point in time today, after lunch with my dance batch mates, when I had this epiphany. It happened while we sat in a circle on the floor of the cinema in the mall, half of us backs against the wall, against the poster of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Amidst the separate small conversations happening among the eleven of us, laughter, and laughter lines, I realised that it’s moments like these that are the most valuable things in life: the time spent with friends.
Life and living can be understood through making an omelette, and the essence of homeostasis.
There’s a saying that goes something like, “You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs“. In everything that we do, whatever decisions we make (and choices we don’t), we have to make sacrifices of some sort, and there are people who are negatively affected in some way. It is true we can’t make everyone happy. For various reasons, be it biological disposition, or environmental influences, or our non-conscious mimicry of people we seek to be affiliated with, we won’t be able to please everyone. Whatever we consciously choose to do (or not do), something else has to give.
When we express our opinions on social issues, we take a stand, which has its supporters and opposers. When we engage in acts that are rewarding and pleasurable which we also perceive as immoral, we undermine our self-worth and self-esteem; although this undermining doesn’t reach our conscious awareness while we’re experiencing that act. If we want to get better at something, we read, research, educate ourselves, practice; we spend time.
Living, is about upsetting those people and making those sacrifices that we can live with. “You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.”
Homeostasis, can be understood as a state of equilibrium. Most things, if not, all things, always return to a state of equilibrium. Balance is peace, and peace is balance. Eat delicious food! But not till it makes you bloated and turns your stomach queasy. Drink! But not till you’re intoxicated or throw up. Make as much money as you can! But just enough to lead a contented life.
“Everything in moderation” is understated. Consciously choosing not to do or have too much or too little of something, could just make our lives that much happier.