Today's entry is a reflective one as I sit here on my deck in the warm sun thinking about where I've come from and where I want to go. Dance camp starts on Monday, classes pick up at the end of August and I have 139 days until I can compete again. The last of these countdowns is killing me as I miss the thrill of preparing for a feis, and the nerves as I wait to see where my number will fall. I miss getting dressed up and now that I am in a category where I will actually have the opportunity to move up and achieve my ultimate goal, I burn with excitement. December can't come quickly enough. But because it's only July...I'm here to blog about something else, still reflective and dance related.
I've come to the conclusion that the dancers that are the most successful, the ones that recall or even win majors like Nans or Worlds have more than just an extreme work ethic, loads of talent and gorgeous solo dresses. These people are successful because they have an extreme support system. They have teachers that push them to achieve their dreams, parents and significant others who love them and tell them how proud they are of their accomplishments as well help them keep motivated or do something to help the dancer, as well as friends that are legitimately excited for the dancer and understand that dance is their passion.
Now obviously some of these support systems are easier to find than others. If your teacher isn't satisfying your needs you can always transfer. You can surround yourself with people who are positive and have similar passions as you or they could be a friend that doesn't dance but they still love you and like to see you happy. But what do you do when someone you love like a parent or a spouse doesn't support you? Do you give up your dream to make them happy? Do you shove it down their throat and demand that they understand? It's not like you can remove someone like that from your life, they are your blood or you made a vow to them, for better or worse, for richer or school dresses, in shin splints and in health.
I feel lucky. I've finally found a teacher that knows where I want to go and is going to help me get there. In the almost two months that I've been her student I already feel like I'm being taken seriously and I'm not one of her "adult" students. I'm one of her soon to be Novice students that wants to get to the worlds someday. It's a nice feeling and I can't wait for what's to come.
I also feel lucky in the sense that I've always had supportive parents. Even when I was a little girl and I was taking ballet, jazz and lyrical, it was never my mother forcing me to take classes. I was the one that made the choices. Towards the end when I wasn't feeling it anymore she was wanted me to ride it out to the end of the year, but she was never a "dance mom" forcing me to go. After witnessing some really intense Irish dance moms at competitions and it being painfully obvious that they were at the feis because they wanted to be and not their child, I feel extremely grateful.
I think it took my father a bit longer to come around. He didn't really understand why I would want to drive all over New England and New York for dance, but then he saw me dance at a feis and he's become the proud protective papa who now supports everything I do. He's made me a floor (look for a post on that) he offered to pay for Camp Rince Ceol and more. I have a feeling that when I get to opens if he didn't go to Worlds with me, he'd be the first person I'd call.
I have relatives and friends that think my dance journey is courageous, and that they wish they had the time or passion to pursue something with a vengeance. So why am I writing this post? Because I'm missing support from someone important and as I said previously, what do you do when you love someone, but they don't love what you do?
This person claims that they support me, they claim that they "accept" that I Irish dance because it makes me happy. But they have flat out said that they don't like it, it's expensive and they "don't get the draw." In their defense they went to my first competition ever where I was the only one dancing around the same time as beginners. I could see what they would think it wasn't worth it, but they haven't watched Jig or the Youtube videos that I have that show the great things about Irish dance or been to a feis since. I think the thing that hurt the most was when several of this person's friends asked me about CRC and I asked the person in question if they told their friends I was going there and they said. "Oh No. They must have seen in on your facebook, I don't go around telling people you do that."
It was like a slap in the face. I support this person with everything they do. They have a hobby that puts them in places I don't like to be and maybe I don't always go, but I still support them and tell everyone I know that they are involved in what they love to do and that I'm proud of them for being so talented. Am I that embarrassing? Do you hate dance that much? I work my butt off in dance and in my real job so I can afford to dance and you get mad that I need a new school dress because I changed schools and I can't wear my old one. I tell you that Riverdance is coming nearby for my birthday and you say you don't care. WHAT THE HELL?
I know I'm 26, I know that the average person my age wants to settle down and start a family and really focus on their career. I'm not ready to give this up, I'm not sure if I'm ever going to want to. My goals are no where near complete, and even when I finally decide to stop competing I'd probably get my TCRG. This is not going away. So don't insinuate that I will have different responsibilities and might not be able to do things this time next year. My career helps support my passion. I'll have a family when I'm ready. I'm not ready.
So now that I've made it perfectly clear that quitting is not an option, do I get stubborn and make the naysayers in my life come to more competitions, make them watch Jig and see me bawl when Julia wins ( I cry every time)? Or will that just make it worse? Do I hope they stumble across this blog post and hope they feel my pain? Do I need to just accept the fact that some people just won't understand and that this journey is for me. If they want to be a part of it, great, but if they prefer to stay at home than so be it? Honestly I would be okay with that if I wasn't being accused of wasting money or being threatened to have my shoes burned if I ever have to go back to the doctor because of my shins.
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger right?
If there's anyone out there, please don't worry about me. I just really wanted to vent about this. I love dance so much and I just can't fathom why anyone wouldn't love it just as much as me. Or love it because they love me. I have a whole lifetime to prove to this person that dance is amazing and worth it. And I'm lucky because while I have a person or two that don't understand me, I have many, many more out there who do. When I get to open champs and the worlds, I'll be thanking all of you too.
Now that the emotional purge is over, I'm gonna go.