Friday, January 29, 2016
When a writer cannot ballet.
Don't laugh. But ballet scares me. True.
This Thursday night for the first time I took an adult ballet class at our local ballet school. And I discovered something. I cannot ballet. Nope. Not at all. My feet don't like first position much less third or, God help me, forth. I can't spin. Yes, I know there's a french name for spinning in ballet. No, I don't remember what. I was too busy falling down. And you know what, that wasn't okay with me.
I realised that I not only wanted to ballet, I wanted to ballet well, the FIRST TIME. I did not want to go through all the failing. And what happened in class is that I didn't try very well. I was too busy worrying that I was going to fail, instead of expecting I was going to fail and moving on.
But the real problem? It's not failing. It's what failing screams at me. It says, "You suck."
Failure becomes a global statement about me. Instead of failing being an event that I can actually move past and learn from, it becomes a label I can't stand to wear. Suddenly I'm not just failing at doing something but I AM a failure. No wonder I'm not free to try. No wonder I'm holding back and shrinking.
And worse, this thinking follows me from ballet, to my writing, to my mothering, to my... EVERYTHING.
Well, no more. I've redefined failure as being likely, necessary and apart of learning. I am not what I do. Or even what I fail to do. I am me. A beginning ballet dancer who is now going to have a marvellous time thumping around the room and falling on the floor. I'm going to enjoy the process of becoming.
What about you?
Posted by Tabitha Bird at 7:46 AM