Sunday 22 August 2021

Stage Fright & Stretches

I did a class in an actual dance studio today, for the first time in over a year and a half. Now I feel blissed out and relaxed in an old, familiar way, but getting there was hard. 

I thought I was signed up for one thing, and the plan changed. I wasn't sure if the train was running, or on what schedule. I struggled to get my headphones to cooperate on the walk over when a little music would have gone a long way toward calming my spirits. None of this would have phased me before. 

I took some deep breaths and kept going. I trust this teacher, and trusted that I could show up, rusty as a bucket of old nails, to try something new... Even though I really wanted the comfort of familiarity. 

There has been so much discomfort. Getting started again has had me feeling nervous and weird in ways I didn't expect. I said to James the other day, "These are things I want to do, and I'm surprised at how scared and uncertain I feel. It sucks." 

"I've been getting some re-entry jitters, too," he said. And that's exactly it. It feels like stage fright, which I actually had very little of when I was onstage a lot, but I now seem to have about going to the studio to stretch. Oh, how the world has changed! 

I got to the train station. My train was later than I hoped it would be. I got on anyway. While I was riding over, I felt a wave of panic about my potential tardiness that frankly was also a rather new experience. (Apologizing for being behind was unfortunately so much a part of my old status quo that it was effortlessly baked in.) 

I got off at my stop. I exited. Things started to feel familiar as I entered the building. I got settled into my class. It was new and a puzzle, but also a story related to one that saw me through injury and pregnancy in a previous existence. It was a meditation through the unfamiliar back toward my old home. Getting back in my body, marley underfoot, breathing and expanding again. 

It felt so good! I stayed. My teacher and I caught up afterward, comparing notes for the first time in a long while about our endurance through a year that felt apocalyptic. We both stayed--in our city, returning to this studio, reviving practices in-person that connect us to ourselves and each other. 

I'm banking this experience. I needed to feel the cresting of pent-up nerves give way to the warm shore of something good on the other side, and I got it. What a treat after so much cabin fever and staying stuck! 

Here's to putting the pieces back together again, even if our hands are shakier than we expect them to be.

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