Live Life!

I don’t come here much anymore.

More so than in the past I am finding it very hard to find the words to express what it is I feel and think in a way that does not make me sound like a neanderthal.  “Me good.  Me happy.  Me eat pizza” …Though I am not sure if neanderthal’s actually had the capability of such language…or pizza for that matter.  Well, I definitely know they didn’t have pizza, but I digress.

My thoughts get lost along the way to the tips of my fingers that long to type them out and breathe them into some sort of physical existence.

Life is good.  Really good.

I am in remission.  Finally.

Well, let me go back.   I’ve been in remission since after my first round of Hyper CVAD, however, as of this past June, I am officially OFFICIALLY….In remission.  Meaning no more chemo in whatever form.  No maintenance, no nothing.

My last bone marrow biopsy came back clean.  My Oncology team was super happy.  I’ve done extremely well.  I only have to come see them now every three months.

I have spent this past summer really trying to “live life”.   This has been my new mantra.  I like to yell it and throw my hands up in the air like I’m on a roller coaster.  Very metaphorical.

I’ve gone on trips, attended events, spent time with loved ones and appreciated every…single…moment.

Because folks, it’s all about the NOW.  and GRATITUDE.

I jumped into Burlesque with a fire and determination to, well, not suck at it.  I’ve had quite a few ladies in my town really light the fire under my ass too really be creative, to really let go, and to really just own it.  I don’t want to be another faceless burlesquer in this city, (though I have a feeling that I still probably am.)  However, I know that when I leave the stage after performing, I have put on one hell of a number and the audience has really enjoyed it.  They may not remember my name per se, but they will remember that girl who threw out the tootsie rolls or had the giant googly eyes on her ass.

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I’m letting go of hooping.  Meaning, that I don’t feel it has a purpose in my life anymore. I have such conflicting feelings about this, but at this time, the feeling of disappointment, frustration and exhaustion that I feel inside the hoop outweighs the feels of freedom, connection and spirituality.  (I mean, I had felt enough of that going through cancer.) I just feel like I can’t keep up with all that is happening in the hooping community.  My body feels like it will never be able to re-learn what it once knew yet alone learn all these flippity doo’s, escalators, and off body spastic spinny spins. It’s such a shift in mindset, because I never hooped to “impress”, yet it seems like there is such pressure for there to be.   It’s a new generation of Look at Me!

Where’s the flow?

Ehhh, whatever.  Maybe I’m just old.  Get off my lawn!

I’m sure at some point I’ll probably pick it up again.   Cause that’s what I do.  I hardly ever just quit something.  Entirely.

So that’s basically it.  For now.

Doing my thing.

Living life.

 

 

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It’s Been a Minute.

Per the norm I really haven’t felt like writing much.  Again, I have found myself in that space where there are all kinds of things I could yap about but….am too lazy to actually execute.

Life has been pretty good.

Pretty damn good.

This year has been filled with quite of lot of shows spaced out in a comfortable time line.  Meaning that I haven’t been pulling my hair out trying to come up with routines.  I’ve also got enough of them in the bank that I can now just pull from the archives.

With that said, it still isn’t all easy peasy lemon squeezy.

I still get those loops of utter disappointment when I don’t nail something I have done a thousand times before.

Case in point.

I recently did my booty swing number a few weeks ago for a local Burlesque show.

I’ve done this number quite a bit, and have always pretty much rocked it.  However this particular night, as I went to kick the hoop up and catch it around my waist, my projectory and force was off….and the hoop went nowhere.  I was stunned for a second as the hoop clumsily lifted only an inch and wobbly flopped back down on the floor.  And this is only 30 seconds in.  However, the show must go on.

Try as I might to gain the momentum back i just couldn’t.  My next fumble was losing total control of the hoop during a chest roll and watching it roll away from me and almost off the stage into the audience.

Talk about being Mortified.

Again, can’t let that stop the number.  I just ran after it like an idiot smiling and laughing and carried on.

After it was all said and done…..I just wanted to cry.

I was in a good funk about it for two days after.

The kicker was I had practiced both these parts not more than 30 mins before going on stage and nailed them every time.

Stupid law of probability.

*sigh*

All and all it hasn’t been that disapointing of a performing year.

Earlier this year I was nominated Fan favorite at another local burlesque show, which was pretty cool.  I finally came up with a Twin Peaks number that I had floating around in my head for the past few years (and I have to say, it was probably my BEST number ever due to how freaking relaxed I was. ….**Mental Note ….JUST RELAX!!**)

The troupe that I am a part of put on a huge benefit show to raise money for a local Women & Children’s shelter, raising over $1,4000…which if you ask me, isn’t too shabby.

I’ve been asked to come and perform with other local groups and events…

And there is still more on the horizon.

http:// https://youtu.be/EGwyZmeBegU

Duck Memory

The other night I was working on shoulder duck outs.

It’s been a process of trying to get this move down for the past four years.

I should also point out that I just work on it here and there when it behooves me, so there is no real dedication or discipline in mastering said trick.

I lack discipline.  In soooo many ways.  😉

I was getting the hoop to go across the base of my neck on the right side, and then shoving my left shoulder up while leaning over to the right some.

It wasn’t pretty…. But for the sake of trying to get a feel for what the hoop feels like rotating about my shoulder, I felt that holding this Quasimodo stance was the closest I had come to even successfully landing a good shoulder duck out.

I probably nailed the move a good six out of ten tries.  Few times more graceful than the rest…. But it was a start nonetheless.

The next day however, as I attempted to recreate what I had the night before, I just couldn’t seem to pull off even a shaky execution.  The hoop was just flying off over my head each time I ducked out.  I over exaggerated my quasi stance, and still could not land a duck out.

This seems to be the running thing with my body where my muscle memory just shuts down.  It’s as if my cells have Alzheimer’s or something. 
There are times when it comes to the simplest moves and my body is like “huh?  What??!!??.”

Remember how I “thought” I got down pulling my leg out for one leg hooping and then recovering the hoop by hooking it on my ankle to throw it back on my waist?  Yeah…. Well I can barely do that anymore.

My body just gets all duh on me.

That or its my head that gets all duh on me. 

Either way, one day I’ll get this shit down.  It might take another four years, but dag nab it….I will do it.

That’s all I got.  The end.

Sometimes the Bar Eats You…. So Bite It Back.

I’ve been absolutely horrible at keeping up with this blog. 

I’m just super lazy.

Well… I mean I’ve been doing stuff. I’ve been dedicating my time to other things, like hanging out with other people, ummm… Sleeping… Catching up on the tv’s …. Really taking the time for some cold chilling.  (Literally and figuratively speaking.  It’s been cold as a mofo lately.)

OK.  I’ve been lazy.  :p

The time for my much needed break from burlesque-ing and hooping is coming to a close.  I have a show in two weeks and another in about a month.  Then after that, the troupe starts back up for another season.

I had really wanted to use my time off to just sort of re-group.  Get my head and heart space right.  Come back feeling fresh and full of ideas. 

I got nothing.

I shouldn’t say I don’t have anything.  Actually I do.  I do have ideas… I’ll even go as far as to call them visions…. It’s the execution and my lack of confidence that is still tripping me up.

I should have been practicing these past months, but the disappointment I feel most times when I step inside my hoop really keeps me from wanting to pick it up. 

The minute I touch my hoop with the thought of creating some sort of routine immediately makes me tense.

So I have been sort of avoiding my hoop.

I have this problem of being incredibly hard on myself, which then leaves me feeling discouraged right from the get go.

I really need to let go of these high expectations and just flow.  Have fun.  Enjoy the process. 

More times than often, I will beat myself up because I feel stagnant and lackluster. Too repetitive. Or I lack the skills to pull off ideas. I berate myself and grow even more irate over messing up the simplest of moves.

I have set such a high bar for myself that just thinking about it makes me tired, and I just don’t want to deal with it.

I had hoped that by now I would have learned to relax.  Learned to breathe out those expectations, and get back to why it was I started performing.

I mean, I may not be the best …. But as long as I have fun with it, then who cares right? 

Yet I strive for this level of excellence that I already know my body can’t handle. 

I’m not sure what to do. 

I’ve never been really good at showing myself forgiveness.  I know part of that stems from my bone disorder, and my stubbornness to not let it rule what I can and cannot do.
But you know, I can’t bend the way certain hoopers do.  I don’t have the balance or certain coordination.  I didn’t study dance growing up.  My body was just not built that way.  It is what it is, and I really need to come to accept this in regards to my performing. 

That is exactly why I started this journey.  The reason why I got into burlesque and hooping.  To learn to love my imperfections and embrace the beauty in them. To learn to be comfortable in own skin.

If I can’t convey that to others, then I really have no business being on that stage. After all, for me, that is what burlesque is. Owning your sexuality, your being and embracing every part of it.

I feel I’ve fallen so far away from that place of self acceptance…and have gotten stuck in this wretched cycle of superficialities. 

Blah. It hasn’t been easy to break out of this thinking. This way of feeling.

If I truly want to keep pursuing this avenue of performing, I really need to get over myself.

So that’s how I’ve been feeling. Now to recognize and take action…. And to be more forgiving.

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Hoop Path Cleveland 2014

Hoop Path Cleveland was last weekend, and this time around, It left me in a very weird, and sad head space.

Normally, I feel rejuvenated….spiritually speaking.  In a way, almost nourished.  This time however, I dunno.

I have all kinds of weird feels going on in me.

It wasn’t that the workshops themselves weren’t good…they were, however, Sunday afternoon I hit a wall and a total shift happened that I just couldn’t seem to shake for a few days.

Everything was going great. 
I missed Friday’s workshop, which I was ok with.  There was something else that had come up that I already had committed to, but I didn’t mind that I could only partake in 2 days of the workshops. Normally in the past I would be quite sadden by this. I guess you could say I was in a place of acceptance instead of disappointment.

Saturday I came, I was handed my ass as far as drills and movement.  I felt a deeper sense of appreciation and recognition for the beauty….even with all it’s struggles.  I was in a place of gratitude. 
I even smiled and tried to attempt folding and point….which are forms of hooping that I have been introduced to in the past, but just lack the coordination or grasp of these techniques.
As always I reverted and committed to my mantra of “Do what you can, and don’t worry about what you can’t.”

Saturday night there was a gathering after the workshop at a friends house, where there was lots of fire spinning. I actually fire hooped and spun some fire poi. Of course sticking to moves that made me feel comfortable and safe with out the worry of setting my head and face on fire. It’s a start.

All and all my 1st day of Hoop Path had been incredible wonderful. When I finally laid my head down on my pillow early Sunday morning I was still in a place of gratitude, appreciation and love.

A few hours later as I wrestled myself out of sleep to get up and at em’ for the next workshop, I could feel how incredibly angry my body was. My legs especially. Everything hurt. I came very close to saying forget it…I’m out on the Sunday workshop, but the thought of knowing that there would be stories of the Maidan, which are the mythological “super heroes” of hooping, to be told, I pushed though my pain and tiredness to get to the workshop.

Even though my body was done, so to speak, my mind was not.

The first half was us laying (or moving about if we felt the need) and meditating on the stories.
Baxter, the man behind these myths, told them with such beauty and grace. He talked of these women as though they could have actually existed. Their stories all serving as a reminder and lesson to how to overcome daily struggles with insecurities and our approach to the world.

Afterwards, we did some long “sway” sessions, in which you go blindfolded and just feel and allow your body to move in whatever way it deems to the music. The reason you go blindfolded, again, is to block out the insecurities and scrutiny of why you don’t “appear” to move as others do.
It’s more a lesson in letting go and just being. Letting your own true authentic movement come through.

I was doing really good up to this point. Tired….but still incredibly grateful.
Then it was back to Folding and Touch.
And then that was where I hit the wall.

I became overly frustrated that I wasn’t grabbing the concept behind these techniques. That I wasn’t at least picking something up. I wasn’t grasping anything.
I tried to go back to the whole do what you can, but I kept finding myself getting angry.
At one point my body just shut down. It was done. This only added to my level of frustration.
I spent the last hour of the workshop just hating it….and turning all that negativity inwards onto myself.

I tried to keep in mind all of that gratitude that I held so close just a few hours before, but had a hard time erasing the negativity I just allowed myself to permeate my being.
I sat in closing circle reflecting on why I just allowed myself to let that happen.
That was when a floodgate of personal introspection began.

I was sitting in frustration and sadness over my inability to fold and point that allowed the next flow of thoughts to occur. I tend to be very critical of myself and can be very brutal and mean. My anger at my lack of coordination opened a floodgate of all kinds of ugly thoughts and feelings.
Or was this a breakthrough….a holding of the mirror in front of my face, making me aware of the issues I need to address in myself.

My last relationship, really has fucked with my head, heart and very being. I had thought I was coming to terms with what had been endured and letting go, but a lot of questions in regards to my character, my being during that situation arose.

I don’t really like the person I was during that period. I don’t feel I was shining bright. I don’t feel as though I was being truly authentic and living my truth fearlessly. I adopted behaviors I felt at the time would help me survive or gain better grasp on the relationship. I felt justified.
Looking back, I can only shake my head. I have all kinds of reasons for doing what I did…but they all just feel like excuses, and not worth the breath to say them all.

I also let this other person’s words doubt my inner light and true authentic self. I hear them saying things now about me, while in my heart of hearts know not to be fully true about myself, and yet, I still sit in doubt. Are they right? Am I that? Is that who I really am? Or is it just the final ploy of a narcissistic asshole trying to get in one last jab?

I came to the realization of since that whole ordeal, how truly closed off I have become.
And I don’t like it.
I feel as though I have become selfish in my need for self preservation. Yes…I have been hurt. Who hasn’t? How long do I need to keep myself and others at a distance? How long must I go on licking my wounds, while others around me need my help? How much longer must I walk around numb to the lives of others and myself, because of the fear I carry of investing too much and only being left with disappointment and hurt?
When will I just get over myself?

All these thoughts slammed against my head, which lead me to end my hoop path experience on a rather sad note.

Since then, I’ve been trying to make sense of all those thoughts. Those feelings. I innately KNOW I am not that horrible of a person that this man I was involved with implies that I am. So why do I keep doubting myself? Why is it that when these moments swoop in, do I not pluck those moments of gratitude and sling them back into the face of those doubts?

There is a place of gratitude for those dark moments of self doubt. Because it’s only then that I am truly able to look at the whole picture of my being. Not just the kick ass side of me that blinds every blemish of my psyche….but all facets of my being. The good, the bad…and even the ugly.

Days later, as I have finally processed those thoughts and addressed those parts of me I am finally coming to a another place of acceptance of my past situation. (I say another place, for there are still parts of me that are still dealing and mourning.) Simply put, if I didn’t like who I was then, then don’t be that person NOW.
What’s done is done. No need in continually beating myself up. Learn and move on. Truly learn.
And hopefully with writing all this, it will serve as a reminder to myself, to step outside of the hurt. That it’s ok to let people in, and move close to others. That any disappointments I have, are because of the expectations I set.

Even simplistic expectations. Expectations that at times I feel are universaly felt.

It’s all on me. How I choose to respond to those disappointments…again…is all on me.

While I still feel fucked up from the past three years, and my movement along that path, I do feel a small sense of healing as well.
I know I can change. I know that I will.

I still can’t get folding and point down….but maybe one day I will.

Slump.

As par for the course, whenever I have a hooping performance, I always approach the beginning of the process with much zeal and gusto.

I tell myself that “this time” I’m really going to get on the ball….pick my songs, choreograph out the number and have it polished and all slicked out at least a week or two before the show. That way I can take some time to relax, breathe, and get to the point where I have fun with it.

Yeah.  That has yet to happen.

I was asked back towards the end of Jan to partake in a burlesque show at the end of this month.  Of course I started out with good intentions, as stated above, but then my taurean streak of procrastination kicks in.  I tell myself I have plenty of time….I still have time…..Oh shit, I’m running out of time….Oh Fuck it!  Just vortex over and over. 

This show is two weeks and some change?  Just about?  And I still don’t have a clear idea as to what I can do.  I say can, because my skills are, well, they are what they are.  In my head I have visions of what I’d Like to do….but when it comes to the application of said ideas……yeah.  I’m just not that coordinated or…seasoned.

On top of that I also get into a rut of becoming totally bored with what I can do. It doesn’t matter that those in the audience are tickled by chest hooping and find it pretty impressive ….It’s just chest hooping to me. No big whoopdeedoo.

I need to shift my thinking in regards to this. Just because it’s not new and exciting to me, doesn’t mean that the crowd won’t find it exciting. (Plus, it would save me a lot of stress from being all “meehhhh”)

I have made some progress….I have my songs picked out….an outline for one number, which shouldn’t be too taxing to polish (I hope)
But for the other one, I am feeling such a sense of defeat and unenthusiasm due to lack of inspiration, and well…skill.

I know what it is I want to do, yet my body doesn’t know how to do it.
I’m also finding that the rhythms of hooping and the rhythms of certain dance moves I am trying to incorporate don’t necessarily line up.  One throws the other off and vice versa….or again, perhaps it is I who throws it off due to my lack of expertise. 

*sigh*  I know the only way to become a hooping goddess badass is practice practice practice….but decent space in the Northeast of Ohio during winter months is hard to come by…..blaaaah….excuses excuses.

So that is where I am.  As always….in the midst of a hooping choreograph slump, which I am sure I will bounce out of. I will come to that place of  breakthrough after breakthrough after a few more intense, fist clenching, foot stomping, hair pulling, temper tantrum throwing, cursing the gods of hoop practices…..after which I will feel that sense of calm and accomplishment.  I will then wonder what the hell my problem was in the 1st place.

I guess it’s just how my process goes.  So I should just relax.
Roll with the shift. 🙂

On another note, here is the flyer for the show at the end of the month.  I was quite tickled to see my name had sort of toppish billing….(which only feeds more into my need to be super awesome entertaining)

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What I Did This Past Weekend.

-Hibachi Hijinks and lots of saki.
-Laughing and connecting with my flow family.
-Celebrating the birthday of my dearest kindred soul.
– Rocking the red dress.
-Dancing to the Oldies.
– Sneaking in some time with the Riddum.
– Feeling a bit like my old sassy self.
–  Margaritas and Chicken quesadilla at one of my fav local spots with a cute boy and my bestest girlfriend.
– Feeling warm and cozy on the couch watching episodes of Seinfeld and feeling content with the moment.
– Missing what was, even though I know it’s probably for the best. 
-Slowly coming to a place of acceptance….even if I am still dragging my heels, and still hold out for hope.
– Breakfast in bed.
– Serenades of “Love Shack” melancholy style.
– Bowl of skittles.
_ Being Lost in thought while savoring bowl of skittles and looking out the window at the trees.
– Laying in bed cozy and warm with the cat.
– Finding a cute white crocheted dress….80% off!

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– Laughed at the awesome ridiculousness that is my brother’s friend, who was able to sneak into a sold out show.
– Seeing The Sword in concert.

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– Moshed around with my brother and a room full of big sweaty bearded men.
– Walking past Pizza….seeing the sad look on brother’s friend’s face, and walking right back to Pizza. 

Repeat after me….Life IS good.  You ARE doing alright.  This is where you NEED to be.

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