Last week, I finally made the decision to give up dance for good. I went to class last Monday and before class was even over, my knee was screaming at me. It’s not just the patellofemoral pain, it’s also the leg with the poorly healed groin injury, and the side with the formerly pinched sciatic nerve. In short, it’s a hot mess. I’ve been told multiple times that I need to find some other option for exercise. This time, I finally decided to listen. I did the movie cliche of getting in the shower and crying once I’d decided it was time. I felt like I’d lost who I am once and for all. I promised myself when I extracted myself from Will that I wouldn’t give it up again. I wouldn’t let someone take it away from me. It’s the last shred of who I was before. It’s the last shred of the girl who got lost that day.
I find myself, once again, with an identity crisis. I gave up dance for the betterment of my own health. It wasn’t taken from me. I know I’m doing the right thing. That doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. I’ve gone back to my cave analogy. I find myself sitting outside the cave, not sure how to get back down there. I’m not even sure what’s down there to see.
I had an honest conversation with my friend who has morphed into this odd mix of big brother, dad, & friend. I’ve kept him actively involved in my adventures in online dating both for his take on the situations and entertainment. I asked him what drew him to me in the first place. He told me that he remembered seeing a picture of me he thought was cool & decided to start talking to me. As he got to know me better, he appreciated my wit & (funnily enough) maturity that he didn’t see in people his own age. In the past 6 years, we’ve come and gone in the other one’s world, some times less fucked up than others. True friends, he said, always stick around. He loves me and doesn’t want to see me get hurt because I lost sight of the fact that I’m worth more than who will sleep with me. That, unfortunately, is a nasty side effect of not having a solid grip on who you are. Fortunately, I have his voice in my head (and his texts on my phone) to remind me.
“Dancer” is really just an adjective. It’s not the core of my personality. I was rather fond of that adjective. I’m sorry to see it become part of my past rather than still in my present. I like to think that this will leave space for something, or someone, to fill the gap.
I am not a victim of life. I’m an active participant. I’ll just keep repeating that until I believe it.