Friday, September 14, 2012

Finding Home

The cardboard boxes are mostly gone from the premises. The house is starting to function as a home more than an urban camping site. Kysa is going to school and loving it, Fredrik is going to the office during the day and building IKEA furniture at night, and me? Aside from trying to transform heaps of stuff into an aesthetically pleasing home for my family....well, I'm dancing again. Yep, at 36 I'm dusting off my dance pants.

In the first week in our home, I took my first dance technique class in 8 years (!) and I had a rehearsal yesterday. In the last 8 years I've shifted my physical practice to yoga because of an ongoing dance injury. While my true passion is dancing, the physical pain that also created emotional pain (and probably vice versa) was greatly outweighing the joy. Yoga gave me relief, balance, a regular physical practice, a community, and spiritual connection....oh yeah, and teaching jobs.  I thought I had found a substitute movement form and career path that also challenged me intellectually, creatively, and spiritually.  But there was an itch that needed scratching, and yoga wasn't quite scratching it. Not to say I'm turning my back on yoga, but I think this is a lesson I'm continually learning on finding balance.

So Monday night I went to dance class, a little nervous that my sequencing brain had shrivelled up, that my body wouldn't support me (particularly with my extra adoption weight), and really nervous that my old injury and pain would resurface.

*Yes, this is my public admission that I have gained some adoption weight. I have no idea how much because I refuse to step on the scale (meeting it head on, right?) I don't think it's a crazy amount of weight because I still fit in most of my clothes, but I still hate it. And I'm not making up adoption weight.  It's a real thing. Google it. Maybe "moving weight" is a real thing too so I have double the excuse. Having just moved to a different state, now on our 17th month on the wait list, and sitting in the #2 position, I'm going to give myself a little grace, and hopefully a few less calories.

Back to dance class. At the beginning of class Glenda, my friend and teacher, asked everyone to say why they were there (it was the first class of the entire year).  Overwhelmingly, the responses from seasoned lifelong dancers were: because I need it, because I couldn't get through my week without it, because my family needs me to be here, because it keeps me sane, because this is what I do. 

My response? Because I'm looking for re-entry, I'm trying to get back to myself.

And then we were off, and flying.  And I danced, and danced for a glorious hour and a half, and my body felt great. And not to sound like a Hallmark card...but my spirit soared too.

Yesterday, I returned to the dance studio for rehearsal. I immediately ran into my friend, Natalie (who I met in college dance class circa 1994 when we were babies!) whose first words were "Welcome Home!" Then my friend Michelle started rehearsal by sharing the famous Merce Cuunningham quote, “You have to love dancing to stick to it. It gives you nothing back, no manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on walls and maybe hang in museums, no poems to be printed and sold, nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive.”

....and then a hand full of new and old dance friends kicked their own butts for the next hour and a half.  I left dripping with sweat and happy. Genuinely happy. It was a different kind of happiness from the sweet and selfless happiness I find taking care of my child, or my family, and certainly different than retail therapy, or travel, or finishing a good book. It was a pure and simple happiness generated from me, by me, for me. It was a manifestation of the mind, body and spirit strewn into the universe for that one fleeting moment of feeling alive.

I believe I've come back to myself.
I believe I've found home, not in this old house on Elm St, but in this 36 year old body that needs to dance.
Welcome home, me.

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