Saturday, February 24, 2007

A Time to Dance

Posted by Lara at 4:42 PM
Last night I went to dance event on campus. Dance events on campus have been a bit tough for me lately, for a variety of reasons. About a month ago, I showed up to a pre-Ball event. I got there near the beginning, and when I walked in Graham was just about the only person I knew. He and I shared a couple of fun dances, but afterwards I felt all the awkardness of being in a large public place, surrounded by people I don't know or care about, yet feeling completely and utterly alone. I went up to the balcony, where I proceeded to cry for the next hour and a half, off and on.

Tali and K. came to sit with me for some of that time, as did Tpiglette and the Eggman. As I stared down at the dancers below me, I felt as if there were a barrier just at the balcony's edge - a wall of glass, or a window to another world. I could see through it to the people around me, but I couldn't touch them. I could see them laughing, having fun, enjoying the dance, but I could not make myself cross that border and join them. Others could join me in my world, but I couldn't reach them in theirs. I felt trapped; I felt isolated by my own depression.

You can imagine that after such an experience I might be nervous to attend another such event. The next time one was scheduled, I was there only briefly, mostly to help teach the pre-dance class. But I left pretty early.

Then last night I decided to brave the studio again, in the hopes of a better time. And you know what? I got one. I think my three-hour nap beforehand helped quite a bit, as did a pleasant dinner with Reda before driving over together. When I got there, I saw many people I knew, and enjoyed many fun dances with many friends. I also greatly enjoyed watching Reda, Tali, K., and some other friends in their dance group's performance, which combined two-step, hip hop, and belly dancing. And maybe best of all, A. - the original and gold standard in teaching assistants in the social dance community - attended, and she and I got to have a lovely chat together.

Throughout the night, I was excited by how normal I felt. Not by any sort of global expectation of normal, but by my own standards. I felt like me again, and it reminded me that there really was a time when this depression was not my life. I used to have fun, and laugh, and smile, and hang out with friends, and sad times used to be the exception from the rule. And I saw, maybe for the first time, a very real possibility that I could be like that again.

All in all, it was a good night. And it gave me hope. And sometimes, hope is hard to come by.


Tense Teacher on 7:16 PM said...

Sounds like a good reason to celebrate... You should treat yourself to something wonderful and just for you!

alyndabear on 7:34 PM said...

You, my darling, as are normal as they come. Who defines normal anyway? ;) So glad you had a good time.

Jill B on 8:56 PM said...

Sounds good, and YEAH for feeling like you fit for even the briefest of moments (hold it in your heart, in case you need to pull it out as a reminder, later).

CC on 9:36 PM said...

That is wonderful =D I'm glad that dance was uplifting for you this time around.

Franz the mouse said...


CaliforniaTeacherGuy on 4:24 AM said...

You and Emily Dickinson have something in common. She, too, knew that hope was sometimes hard to come by, yet always mysteriously just within reach:


Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Mom said...

My heart is smiling today for you.

Amanda on 6:38 PM said...

I think people like you, women like you, put a lot of hope into the world with your fressh voice and incredible energy. I hope you are able to find hope for yourself a little more often in the days and months to come.

I cannot wait to read your post on Friday for the Blog Exchange!

Lara on 2:55 PM said...

tense teacher - i think going out dancing was treating myself, in a way. so let's check that off the list. though i suppose i could always treat myself again... ;)

aly - i say you and i define normal. everyone else is just weird.

jill b - yep, i'm planning to hold on to the memory of that feeling for a long time.

CC - i'm glad i got to see you at the dance, too. i'm already looking forward to the next jammix in 2.5 weeks. :)

franz - you can say that again!

california teacher guy - ah, good ol' em. you found one of the few poems she wrote that's not about death. ;) but thank you for reminding me of it. it's a beautiful thought.

mom - smile away. :)

amanda - aw, shucks. you are too, too good to me. and yeah, that post... it's really got me a bit stumped. should be interesting, though! and i'm looking forward to yours, too!

**Crystal** said...

Ah, I know that feeling. Like you've come up for air and you can suddenly breathe for a while. I wish you more moments like these...

Lara on 8:27 AM said...

crystal - YES, exactly. i plan to keep having more moments like this as i heal with time. i'm keeping the memory of this one fresh to give me hope.


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