As I’ve said before, I’ve got a certain fascination with personality tests so when Marian mentioned the Enneagram, I scurried around the web to find various sites and tests. I don’t know that any one type really fits me but it is pretty clear to me that there’s a lot of type 4 in me. I may do a longer post on this later but fours are supposed to see themselves as fundamentally different from others and often feel like they never fit in. Some words I found on one website are Individualist, Artist, Over-Analyzer, Mystic or Melodramatic Elitist.
I found this quote on Pinterest and it is particularly appropriate “The greatest challenge in life is discovering who you are. The second greatest is being happy with what you find.” As with most personality types, there are positive qualities and negative qualities and it is getting comfortable with the whole picture that is important. Personally, I thought the description of fours tended to focus on the negative stuff but then fours are supposed to be sensitive to slights so maybe that is just me.
There was another line about “stepping out of the river of your emotions” which is what I’m going to attempt to do here. I’ve written before about how I can get certain “vibes” from places or people and that those vibes have the ability to trigger strong emotional reactions in me. Whether the vibes are accurate isn’t the point. To me, they are real because of the emotions they kick up. And some of those emotions can get pretty ugly. Fours can over personalize things and can get lost within the swell of emotions and end up withdrawing and diving into self-pity and envy. I’ll freely admit to times when I do like to explore the boundaries of the sadness and emptiness that I’ll feel from time to time but I believe the healthiest thing to do is release the ugliness.
One site talked of writing a letter than you don’t send but what would be the fun in that? You’re all part of my journey so why shouldn’t I bring you along? I am aware that I have personalized a vague feeling and probably used certain events to justify my emotions. So what I’m feeling may not be real at all. On the other hand, it certainly could be as I do have some talent for connecting disparate pieces of information and weaving a nice little tapestry out of it. I just wanted to give you the caveat that this is coming more from my emotional reactions to certain little events that may or may not mean anything.
Now, I’m free to let loose. Just be warned there is some envy and ego in here – I’m not always pretty but I strive to be real.
Ever seen the movie “The Right Stuff”? Classic guy movie and one my brothers and I still quote to each other from time to time. In the book, they talked about “getting to the top of the pyramid” because you had all these macho fighter jocks and each one wanted to be the best even though they would never talk about it. If you were the best, it was assumed that everyone knew and you were the one they tried to knock off by flying faster or higher or whatever.
Well, I’ve been at the top of the pyramid at my little studio since I started. I had an advantage since I had previous experience at another studio. Yes, it is the big fish in a very small pond syndrome but it is my pond and there is still something to be said about being the best. Oh, and I’ve worked my tail off to stay there. I don’t like to brag but I clearly have some skill at this – enough people have said that so I need to believe it. No, I’m not a champion level but I’ve got a skill set that people enjoy watching. If you think about it, I’m a walking (dancing) advertisement for them. I am proof that you can take someone with no previous dance experience and turn them into a reasonably accomplished dancer. (I’ll have more to say on this later and I don’t give them all the credit) I’d kind of consider myself a trophy they can put on the shelf.
Except now it feels like they’ve pushed me aside and moved me away from the center and stopped polishing me and set me in a corner to tarnish and gather dust. In my place are the new “stars” of the studio – Tex and his wife. Well, mostly it is Tex but they are treated as a couple. If this was based on merit, it wouldn’t be as much of a problem but it really feels like it is all because Tex is willing to shell out whatever it takes to do these competitions. For the record, he just now edged ahead of me in total competitions done but since he does the high ticket items, I guess that is what matters.
Why do I say these things? Well, it certainly started back in December when we were doing the Showstoppers demos of the routines we learned. I had always been near the end as one of the closers. This last time, I was pushed into the first group and Tex closed the night. They are doing another open house in a week where they ask students to demo the various levels. Last night, Kid T asked me to do the Silver which I’m fine with. But, the sign-up sheet now contained a new category “Competition Level” and it was Tex and his wife who get to close the show. Oh, and while we were on our lesson, OwnerGuy was with Tex and his wife and he kept giving us grief when we got near them. After I got off my lesson, he calls Kid T over to proudly watch what he taught the two of them while he tells them how good they are. Z was on a lesson and she even stopped to watch. Has that ever happened to me? Not lately.
OK now the jealous monster is going to make an appearance as I try to get the ugly out. “Competition Level”? Puh-leeze! You want to see competition level then let me pull out one of my old open routines. The cha-cha had gotten to a point where it was really rounding into form. I got a second in my heat at Boston and I know that means I beat one other guy who was really good and I was doing that on one leg and with my head in a bad place. That was a great routine! I take nothing away from them but all they are doing is dancing a bronze routine they danced at the last competition. It is hardly competition level. So there’s silver and then there’s COMPETITION LEVEL. Give me a freaking break.
There is a part of me that wonders if there isn’t some ego involved here on their side. After all, how would it look if the best dancer at the studio wasn’t taught be either of them. So they are happy to let me and Kid T dance unnoticed in our corner as long as it doesn’t detract from the real star of the studio. Oh, that’s a little ugly and dramatic. Felt good to let that one go.
I have to confess something else here that drives this. I used to get that level of attention. And now I feel like an afterthought and that hurts. So I say these things to help re-inflate my ego a bit. That might explain the tone.
So where do we go from here? Well there is always the Pinterest Ouija Board which spit out this quote yesterday.
Don’t get mad. Don’t get even. Do better. Much better. Rise above. Become so engulfed in your own success that you forget it ever happened.
You want to push me to the side. Well, as long as I’m there, it ain’t going to happen. To rise above, I’m going to redouble my efforts with Kid T and reach hard for my potential. I’m going to take that next Showcase and use it to shine. I’m going to freaking own that Showcase. It is going to be mine!
No matter day or night, I’m shining. Bitch, I’m a star.
Postscript – I wanted to follow up a bit on the whole “they made me a dancer comment”. No, I’m not going to give them all the credit. One thing I truly believe is that dancing is a native and learned skill. You can teach anyone to dance but the ones who will go farthest need to have some level of natural ability. You need to have dancing in your blood. You need to feel the music and want to make it come alive by moving your body to it. For most of my dance history, I’ve never given myself credit for that so it is more accurate to say that they took the talent I had but never knew I did and molded it.
Second postscript – now, all of this may go away if I go into the studio tonight and OwnerGuy says or does something. I’m not counting on it but it is within the realm of possibilities.