Strange Magic

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If you are a regular reader, then you may remember that “young adult” fiction is my new guilty pleasure.  I think I’ve read most of the “dystopian future” ones so I’m starting in on ones that are more fantasy.  There are general and common themes.  Most of these are set in some medieval like period with kings and nobles and peasants.  Most of these worlds are essentially evil or corrupt and are eventually overthrown by a teenage heroine who faces many trials and hardships over the course of the book.

Reading is an escape for me so I use these to imagine what it would be like to live in these worlds.  To feel the hopelessness and despair that comes through.   Sometimes, they over do it and I briefly have to walk away.  I guess I’m kind of a sucker for good vs evil especially when the good is the underdog but still triumphs.  Think the first Star Wars or Lord of the Rings which have some of the same themes.

Currently, I’m reading Frost Like Night which is the third book in a series which means it will come to some kind of end.  It feels like they are setting me up for a not so happy ending but we shall see.  Our heroine in this case grew up believing she was a simple peasant only to discover that she is the heir to her kingdom’s throne and can use magic since those in the right royal bloodline have a conduit to use the world’s magic.  There is a big bad using evil magic to try to conquer the world and I’m to a point where she is training in how to use her magic to fight the evil.  (Trust me, this is going somewhere)

Part of the training scene is someone using magic on her to turn her insecurities against her.  At some point, the light goes on.  Her thoughts are “I am all of this.  I am mistakes and victories and death and life.  I am competent and powerful and strong …”  And she learns to control her magic and passes the test and is ready to take on the evil.

So I’m thinking about how wonderful it would be if there really was magic you could use like that.  To draw on its power to wipe away the fears and insecurities and to find the strength within.

Of course, there is no magic in this world.  Well, there may be some but nothing like that.

I also wonder why it is that some people seem to be overflowing with confidence and others of us struggle with our own demons and have a hard time seeing what others see.  It was like those people took our portions when it was being handed out.  From what I’ve read, my personality type (INFP), does tend to struggle with insecurity.

When it comes to dancing, I do believe there is actually some benefit to my fears.  I know that may seem strange or counter intuitive but it is the insecurity that helps to drive me.  The fact that I don’t have confidence means I always feel like I’ve got room to improve and do things better.  This may just be me but I also think the insecurity makes me push a little harder because I never feel like I’m doing anything right so you have to keep working until you get it right.

But it can also be debilitating.  I can get caught in the grip of the demons where every mistake happens because I suck and I’m never going to get any better.  It can be paralyzing because I get so far inside my head that all I hear is the demon telling me I’m no good.  All of the positive feedback I’m getting from the instructor sounds fake and hollow and I ignore it to listen to the demon because the demon seems more real at the time.

Here’s the strange thing though, if you gave me the choice of being the insecure type I am or the totally secure (but arrogant and egoistical type), I’d stay where I am, thank you very much.  I suppose confidence and arrogance are not the same thing and one could probably be confident without being an arrogant jerk but I don’t know if there is a good example.  Not to say that a little extra confidence wouldn’t be a bad thing.  Maybe I’ll keep looking for some magic.

Does this post have any ballroom in it all, you are probably wondering by now.  (Assuming you got this far)  Yes, and there is a small connection to the ramblings above.  Its a thin connection but it is a connection.  See, I’m weaving a web and everything is part of it.

Last night, I was back at Studio B.  If you remember last week’s post, things didn’t go so well.  Yesterday was different and better.  We slowly walked through the first routine and made a few tweaks where I was having problems and then actually danced it through a couple of times to music.  It was slowed down music but it showed me I could do it and it felt so slow that I’m ready to up the speed a bit.  Was it perfect?  Oh, hell no!  But I recovered from the bobbles and generally stayed on time and on the correct foot.

Similar pattern for the second dance which was the second half of the lesson.  Again, some rough patches.  Some, she was able to fix and some still need work.  But, instead of thinking that I’m going to be a complete disaster, I now can see some potential in both.  I might not screw up as badly as I expect to.  (Told you there’s no magic, you can’t expect me to be brimming with confidence now can you??)

One of the things I’m going to have to stop fighting is when she wants to back lead me through the turns.  There’s a lot of spinning going on with hand changes and other things and I do get confused and forget where I am so she’ll often just force my hand.  Unfortunately, my first reaction is to fight it.  No, you can’t make me do this the right way!  I’ll do it my way!

Oh, and there was another instructor teaching while we were doing our routines.  He’s been there before and I think he teaches most of the real competitive level dancers.  At one point, he looks at me from across the room and says “Nice to see someone making her sweat”.  OK, that might not have been an exact quote but it was close.  Told you I practiced hard!  Actually, not quite sure what to make of that comment because I don’t know this guy well enough to get what he was trying to say but it was kind of an interesting observation.

Well that’s all for now.  Got a lesson later at the Famous Franchise.  Have no idea what we’ll be working on so it will be a surprise.  Who knows, I might even have a different teacher.  Never know when they’ll pull the switcheroo.



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