Family Man

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Last word on Showcase because I sorted through all my critiques.  It is one of those things where you have to look at what was said and what wasn’t said and try and do a meta analysis on the overall trends.  It is always hard to gauge progress in something as subjective as ballroom dance.  Each Showcase brings a different set of judges with a different set of eyes and perhaps different preferences.  That said, there is enough to convince me that progress was made.

Here are the data points.

  1.  Peabody was the only dance common to both Showcases.  We got better scores this time.  We really didn’t get back to the Peabody routine until after the Big Dance Event in August.   But we still managed to improve from May.
  2. Most of the comments on frame were around making it even bigger by pulling my elbows up and out more.  There were very few, if any, comments about pulling my head up.  Again, different eyes but the tone of the comments is different suggesting that there was improvement.
  3. Several comments about having a “good feel” for the dance!!  Again, it doesn’t mean there weren’t technical flaws but that is a more global comment that encompasses timing and movement.  Same thing with the several comments where they said “this is your dance”.
  4. There were several comments about arm styling.  This is not unexpected because I’m still trying to figure out what to do with my arms but I take this as a positive because it means that the thing that stood out was my arms.  Not timing, not frame, not posture.  Those are the first things they look at.  If we are down to arms, then it means there is a solid foundation for the dance.

Or, it could just be a new set of eyes without a lot of experience in judging.  But I felt good about the day and I’m going to take the positives that were there.  For the longest time, I have felt like I hit a wall and wasn’t making any real improvement.  Now, I think I did move the needle on Sunday and it means there is still room for growth.  Oh, and I put on a pretty good show as well.

The week ended on a happy note.  The work daughter was back from her overseas adventure and in town for the week.  She now resides in a different part of the country for family reasons and this was the first time she’s been back to our neck of the woods in a bit.  We arranged to meet for coffee after work but I figured she wanted to come in and see the rest of the group but was too afraid to ask so I prompted her and she agreed so she got to see some people and then we went for a chat.

As I’ve learned more about personality types, I can see that we are very similar people.  I’ve got her types as either ISFP or INFP.  Like me, she’s got a strong internal compass that is very private.  One of the things she wanted was a letter of recommendation from me but she didn’t feel it was right to ask over email so she drove out to ask in person.  (Yeah, she also probably wanted to see me as well)

We started talking for a bit and I think she finally worked up the courage to ask for some advice.  She’s considering two different grad school programs.  One would make her more marketable but the other is more aligned with her interests.  In describing her top choice and what she really wanted to do, she came alive with a passion that I don’t see very often.  I did push her a bit to see if she understood the financial consequences of following that path and she did.  Pretty sure she knew which direction she wanted to go and just needed someone to tell her she wasn’t crazy.  And that’s what I did.

I did have to think about it.  Telling a 25 year old to chase her dreams is risky because I don’t want her to walk down a path that dead ends somewhere.  But, the more we talked about her experiences and her feeling, it was so clear that she is not going to be truly happy unless she is doing something that has meaning.  Taking a job for security and looking elsewhere for meaning isn’t a bad option for some people but it just wouldn’t work for her.

Then, she started talking about her life and being 25 and not feeling like she had things together and how she felt so far behind everyone else.  I can vaguely remember those feelings when you don’t know what you want to do but feel like you have to get on doing something.  It can be harder when you are an introvert who has likely felt different her whole life.  And it can be really hard when you haven’t had a lot of support from your parents.  Fortunately, I’m much better at giving advice than taking it.  And, like I’ve probably said before, sometimes, people just need to be told that they are OK.

I do have to admit that it is really strange to be in this position.  I’ve always felt my life was hardly a model and that the last thing I should be doing is giving people life advice.  But there is also the part of me that sees a bright and talented young person who just needs someone to believe in her.  I can do that.

We talked for almost two hours and then she started worrying that she was keeping me from things I had to do.  Think we also hit her limit on emotional discussions which I certainly understand.  It can be hard for private people to open up.  We crave those deep connections but there are limits to how much emotional intensity we can handle at one time.  She gave me her phone number and I promised her I’d keep in touch and be there any time she needed.  And we hugged and drove off.

At one point, she said that she thought things happened for a reason.  I think it is a mix.  There are things that are just random events.  But there are things that are meant to be.






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