Last night the curtain came down on Kid T and me. But, you know what, the sun rose today. OK, technically, it has been cloudy and rainy the entire day and I haven’t seen the sun, so I’m just taking it on faith that it is actually behind the cloud cover. Well, faith and the fact that we didn’t turn into Ice Planet Zero which would have happened if the sun didn’t rise.
The lesson itself wasn’t particularly noteworthy. She was a bit distracted which is expected because I was her last lesson at the Famous Franchise. And we both forgot the ending to our open Mambo so we taped what we could and left it to OwnerGuy to fix. After all, he has to earn his money somehow, doesn’t he? We did get the rest on video. Not sure when I’ll start working on them again but they are there.
OwnerGuy came over to talk to me after the lesson. Basically, he wanted to make sure I was still game to continue and I said I was. He tried to schedule me for a practice session with NewestGirl next Tuesday and I said ‘No’ because I wanted to get a few lessons with him under our belt first just to see how it was going to work out. We talked a bit about Showcase and he was relieved that I said I was setting no expectations about Showcase because I didn’t want to put any additional pressure on NewestGirl. Again, I could have been an a-hole and made noises about him needing to do something to get me to Showcase, but what would be the point of that. If it is meant to happen, then it will.
In between that conversation, I got a chance to talk with Kid T and I can’t tell you how much that helped. We talked about her future plans and it was funny in a way because I was suddenly seeing a different side of her. Here was a young lady just trying to figure out her place in the world and where she belonged. And also being a little nervous about walking out of the studio which had to be a steady source of income. I could sense a little of “what the heck am I doing” coming from her. And that just gave me the opportunity to be the wise old man dispensing knowledge and just reaffirming that she was doing the right thing.
I’m frankly a little divided on the whole “do what you love” thing. There is a lot to be said for financial security and the peace of mind it can bring. Even if a job doesn’t truly speak to you, there are always parts you can enjoy. On the other hand, if it is sucking the life and soul out of you, then the money part isn’t a fair trade. I don’t think that is really the case with her. I think it is a matter of having a lot of interests and needing to explore something else. That kind of thinking I’m fine with. When you are young, there are many paths you can explore and if you find yourself at a dead end, there is time to back track and try something new.
But we also talked about dancing and what’s she meant to me. She said something about wanting to be sure she had made a difference and I let her know that she certainly did. I talked again about how much fun the last Showcase was and how I thought we were really firing on all cylinders like the Medal Ball Check Out and she agreed. There are probably things I should have said earlier because you never know how long people are going to be in your life and if you appreciate them, you should let them know. I have problems with that because – words and all that. Plus, when the emotions take over, I could probably sound deep and creepy and that’s not good for anyone.
Basically, I just wanted to leave her with two messages. First, I got a lot out of working with her and that she made me a much better dancer. Second, while I’m going to miss her like crazy, I’ll be alright. It was clear that leaving was difficult for her as it was for me so you just try to make it as easy as possible. I know she was really happy I was going to continue. No tears (although it was close). We ended with a really kind of long hug.
Am I sad? Yes, there is a hole that will take some time to fill but getting that chance to really say goodbye helped a great deal. I know that I can be a bit “intense” on lessons and difficult to work with. OK, I can be a royal pain in the a** at times, let’s just call it like it is. But, in the end, it was clear she was going to miss working with me as much as I’ll miss working with her. And that helped as well because it was real.
I will still say that this whole pro/am teacher/student thing has got to be one the most complex relationships around. You do form a bond and it is hard when that bond is severed. But, I’m better for having experienced it.
Tonight, the curtain opens on me working with OwnerGuy and NewestGirl. If it works out, I promise to give her a better name.