To Be or Not To Be (Proud)

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Sometimes someone will say something and it will just bounce around inside my head triggering other thoughts and feelings. And I’m not talking about the second guessing of what the person really meant by what they said. That happens too but that’s not what this is about.

Some time back, D-Mom asked me how long I’ve been dancing and then told me I should be proud of what I’ve accomplished.

I think I mentioned this but it bears repeating since it is relevant here. When you do three solos in the same Showcase, the Famous Franchise gives you a “Rising Star” award. The type of award varies from Showcase to Showcase. This year, it was a rather substantial star-shaped clear thing that came in a nice box. It has my name and the Famous Franchise logo. It looks like a pretty major award.

of course, nothing beats the original MAJOR AWARD!

See I have this issue with pride. I mean it is one of the seven deadly sins and we know that it goeth before a fall (random aside but I’d kind of like goeth to make a come back as a word). And this is more my personality type than something that was drilled into me as a child because it wasn’t. There is just this part of me that isn’t comfortable talking about accomplishments or strengths. I’ll tend to downplay them.

Counter Point

Of course, in some way, I must be proud of doing those three. Why else would I have posted them to Facebook. Except for the dopamine hit of “likes”. Well that and I know people like to see my do my dance thing.

Objectively, it is something to be proud of. Learning choreography is not easy. Learning three routines is not easy. There’s a lot of work and sweat and frustration and days where it seems like you aren’t going to get it. And days when you just want to run away and bag the whole thing. Is it worth being proud because you stuck with something?

Yeah, I think it kind of is. I mean I could have walked away from dancing years ago. I’ve certainly considered it. There was certainly a period in time where it might have been best if I had taken a break. But I’m in a better place now.

Maybe having something that you strive for is worth being proud of. No, it is totally unlikely that I’ll ever get any type of champion trophy out of this. I don’t think that is my path. But the mere action of just going to the studio and continuing to learn and continuing to progress and trying to become the best that I can be. That’s worth something, isn’t it?

I was sitting at the table at one point during Showcase and this guy next to me says “It’s good to see you on the floor again”. I missed the last Showcase in May because I was getting downsized the next day and I just wasn’t feeling the whole Showcase thing.

And, I’ve said this before, but it does always feel a little strange when I get reactions to my dancing. I mean I go ga-ga watching professionals but they are professionals and I’m a mere amateur. But there are people who like watching what I do. Is that something to be proud of? Or does that start crossing into ego? I mean if I just think about the time and effort I’ve put into this, then maybe it is OK to be a little proud about it.

To be fair, over my dance career, I’ve had those moments where pride and ego got the best of me. It is sometimes too easy to listen to the good and start believing you are perfect. I’ve probably never said that but you start to feel like you are some kind of superstar and then reality breaks down the door and serves you a big old slice of humble pie.

Best served warmed with ice cream

I know I’m kind of all over the board here. That’s what you get when I use this as a way to sort out the things that are rattling around in my head.

So let’s just go back to the beginning and that first quote. “Take pride in how far you’ve come. Have faith in how far you can go.”

I walked into a dance studio many years ago with no previous experience and a whole bunch of fear. Now, I’m someone who can move around the floor pretty darn well and I can entertain people with my dancing. Yeah, there are good reasons to take price in that journey.

And maybe the second part is about keeping the ego in check. I suppose there may be things where you can reach an actual pinnacle but ballroom isn’t one of them. There will always be new things to learn and techniques to master.

Also, maybe the key to having faith in how far you can go is to have some level of pride is how far you’ve come. Does that make any sense? When you are in the thick of learning something new and it isn’t coming and the frustration is rising, would it help to think back to all the things you’ve conquered already. I’ve got a long history in ballroom and successes to look back on and, drawing on that might be incentive to keep pushing. I mean I haven’t really failed yet so why would I think I’ll start now. (I’ll try to hold on to that thought the next time I get something tossed at me that seems impossible)

Should I be proud of what I’ve accomplished in ballroom. Yeah, I think I should be. Again, that doesn’t mean I don’t still have things to learn but what I’ve done up until now is pretty impressive. Alright, I’m getting out of here before the ego takes over and runs amok.

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