I've been going to therapy twice a week for a little over two years now. Most days I don't want to go. I have to force myself to get there and endure an emotional hour of discomfort. Sometimes when I'm there, I feel so lost. Sometimes tears well up in my eyes. There are many times I want nothing more than to just walk out. But then, every once in a while, I see all the pieces coming together.
You see, I've always been painfully and desperately shy. I went through my school years trying my best to be invisible. Because that's where I was most comfortable. Or so I told myself at the time. As the years went on and I started my career, I made a really concerted effort to work on my essentially non-existent social skills. There was simply no way around it, life involves a lot of mandatory talking to people you don't know. Even though I have worked hard for years and years to be more convivial, I have realized something. My condition is terminal.
I don't mean it's hopeless, I just mean I'm never going to be outgoing. Ever. Like, it's not going to happen. Nor do I want to be. Cause then you have to talk even more. What I'm striving for is to not blend in with the wall at a party. It would also be good if I wasn't referred to as the awk-weird chick at the party who was standing near the wall with the armpit sweat stains on her dress who was totally creeping the other party goers out with her maladroit ways. So, my goal is to approach random strangers at a party, strike up a meaningful conversation and be talking to them long and close enough that I can torment them with my garlic breath. That I got from hoarking down the amazing humus at said fictitious party. It's a lofty goal. But I think I can really get there with some hard work. Oh don't worry, I'll still have the sweaty armpit stains too, cause I'll still be nervous.
Now, am I said shy person going to willingly go to a therapists office and tell him or her my deepest darkest secrets? Of course not. That would involve talking. To a stranger. Oh, and I forgot to tell you I'm also a perfectionist. Which I denied for years, reasoning I'm far too imperfect to actually be a perfectionist. And that's probably the clinical definition of a perfectionist. So talking to a stranger about my imperfections? You don't seriously think I'd do that right?
No. I dance. I didn't realize that by doing so, I was actually self medicating. Because I didn't realize dance therapy existed until my friend Sara told me about it. And yes, I take her dance class too. Which ups my self treatment to 3 times a week. I dance because I want to. Because I like it. And it makes me feel good. Ok, that's not totally true. A lot of times I actually don't feel good at all when I dance. I get nervous and forget the steps, I realize I could do better and judge myself and then the worst, that someone might have actually seen me do it. Imperfectly. But, when I've danced through all the self doubt in my head and finish. Then, I feel good.
And, that's why I dance.
And probably why I blog. Because allowing you to see me is the first step. Ok, it's probably the second step. Step one was probably the brutal realization that I am in fact, not invisible. The third step, well, that's laughing about it.
This was my latest therapy session.
(Disclaimer: My therapy only states that I should allow you to see me. You are under no contractual obligation to actually watch this video. It neither expedites, nor impedes the therapeutic effect.)
But if you did watch it, just to let you know, it was ninety-five degrees the day I taped that. Which is why my hair looks so crappy. Actually it's because it's so thin and really needs to be cut. Which is why I normally wear it up. And did you see how many mistakes I made? How I did things half assed? And that I forgot the steps and made stuff up? And why in the world do I make those stupid faces when I dance? Ugh, I could've done that so much better...
And that's why I've decided to continue my therapy. So, I'll start a couple days after we move to Colorado, but this time I'm going tribal.