The Girl Who Wore a Choker & Didn't Dance ( A Blog About Becoming)
In middle school, I made a pact with one of my friends that we would wear our chokers for a whole year. She, grew out of it a few months later and took it off, I however kept it on until tenth grade of high school. And even then, it wasn’t my choice but once my basketball coach figured out that the henna looking brown pattern on my neck wasn’t a tattoo, it had to come off.
Recently, my roommate who was one of the creators, directors , and choreographers of APUs Dance Company and just has that natural ability to move and move well told me, “Hey… your dancing has gotten a lot better.” She doesn’t know until maybe right now as she’s reading this how much that meant to me but it meant a lot. And then yesterday, at Zumba my friend told me she made the comment “Arielle is gettin’ it” in her head (“gettin’ it” means working, doing great things, showing those dance moves who’s boss…something along those lines). That also meant a lot to me. And not because after 22 years of not “getting it” or framing my face and only moving my shoulders I was able to dance but because… I had finally made it.
Made it where? You may be asking… Well here’s the thing with being the girl with the brown choker who didn’t dance… everything about her screamed uncomfortable, dissatisfied with who she was and the body she was in. I didn’t dance because I could be transparent that way, I wouldn’t draw attention to myself, people didn’t have the opportunity to make fun of me or point out my flaws. The girl with the choker who didn’t dance is not who I am now. She has come a long way and has been wrecked in order to get to the girl who stays far away from chokers and shimmies uncontrollably with her friends.
I had come to the realization that dancing is just not my thing, it was a gift I wish I had but did not possess and I’m not saying that this has changed at all, I’m not going to go audition to be someone’s back up dancer (I’ll stick to poetry) but I’m saying, I allow myself to dance now unapologetically and freely because I am learning to love this skin I’m in, love this person I’ve become. And believe that I am capable of being more than just be a compilation of "no" or "you can't".
I was talking to a friend yesterday and she commented on how she wished she were “more creative”. I wrestled with what to respond back to her, because in her own way she is creative… but she’s probably watching people who have a way with a paintbrush or their hands, or creative words that makes her believe “that’s not her thing.” And who’s to say it’s not except ourselves?
How often do we tell ourselves things we can’t do just for the petty fact that we don’t believe in ourselves enough? How often do we convince ourselves that something is “not our thing” because we watch other people do it and think “well I’m not going to be able to do it like that…”
Why do we hinder what we are capable of?
And not only that…we hinder the simple spark of possibility burning inside of us as we pour a bucketful of doubt over it.
Why do we insist on putting out fires inside of us that are destined to burn?
This almost sounds like I’m promoting some type of “YOLO” mentality or “DO ALL THE THINGS.” And because I hate the term YOLO and refuse to resurrect it from the term grave it belongs in, I will lean more on DO ALL THE THINGS.
How will we know if something is not for us if we don’t maybe stick our toes on the shore of that possibility?
How will we know that dancing makes us feel like the human beings we’ve meant to be all along, if we’re sharing secrets with walls everywhere we go?
How will we know if we’re not creative if we don’t chase that inkling and create whatever the heck comes to mind?
You want to know a secret that is not really a secret?
We are passionate people.
We want to get our hands messy, sweat from dancing so hard and find ways to let these fires inside of us burn…fervently. We want to know that we are capable of things far beyond our doubts.
Can you imagine… the type of beautiful chaos we would create if we believed…
I can do this.
Whatever this is.
You can do this.
Whatever this is, for you.
You know that thing you have never tried to do because maybe you don’t believe in yourself enough? Do that. Maybe do it secretly so no one has to know if maybe it turns out not to be your thing… but you did it. You tried, maybe that fire isn’t supposed to burn.
Now go find out which one is and I guarantee honey, you will be combustion of passionate flames, just as vibrant and delightful as ever.
Thank God I’m no longer the wall holding girl with the choker.
Thank God I have been able to find the little fires inside of me and refuse to doubt that they should be ignited. It can be a wonderful thing, a marvelous reality when we learn more and more each day about who we are and what we are capable of. Yes, thank God indeed.