I would like to put one hundred sad face emojis on this post…..Today was just a very emotional day for me. My back didn’t hurt any worse than normal but I had some sad moments.
I love Saturdays. On Saturday’s, I teach my highest level ballet classes. Although I love teaching all my students, the older students are where I get to really let my creativity flow, choreograph and dance. Today while they were at barre, the realization set in that I may not be able to do this much longer. And by “this” I mean dance. Sure I can still teach my older dancers. When I was in New York, I had a 92 year old Russian teacher who didn’t speak more than 5 words of English and barely demonstrated. Teaching, although will be tough, I feel like I can make it work. I will have to change the way I do things with certain classes, but I feel confident, as of right now, that it’s possible. But who knows….I may feel completely different come July. What brought me to tears today was the fact that my ability to DANCE and move with the music either won’t be possible and/or definitely not the same. I watch all my students at barre, who love coming to my classes, who love to see me dance. My dancing has decreased over the years and don’t get me wrong the arthritis is already making my back stiff and I feel 1000 times worse after dancing a whole class but the joy I get from watching those kids watch me is priceless. That after 4 kids and this mess of a back, I still dance beautifully. Stiff, but beautifully.
Ballet has been my life for as long as I can remember. And to have something so precious taken away from me is hard. I have to make that decision to fix me so I can be there for my kids. They are my life now. Ugh, this is hard even writing today.
Today I decided to let myself be vulnerable. People think because I seem fine on the outside that I must not be “that bad”. When the truth of the matter is that I have been in horrible pain for 20 years. I have learned how to camouflage the way I look so it’s not noticed. I have put spanx on with wash cloths folded inside to try to “correct” the twisted rib cage. I grow my hair to my waist to cover it. I have been so embarrassed and ashamed by this that it eats at me every single day. My husband asks why I care so much about hiding. Who gives a bleep what others think. I think it’s because I don’t want to be looked at differently like I am weak or deformed. I don’t want people looking at me with weird looks or sadness or disgust. At some point, I need to be proud of what I have and do go through.
So, with this blog, I come out of hiding. As ugly as I may feel and as emotional as it makes me, I am posting some photos of my bare back. Writing this blog has sort of turned into a form of therapy for me. My husband, Neil, who god bless him, makes me feel beautiful even when I feel like quasi modo has given me the courage to do this. It might not seem like much to some, but this is a huge step for me.