Posts Tagged ‘Dancing’

How does one begin a blog post about one topic when another’s firmly on your mind?  I write, not because I have an abundance of time, rather I write because it’s important for me to do this, now, today.

Arizona. For me it holds many memories. I was there the other week, as readers of this blog will know, and I was there several years ago (2005 I believe). That trip, in 2005, was the beginnings of some challenges I’ve alluded to in this blog in the past.  This trip was much different. It was on my own terms, and I did what I wanted to do.

There were many highlights:

  • My first trip to a rock climbing gym! I had a great time! It may not be very ‘touristy’ but I loved the mental challenge as I clung to the holds trying to figure out how to get to the next level and eventually to the top of the route I was climbing. It was great exercise, but like all my favourite exercises, it didn’t feel as such.  I was visiting a friend of mine, and we went together. As I finished one climb my friend exclaimed “Wow you’re fit!” — it was my first time up the climbing wall and I spent probably 10 minutes in one spot just hanging out thinking about climbing, how I’m doing it and how to get to the next level.  I wasn’t tired and was certainly able to just hang there. I loved it. I don’t know when or how to fit this into my insane schedule but eventually I’ll try to fit it in.
  • Hanging out at the Hohokum Historical Monument. It was relaxing, hot hot hot and very quiet and this small historical site captured my imagination. I could picture what it may have been like to live 1000 years ago in that community that was built. It raised questions for me regarding how this history shaped the region and the culture — and how it played a foundational role in the culture that certainly exists there today, particularly among the aboriginal groups.
  • The impression of the priorities and the lifestyles of the residents. I don’t know if this is a ‘highlight’ or more of a profound thing. But as I stepped onto the airplane, I was surrounded by bleached blonds sporting jewels and fake nails. It felt like I was on the wrong plane. But no, that was the community of travellers heading to Phoenix. Phoenix struck me as a ‘car’ city. One where a person simply cannot choose alternate methods of transportation. Following this is that RECYCLING doesn’t seem to exist. I couldn’t believe it. With all the talk of sustainability, and with all the volume of bottled water that each person goes through in a day — or even in just a morning — one would expect that recycling would be paramount. But it simply didn’t seem to exist. That bothered me.
  • Eager sales people — I went shopping and I have never had such eager sales people approach me. Perhaps it’s the recession, perhaps it’s that I was at a huge mall on a Wednesday. But, I had people running out of the stores to try to entice me in to look at their products. Ironically, at the one store where I wanted to try shoes on (for nursing), they ignored me. So no shoes for me. That trip, at least.
  • Pool — it was hot, sunny, relaxing so I certainly spent a great deal of time at the pool relaxing.
  • Dancing — I loved it there. The people were friendly, full of energy and excitement in their dance and they easily recognized that I wasn’t local and grabbed me for a dance. It was a dance culture very unlike here, it didn’t feel flat and uninspired and I didn’t feel like I had to work to get dances as I sometimes have to here, or even in (my beloved) Seattle.

And this brings me to the Goodbye part of this post. I had some delightful dances with several leads. One lead I remember watching as I was standing to the side of the dancefloor. A friend of my host, we were all hanging in the same area — but I hadn’t yet been introduced to him and we hadn’t danced.  A ballroom instructor came up to me to talk dance, and we chatted for a bit. It seems his idea of what makes a great lindy hopper and mine are quite different. While I was watching this one lead, he pointed out several leads that he like (because they were so smooth).  It was funny, I danced with those leads by the end of the night and the reason they looked so smooth is a lack of pulse, and well, inexperience. So while this one person was watching some forgettable leads, I was observing this one lead who was inspired in his dancing.

He certainly had pulse, was able to mix in Charleston at ease into his dancing and the follow he was dancing with had a look of delight on her face — and why wouldn’t she — it was obvious he was a lead well worth dancing with, and he knew how to make her look wonderful on the dance floor.

On this trip, I was in a phase a bit where I didn’t feel like doing work to dance (IE chasing leads to dance with them), and fortunately I didn’t have to. This lead and I did dance that night and it was a delight. It was full of fun, energy, I was given the freedom to play within the confines of the music and he was willing to push things a bit. All things I love. We danced again that night, and it too was a dance that will stand out as a ‘memorable-delightful’ dance.

Sadly, however, this morning I had some terrible news. This same, delightful, lead from Phoenix AZ passed away very suddenly early yesterday morning (Sunday September 13, 2009).  Our meeting was brief, yet I am still saddened for him — also, his friends and his family.  So, for now I’m going to leave this post with a video that highlights another talent of this young guy who’s gone much too soon:

Next post will be the New Mexico Portion of the trip.


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Well, not literally, but it has seemed like I’ve dropped of the blogosphere lately. I’ve been feeling sadly uninspired in my blog posts — if my purpose of this blog is to talk about the stories of my life as I seek to live my life well, I am seeing blog post  topics that fit this idea. How does a person live their life, and do it well — all while having a ‘normal’ life?  And really, for me — what does it mean to live my life well?? All key questions.

I’ve been thinking about some posts, none of which I’ll touch on in this post, but hopefully the inspiration for the topics will remain so that I can come back to them:

  • community and fostering a healthy balanced and growing community
  • sustainable living and how the culture of a region plays a role
  • thoughts on adoption, identity, and further explorations into this topic — what’s the next step?

For right now, though, I’ll leave it there. I’m currently on vacation in Arizona and not really that connected to the internet. I’ve been mulling around blog posts in my brain (if I have time I’ll journal them and transcribe them) and I will try to post some posts when I’m home. Some upcoming topics:

  • My first experience at a rock climbing gym
  • Dancing dancing dancing
  • Exploring a historical monument

Upcoming plans: SHOPPING (this is afterall Arizona –> great shopping), more relaxing by the pool, Tuscon, Grand Canyon, New Mexico, more dancing hopefully.

I’ve definitely needed this vacation and I’m feeling mellow and relaxed. I may not have gotten everything done before school starts, but I will definitely be ready to hit the ground running once I’m home!

So, even if I don’t post again on this trip, I haven’t permanently disappeared. Stay tuned!

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I don’t have children – yet (and it’s a long way off in the future when I do). I have babysat a lot over the years, and I’ll admit that I do occasionally look after my friend’s son – though I enjoy spending time with both of them, so more often than not it’s the 3 of us, or perhaps just my friend and I if my friend’s taking a break for the evening.  But occasionally I will babysit while she goes out.

Tonight was one of those evenings. Her son was finished his dinner, so we played, he showed me his firetruck, a car, we played with the kitty (or she hissed at him and glared at me, rather), read a lot of books, played with a wooden puzzle with sea creatures, and played with the big soft blocks (fun involving me stacking them on my head until he knocks them off).

Then Bedtime came. So I started the bath but was sensing some resistance.  However, I got the bath going, and when her son didn’t want to take it, I gave him a choice: bath & play a bit, read more then bed, or just PJ’s and read then bed.

He chose the PJ’s. So we read lots of books, said goodnight to everything in sight even had an easy teeth brushing (though not in that order…). Then when it came time to put him into his bed. He SCREAMED. He. Had. To. Have. A. Bath. And of course there’s no reasoning with a 2.5 year old who’s upset.

I hope he remembers the fun we had playing and not the ‘bath no bath issue’.  Thankfully he fell asleep before his mom got home – by the end of things he was gasping ‘I <gasp> Need <gasp> Mommy <gasp> <scream>’.  I managed to get him lying down and then I rubbed his back until it was just cries and then I left him alone and he fell asleep soon after.

Otherwise, a fun evening hanging out with my friend and her adorable son (both of whom I love to pieces), though I did manage to miss Blues at the Yale. Again. I had every intention of going, but some things are not meant to be, and this was definitely the right choice for this evening. Next week, though, I’ll be there. And I’ll stay for all 3 sets. Having a STAT holiday the next day helps in that respect…

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Recently I posted asking the question: “a year ago could you have imagined where you’d be and what you’d be doing today?”. Now I’m truely faced with considering the reverse. Can I imagine what my life will be like in a year? Two? Five? Ten?

I’ve recently started a new job, after more than a year and a half of being without a career-related permanent position.  That brought me to a place where I never ever want to be again.  Stability in my employment has always been important and now, it’s even more important. The job I’ve accepted is stable. The company is not going to go under anytime soon, and I like my team. It’s nice to have a predictabe paycheque, and the work is intellectually stimulating.  But, they’re very conservative financially — the salary I accepted was much lower than other companies.  So that’s stressful because I’m trying to save, be responsible for preparing for retirement and doing what I need to do so my dreams of home and family in the near future are able to be realized.

But how do I get there? Where do I want my career to go? Where do I see myself? I’ve had a lot of rough things happen to me in recent months. To the degree that, to be totally honest, I’m afraid to think of the future. I’d rather life just happen. Every time I carry a dream it feels like it gets dashed, or somehow destroyed.

But it feels like I’m being forced to make decisions. I keep having opportunities forced on me. Not that I’m complaining, but I’ve had multiple offers for interviews.  It’s ironic because I was desperate for interviews and they were few and far between.  Now I’m getting calls, some I’m turning down, some, like the test I’m taking in a week, I’m pursuing.

But the decision I have to make, I have to decide in the next 2 weeks, or less. It’s to go back to school. Would totally change my direction. Would be secure, pay would be better, but my company may change the team’s salary structure.

I don’t know. I was asked where I saw myself in 10 years, and I could mention that I hoped to have kids by then, that I’d like to have a stable home, a life that I enjoy living, a good relationship with my family. Job-wise, I imagine myself in a position that challenges me intellectually, that has built my management skills, that allows me to problem-solve.

So what does that look like? Is it going back to Nursing school? Is it staying in Biotech? Perhaps moving to the government position in the future? It’s hard to decide as I’ve only been in my position for a short time. It’s still the honeymoon period, and I’m not yet fully trained.  So while I’m satisfied (in all areas except finances), is it right to give up school? Is School worth going into debt by thousands of dollars not to mention 2 more years of lost income? Would I be better off investing as much as I can in that timeframe for long term growth?

So much to consider. At least when I run my latest half marathon this weekend, I’ll have something to distract myself.

Tonight was a nice night. Though tough too. I cooked dinner for a good friend of mine (Warm Thai Chicken Salad) and we hung out. Chatted a little bit. He’s one of a number of friends who are keeping watch on me as I work my way through this very very rough patch I’m in. I think I have something like 5 movie dates booked and a few concerts and the like. I appreciate my friends. It’s nice to feel supported and cared for, even though I find it difficult to reach out and ask for it.  I then went and danced to a few songs. I’m into lindy hop, blues dancing, balboa and other dances in the broad genre of swing dancing. But I’ve been struggling to be inspired most of the time these recent weeks.

So I had some fun dances, but didn’t dance much. Watched. It’s an outside venue so the weather wasn’t the greatest, so I came home. And am now here hanging out and reflecting on life and decisions.

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