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Posts Tagged ‘The Yale’

I took a step, went out and danced. It may be weird, but it has been important that I take these steps. Tonight was the first opportunity I’ve really had to get back out and dance. I’ve been a couple of times, but the ‘routine’ is gone. Tonight was at the Yale. There weren’t really any follows and not many leads — though there were more leads than follows. I’m glad I went because it’s good to get out in the scene again. But it’s not my first night dancing. Friday was Blues in the City, and it was absolutely fabulous. I had a friend come and visit — the same friend from this post — I got a call last week saying he was coming to visit, so I had company for the weekend.  It was a lovely weekend

As I mentioned friday night was Blues in the City. And I had some amazing dances. It was a night when I was ‘on’ that’s for sure, and my friend who was visiting — I’d say we have great dance chemistry. It even seemed that when we danced we had audiences. Pretty much every time we’d dance there would be people surrounding facing and watching us.  One of my friends even said that it’s the best she’s ever seen me dance. They really were amazing dances. I’d say he was perhaps the best lead in the room, by far.  And the last dance, it was epic, one that I will remember for a very long time.  It’s the type of song that could be quiet and close or the kind where you lay it all on the line and make it something special — by putting all your creativity and expression into the song. We danced the last dance and chose the later. I wish I had a video of us dancing.

As the last song finished, he gave me perhaps the best compliment ever.  There’s a follow in the city who’s back in town. She’s probably the best follow in most cities, let alone this one, and she’s someone who’s dancing I deeply respect (and take classes from her when I can).  I’m sure dancers can guess who I mean, but no names of course.  Anyhow, this friend said to me as that song ended “There are only two follows in the room who I could have danced like that to that song — you and her”.  That probably made my night. Easily.

What is the song? Here’s a youtube video of it:

The rest of the weekend was spent relaxing, going for a ride on his motorcycle, watching movies, spending time walking out in the sunshine. We missed the Saturday dance, but had an enjoyable evening nonetheless. It was a lovely weekend. I realized that I must make sure that I maintain my emotional availability, and it is maintained. But let me tell you, if he lived within my ‘acceptable distance’ I’d want to date him, and I believe it’s probably mutual. But, sadly, that’s not going to happen. So I will enjoy his company when I can, take the lessons of respect, kindness, chemistry, and assertiveness and allow those excellent qualities shape what I look for in a man. I know, for myself, I am emotionally available, but that’s a conscious choice. If he told me he found someone where he’s at, I’d be happy for him. If I found someone, I’m sure he’d be happy for me. I’d be melancholic, of course, but accepting and happy for him.  If we were in the same place, though, it would be nice to explore what could be. So I’m, again, “Happy to be Melancholic”

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I am an old woman named after my mother
My old man is another child thats grown old
If dreams were lightning thunder was desire
This old house would have burnt down a long time ago

Chorus:
Make me an angel that flies from montgomry
Make me a poster of an old rodeo

Just give me one thing that I can hold on to
To believe in this living is just a hard way to go

When I was a young girl well, I had me a cowboy
He werent much to look at, just free rambling man
But that was a long time and no matter how I try
The years just flow by like a broken down dam.

Theres flies in the kitchen I can hear em there buzzing
And I aint done nothing since I woke up today.
How the hell can a person go to work in the morning
And come home in the evening and have nothing to say.

This is one of those songs that gets me. Every time. I’m not even sure I can pinpoint why. Actually, in some ways I can. The line in the chorus (as Susan Tedeshi sings it — the video link to her performing is above), “Just give me one thing, Lord, that I can hold onto”. It gets me. I guess because that’s an plea that resonates with me these days.   It’s a song that can make me cry, particularly with To believe in this living is just a hard way to go”.  Tonight while dancing, the performers covered this song and did a superb job.  There was no one I wanted to dance with. No one who could meet me at the heart level there at that moment and who could also break out and dance at the level I needed.

So I sat at the table and watched the band, the song, it hit me in the core, and I felt it. And I had to move. I enjoy solo blues — I don’t do it often enough, and don’t always want to, but when I need to it’s right, and it’s part of what blues dancing was and is — it’s part of the history. Most people in Vancouver don’t know what solo blues is, unless the’ve travelled. But it had to be solo. I had to get stuff out and I’m glad I did. That solo blues danced to that song might have been the best song of my night.

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“Crisis Management”. That is probably how I’d describe my life from Oct ’06 – April ’08. Wow. 20 months, when you include the weeks on either end of that time frame. 20 months of living day to day, not knowing when I’d have a steady income, wondering if I’d ever have a ‘real’ job again.  20 months of dealing with a career crisis if you will… It was 20 months of crisis management. No wonder in some ways I’m dealing with a bunch of things now that may be repercussions of that “ending”, because that was a lot.

Fortunately I had a good cushion for that long period. I’d been hoping to buy a condo in early ’06 and found that eternally frustrating. 9 offers on 7 condos and getting blown out of the water each time by multiples. Yikes. So I had the down payment saved.  A good cushion.

The first four months were entirely funded by savings, including a very budget friendly trip to Barbados (thanks to having a friend who lives there).  After that I spent two months living on EI and Savings. For the next seven months it was EI, ESL Teaching and Savings. Then it was two months of ESL Teaching and Savings followed by two months of just Savings.  Three months were spent temping at an Engineering Firm before I took a few weeks off before starting my current position in a career-related field.

Whew. 20 months.  20 months of just trying to live month to month, or even day to day. 20 months of constant flux and not knowing how long I could go. 20 months that was probably about 7 months longer than I would have expected, if you’d asked me before it started.  20 months of stopping many of my goals.

Those 20 months were good. I achieved some new goals, grew as a person, developed an increased ability to handle personal unexpected changes (which is saying something given I have historically hated change). They were tough too. Other personal stresses have been amplified by my decreased capacity to handle stress. A complete re-vamping of my support network has occured, and is occurring. A complete questioning of my identity and world view is still up in the air and full of challenges.

So now that those 20 months of unemployment, or ‘underemployment’ are over… What does it all mean? It means I need to deal with some of the stresses that came along with the career crisis. That’s happening. I’m facing those pretty much head on.  It means I need to decide what my personal or career goals and the interconnected financial goals are going to be. Are they the same as before or different? What about the world view and identity challenges. That too, at least after I finish dealing with the stresses that came along with the career crisis.

This weekend I had a time that reminded me of my goals. Saturday was a home, puttering and cleaning day — at least after my long run. I missed my running gang at coffee so I simply bought some groceries at the market and went home. Saturday night was dancing. Sunday I spent it with some friends and had a long talk about personal goals.

Some of those personal goals are hard to really concretely define right now for me. Being that partly by personal I mean ‘family’.  But other ones are easier to define. Like the desire to own a home of my own someday. To have a cushion again. To build something for retirement. To be doing worthwhile work in a place that will be enjoyable, stable and long term, while paying me what I should be paid. To enjoy life, to look back on each day and be able to say ‘I lived life to the fullest today’.

Do I really know how that’s going to look? In some ways I do, in many ways I don’t yet though. It still feels very short term. Like last night.

I was out for a picnic with some friends last night and we chatted about challenges that we all face. I have them, she has them. They’re slightly different given that she’s married and I’m single, but there are challenges none-the-less. It made me realize though that we can make choices and suggestions that will help us all reach our goals. For example, restaurants. Trying to eat out less. It’s a gorgeous summer. So why not do picnics at the beach? I’m going to start doing that more. More biking (once my tires are pumped up)? Less gas money would be needed.  Less drinking coffee out — unless it’s as a cheaper alternative to going out for dinner… but wait, it’s summer… see the picnic idea.

All of those things are fun, yes, and definitely help with goals that I’m starting to remember, and which are still important to me. So those reminders are good. And while I know I don’t have control, really, over a number of goals – those that would perhaps be better defined as ‘hopes and dreams’, at least I’m starting to remember some of my goals from the past, and revisit them.

Now to figure out a clear way to get there… Oh well, that will be for another time. For now I’m going to go and get ready to go to T-Model Ford, who’s performing at The Yale tonight.

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Last year, for those dance friends who may have stumbled on my blog, you may recall I had many a ‘Yale Story’. I’m talking about The Yale, a blues bar where a group of us have danced for the last ~18 months on Monday nights. For much of last year I had many ‘Yale Stories’, and it got to the point where people thought I should keep a list. I didn’t. Though I remember some of the best.

What are ‘Yale Stories’? Yale Stories are those stories that happen when a drunk (or not so drunk) guy hits on a woman.  Usually I’m there to dance, so I’m not drinking heavily.  Needless to say their attempts are unsuccessful, I get a free glass of wine. On occasion.  100% unsuccessful on the poor drunken bar guy though. Mostly it was funny, and I have a lot of guy friends who would protect me — sometime too much! 😀

Anyhow, last December certain events became stressful in my life. I was having a conversation last week that made me realize that there is a correlation between that stress and the lack of ‘Yale Stories’.  I was asked the question why should those events and that stress suddenly change this.  I think I retreated back into some ‘shell of protection’. And it’s permeated all areas of my life. Or most anyhow…

Tonight at The Yale, I had a ‘Yale Story’. Nothing particularly special, certainly doesn’t top my best ever yale story, but it was a Yale Story. An older man — old enough to be my father — came up to me and said… “Hi… Wow… You’re Beautiful…” then stood about 6 feet away from me. Waiting. A dance friend rescued me.

So this intentional journey of healing, personal growth, and simply ‘dealing’ with those issues that we all have to deal with, that I’m currently on seems to be taking me somewhere. I’m projecting more self confidence perhaps? I got a Yale Story back. And that’s a good thing.

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So I haven’t posted in at least a week. I’m not sure who’s consistently reading my blog but I’m still around. I have may stories of this past week and many thoughts and I got hung up on finishing the story of my Canada Day.  I still have that post in draft form, but not finishing it (too tired from the events) meant I haven’t continued blogging about the rest of what’s been going on.

Like, friends starting to learn to dance (that’s their stories not mine, but it made me happy), the day hiking trip that became ‘operation drowned rat’, dancing, work, making two batches of strawberry jam — the current count is 17 cups.

But I can’t let that be a hangup, because I don’t want to stop blogging just because I’m too busy or too tired to finish a post from a week ago. Suffice it to say, by not blogging, I’m out having fun. I’ve found my fun again. I’m starting to see dreams again that I’ve not been able to see for a while. I suppose that’s good, but these dreams feel unattainable right now.  I hope I’m wrong, and I am working on doing what I need to do to allow those dreams to become a reality.

So this week has been dancing, slacking off on running a little bit, hiking, friends and just enjoying my time. Had dinner with my grandma yesterday. I’ve been hiding and dealing with some stuff, so I haven’t seen her lately, though it was really really nice to catch up. I’ve missed her.

Tonight I went to Monk McQueen’s for drinks with my coworkers — two of my coworkers were having birthdays. Purely social, not a work event, which is nice. It’s making me more comfortable, though specifics about thoughts and plans are kept close.

Afterwards I came home and made jam: The recipe is in the Certo Light Package. Quite yummy if I may say so myself. My friend ‘J’ came over (a tangent: I just realized how confusing it is going to be to use initials for friends nicknames. I’ll have to come up with a better plan, but for now, J it is..EDIT: This J is now Jools in the future…), anyhow, J came over and she helped me finish up the jam — it’s much easier to have help to fill the jars, than not.  Then we cooked dinner on my BBQ and had dinner while I processed the jars of jam. Later on I went dancing at The Yale. No yale stories — I wish I’d had a blog last summer and fall. Every week there was a different yale story (all relating to how random bar patrons would hit on me). It became legend. Some were quite funny too. Anyhow, we arrived late and there were only 4 of us, 5 for much of the time. So I had to lead. But it let me get some stuff out of my system, distracted me from thinking about things that could have just stressed me out, and I had some fun dances.

And that brings me to now. I still would like to finish my Canada Day post but not tonight. For now I’m going to sleep, hopefully be ready to enjoy belly dance class tomorrow night, and get a run in (perhaps I should run to belly dance… that may work…). How I wish my bike were fixed!

Time for sleep.

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