Monday, January 10, 2011

Confessions of a Sturdy Ballerina

Last Thursday Karrie and I went to our very first ballet class. It is an odd thing, this ballet. I've done ballroom dancing before and I was always able to get the steps down after just one try. I expected to be good at ballet in much the same way.

Because, you see, I've always been the sort of person who can see something done once and repeat it. I like being good at things but mostly, I like being good at things right away. I enjoy improving my skills after my first attempt but there's nothing as exciting as finding out I'm pretty good at something I've never tried before. I actually crave that moment of superiority when I realize I'm better at being a beginner than other beginners. I love discovering that I'm even more talented than I thought I was.

Are you all waiting for something to take me down a notch? Well, here it is: after one class, I'm not a super great ballerina. WTF, right? I did fine but I was not the best in the class by any stretch of the imagination.

That should be hard to admit, given how full of myself I am. But in truth, that's not the real confession. For the first time in, well, ever, I'm actually okay with not being the best. I'm (shockingly!) not a ballet prodigy nor will there ever be a role in Swan Lake for a sturdy, 29-year-old beginner ballerina.

And without the possibility of being the best (right away or at all), the old Crystal would have given up the project entirely. But the new Crystal (who is trying to be less "black and white") is going to give it her best.

I've decided to focus on what's important, to really enjoy each class and each movement. I want to focus on making myself better, improving myself inside and out.

I will do this even though I'm not the best in my class. Even though there is zero potential for prima ballerina status. Even though I am the sturdiest ballerina in the room.