My brain is all over the place today. Literally switching from one thing to another to another at lightning speed and I don’t know how to feel or what’s going on. I think I’m sad but I don’t really know anymore. I’m sitting here listening to music trying not to regret the past.
I was an Irish dancer for nearly 11 years. Maybe a third of that time I spent injured… I wish I was kidding. In 2013 I was really hurtin and I went to the doctor. Little did I know because of this tiny bone in my foot the next three years of not only my dance career but my life would be hell. I was in and out and in and out breaking this and that, surgery, physical therapy, slowly get back into dance, repeat. Time went on and things weren’t getting better and I completely lost hope. When recovery time is like 8 months and you’re 14 and depressed because you lost the one way you knew how to cope there wasn’t really a light at the end of the tunnel. It was a vicious cycle. I wanted to dance again, but I didn’t do my physical therapy. I really didn’t try at all actually – I’d like to blame that on the depression, but after coming back and switching studios I realize now that it was mainly just me. The hardest pill for me to swallow is the fact that had I tried, had I put ANY effort in I could probably still be dancing today. I told myself I couldn’t. I told myself that it hurt too bad. That was my demise.
In may last year I decided that after the Murray Feis I was going to take a break for the summer to see if I could physically get back to where I needed to be. At that feis I competed 2 of the 4 dances I signed up for. I ended my last dance ever crying on stage slappin my feet around because of pain and frustration. It was embarrassing, really. I knew how much I had in me and the fact I couldn’t show the world what I had really frustrated me. I stood in the bleachers after that dance and tried not to cry. I knew the second I took my dress off it would be the last time. I knew that break wasn’t going to be a break and that it was truly the end. I reluctantly took my dress off and laid in the bleachers numb.
Fast forward to August. My mom emailed my dance teacher… that was that. It was over. My entire life officially came crashing down around me. I just read back at the messages I sent a friend who was helping me out through coming back and everything and they kind of broke my heart. I was a shell of myself, almost my entire identity was no longer a part of me. I really didn’t know how I was gonna do life after that. It’s comforting to know that 8 months give or take later I am in fact okay with out dance, but things still get hard sometimes. Its really hard living with the fact that I gave up on myself. Not just in dance, but it almost all aspects of my life.
Now that my friends brings me to the present. I help everyone but myself. I hate seeing my loved ones hurting. I hate seeing people in pain and I try to do something about it. I do that to almost everyone except myself. There is an odd comfort in living that way. It’s the familiarity and the fear of change or trying to fix yourself. You don’t remember living any differently. I’m pretty sure that’s where I was at. Couldn’t really tell you for sure though, emotions that aren’t overwhelming joy are kind of hard to pinpoint for me. For as long as I remember I’ve never felt worthy. I’ve hated my physical appearance since probably elementary school. My self confidence plummeted when I was out/stopped dancing cause I wasn’t exercising and I gained sooooo much weight. I don’t know why, but that fact has been really difficult for me the past few weeks. Before a concert last month I straight up had a breakdown because none of my tops fit. About a week ago I went clothes shopping and bought a single pair of pants because I could hardly look at myself in the mirror with the 800 other things I tried on, even though they fit. I’m not saying this for any reason except to describe the state I’ve been in for the past month. It’s been almost constant self hatred and self destruction, which isn’t necessarily unusual, but rarely to the extent it was. It’s been constant and until Saturday night I’ve felt, for lack of a better word, stuck.
I refound my faith in Jesus a little over a year ago. I went to catholic school as a kid, but I was never taught to actually have a relationship with God. Religion was just another school subject and weekly mass was pretty much dreaded every Wednesday. Naturally, my lack of faith completely disappeared when all this seemingly bad stuff was happening with the whole dance thing. After some conversations with some friends and some worship nights I started going to church again. My friend and I have been going ever since the beginning of this year. In those roughly 6 weeks 2 sermons have stuck out to me. One of them was saying how the devil is gonna test you. The main point was arguing against the common saying “God will never put you through more than you can handle.” The pastor was telling us that God is not the source of the evil, satan is. The other sermon that stuck out was the one from this past weekend. It was asking us which voices we’re listening to. Sitting here typing this I’m realizing how much these two ideas are connected. The devil snakes his way into things to try to keep us from achieving what we’re supposed to. He finds his way into the people we surround ourselves with and the activities we do, but he especially snakes his way into your own head. We always have some sort of internal dialogue occurring. The whole point of the message the other day was asking if you are going to listen to the bad things people, including the voices in your head, say about you. Are you going to listen and take to heart the hatred, the lack of confidence, the putting down, the worthlessness, the devil, or are you going to ignore those statements and tell yourself you are beautiful, you are worthy, you are good at ___________? Satan doesn’t want you to achieve what God has planned. He wants you to stray as far from Christ as possible, and sometimes he does a darn good job of it. Sometimes the devil wins, at least that’s what I’ve noticed these past couple weeks in my own life. He’s made me hate every ounce of my body. He’s made me turn to things I thought I was done with and not regret a single thing about it. He’s made me feel lost and worthless and I’m tired of it. I’m by no means a perfect Christian, but dammit I want to be. I want to give God the love He has for me. He sent His son to die for me. He made me in His image. And in Him I can achieve anything. We all can and that’s amazing to me. I’m tired of living in fear and in comfort. Nothing incredible comes out of being comfortable. I want to live my life fully! I want to do the things God wants me to do and I want to help people do the same! HE IS SO GOOD and I’m so grateful for the people in my life that remind me of that.
I’m very quickly realizing that I need to spend some time and focus on myself. Like actually really focus on myself, not just say I’m going to and then push myself to the side like I have my entire life. For the first time in a while I can’t wait for the future. I can’t wait to see what I’ll achieve and where my heart will take me. For the first time in a while I’m ready and excited for what’s to come. The good and the bad. Because as long as I’m on God’s side it’s gonna be good.