Like A Hurricane

When you want to become the best, you have to first learn from the best.  That opportunity came on August 20th when I signed up for a Floor Exercise workshop with Cleo The Hurricane.

Source: aerialhoopla.blogspot.com
Head Mistress of Bad-Assery

For years, my favorite chair and pole dance teachers would talk about Cleo relentlessly.  She became the ideal; the prototype.  Shoot, even our classes and routines were shaped and molded by this woman.  So when I saw my former teacher post that she would be offering up a floor and pole workshops, I signed up.  I wasn’t able to get into the pole class, but I did manage to secure a spot in the Floor Work class.  I was excited!  Finally, the woman, the myth, the legend, would be in the same room as me, teaching me her ways.  Showing me some moves.  Getting my ass in shape.  I expected it to be fun, what I didn’t expect is for old fears to arise.

 

Okay, so a few things was going on with me:

  1. I haven’t worked out strenuously in months.  Seriously, this is the most inactive I’ve been since I started my weight loss journey.
  2. I was the “chunky” girl in class, which immediately made me feel insecure.  Still trying to shake that “You have to be this weight in order to workout” because crazy.
  3. Being in a pole studio again made me reminisce on the love I had with pole dancing.   And the reminder that I had a desire to teach pole one day
  4. Seeing my former dance instructor and members of the gym I used to go to instantly gave me the sads.  When I was a member of the dance studio, I felt a part of a family.  I felt supported.  Now that family has dissolved.

 

Still, I was excited to be able to learn from Cleo and from the first “hello”, I knew that this would be a very fun and laid back class.  Immediately I stood out with my random fact (I told the class that I like to talk in a Jamaican accent when I go on vacation out of boredom.  Imagine me; bored, on vacation.) and I would continue to stand out in the worst possible way.  Honey, I was a clumsy MESS!  During the routine, which involves a lot of rolling and kicking, my legs were all over the place.  I was fumbling to catch up and my surrounding people were noticeably annoyed by my long legs invading their personal space.  Cleo called me out a few times to make sure that I was okay and that I was getting the routine.  I became “that” student in class.

The best.  I may have been drenched in sweat and my knees were raw and my body may have been acting all over-dramatic, but I was right next to Cleo The Hurricane, dancing.  And keeping up (flexibility not included) with every move.  See, what people don’t know, and become amazingly impressed by, is that I can pick up dance routines relatively fast.   I had a blast!  And for a bonus, not only did Cleo give me a pep talk and a shoulder rub….she also smacked my butt.  No other woman but her.  And maybe Rosario Dawson…..

 

Seventeen Again

This was purely inspired by my cyber buddy, Hudson, and I thought this would be good for me to do.

 

Dear Tiffany,

If you found this letter, then you must’ve found time in your hectic teenage life to read this.  Not that teenage life isn’t crazy enough, but yours is…..a little different, shall we say?  Before I continue, I want you to know that you’re much stronger than people give you credit for.  In fact, the very people that are close to you can’t take it (I could tell you who they are, but you already know.  Just smile and nod).  Just look at you: senior in high school, part-time job and a newborn baby girl.  Do you know there are some grown ass adults who couldn’t do what you’re doing now?  You have a support system, but I’m here to tell you that support system will come at a price.  You have to see the bigger picture, Tiff.  And that’s why I’m writing this to you.  Think of me as a Fairy GodDiva or that woman who missed out on purchasing a Delorean, so a letter will just have to do.  Just…bear with me, alright? (side note: Yeah, that “my thoughts are everywhere” doesn’t go anywhere.  The hazard of being a dreamer, girl.  Get used to it.)

1. Your mother will never approve of anything you do.  Sorry to be the one to break this to you, but that’s a sad reality.  There are some people, no matter what you do, will always find fault in it.  I cherish that about you; the fact that you just want to do right by everyone in your life and you worked so hard at trying to do everything right for your mom, haven’t you?  You secretly want your mom to smile at one of your accomplishments, instead of pointing out what you could’ve done better or worse, give that God awful grunt and then walk away.  Don’t fret over this at all.  You don’t have an emotion-showing mom because she doesn’t know how to be. That’s just not her strong suit.  She only knows to be a provider so look to that, instead.  You will learn to discern the difference between her criticism and her motherly concern.  She’s takes her role of mother very seriously and you like to be left alone.  She needs you to need her and she will create an environment where you will always need her but be careful; this is a trap to keep you stagnant. Remember what I said earlier.

2.  Stop making all of your boyfriends “The One”.  This one you’re with now?  Not even close. You won’t even recognize him if he walks down the street several years from now (trust me, he does this…TWICE!).  Before you break out your “Waiting to Exhale” CD out and put in on repeat, be glad you’re not marrying him (and you’re 17, too. slow down).  Truth is, you’re only with him because you think no one else will love you with a child.  This could be the furthest thing from the truth.  Can I ask you something, honestly?  Do you even love yourself?  You really don’t have to answer that because I already know.  You have to love yourself more, otherwise you will find yourself in relationships with men (and staying way past their expiration date) because you want to feel wanted. Needed.  Loved.  Don’t be afraid to move on so much.  Sure you can TRY to salvage your broken relationships along the way, but the only thing that’ll accomplish is keeping Little Debbie and all the self-help gurus gainfully employed.  It’ll be hard at first, because you’ve only learned about loving someone through reading books and watching tv, but trust me it gets easier.  The first place to start is to listen to your own voice for a change.

3.  That writing everything down thing that you do?  Keep at it.  You have a gift of storytelling, my dear.  You will go to college with big dreams of majoring in Journalism and one day running your own magazine.  You will also see that dream go up in flames as your instructor tells you that you’re a good writer, just not an editor.  It would be helpful if he gave you other options instead of “change your major” with a half-hearted laugh, as if you just wasted your time and money coming here.  This will devastate you, primarily because you’re taking on other people’s opinion of you.  But you don’t stop writing.  Not for a second.  When that boyfriend tells you to “just blog about it” instead of boring him with whatever you’re talking about, just do it.  He will become your muse.  That short story you’re working on now?  It’ll become the first of many stories you’ll eventually write.  You remember how in groups you would want to say something, but no one would let you speak?  Observe, because listening will also become one of your stronger traits.  You think no one wants to hear you talk…or quick to shut you up.  And you’re right.  Again, you have a gift.  When you speak, people listen.  No really, people LISTEN to you.  They will look you in your eyes, they will follow your hand gestures.  So when you do decide to speak, make sure it’s with a purpose.  I wish I could tell you that we become Editor-in-Chief after all, but the funny thing about Life is that the road isn’t always straight and narrow….

So that’s all I have for you now.  You probably are tired and really need to go to sleep (or call your boyfriend back…what is his name again?) so I’ll end it here.  Just remember that this here thing called Life, really does get better in time.  Don’t be in such a rush to grow up.  Trust me, once you find out who Sallie Mae is….nevermind.  Stay in school!  Get your rest so you don’t age like a banana, okay?

Love you Always,

Tiffany

 

P.S. Don’t tell any of your friends this, but you will come to enjoy vodka and red wine.  A lot.  Okay, bye!

Well, Thanks!

I was not looking forward to Thanksgiving at all this year. Now that I’m being a healthier me, the thought of indulging in food doesn’t really excite me. I’ve struggled this year in the relationship with my parents and threats of a crazy cousin coming to visit. Paired with craziness on the job with a new employee determined to take over my position just had me not in the mood and missing the point.

Luckily, I didn’t stay there.

First, I calmed myself and my nerves down. All of it felt like a self-sabotage. Then I began to meditate on my year at large. I’m a totally different person than I was last year. So much has happened in my life. The women that I admire, respect, and aspire to be like….all acknowledge me. Appreciate my writing. Send me personal messages of support and encouragement. How many people can say that? I’ve faced fears that I never thought I could deal with.

Then last night, I hung out with friends and like-minded people and had the time of my life. We laughed and shared stories and truly enjoyed the company. It was the fellowship of it all. It felt like family.

It felt like Thanksgiving.

I don’t really need a day to tell me how thankful I should be, I do that everyday. But I did need a day to show me why I originally held Thanksgiving as my favorite holiday of the year.

Because I love sharing my life’s journey with people.