Friday, January 14, 2011

And.... It's a Wrap!

Things have been ridiculously manic the last few weeks – thus explaining my absence from writing. After returning from my trip, I was thrown right into learning a new dance routine, perfecting the first one, and rehearsals. The icing on that cake was I had to do it while I wrestled with the beast that was jetlag (and exhaustion - I was flying 9 out of the 14 days that I was gone) as I tried to get caught up with quarter-end stuff at work. How I managed to dodge the cold a few times remains an enigma to me.

The following week was a mix of stress, giddiness and anxiety in anticipation of my first public performance with the Gozalo Dance Company at the 3rd Annual Reno International Bachata Festival. Granted that our dance team is still in its infancy relative to the professionals and world champions of the scene, I’m happy for what we accomplished individually and as a team. Like they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

And now that things have calmed down, I finally had the time I have so desperately wanted to just collect myself. I feel like I owe 2010 the closing credits it deserves and subsequently, roll the opening credits for this year. We’re 14 days into the year, but I believe that it’s perfectly acceptable that I have put off writing for actually living my life.

It’s crazy to imagine that it was only in June of last year that I met and fell in love on the beach. Twice. The first time with salsa dancing. The second time, with myself. By this time, I have been divorced a year and already recovered most of myself. I could never have fathomed a more perfect place for this than Tulum. It was the utter depiction of heaven on earth and was the perfect setting for beginning a romance. Its waters were warm and clear, the sand reminiscent of talcum powder. It is off the power grid which tells you how its inhabitants care about preservation and sustainability. The town is flanked by Mayan ruins and protected biosphere on each side. There is an abundance of Yoga, beach cruisers, and Italian food (most unforgettable Italian meal of my life courtesy of Alessandro, dubbed by New York Times as the “pasta nazi”). The absence of bars and crazy nightlife is noticeable (hallelujah!). Remind me I why don’t effing live here again?!

The only party on the strip happens on Sunday nights at La Zebra. There is a stage on the beach, underneath coconut trees, where dancers are inspired to move by a live salsa band. I was confident about my booty shaking skills then, but unfortunately, to salsa dance, you need more than that. It killed me that I was left to watch instead of participate. The dancers were moving as if they were in a trance. They were lost in the rhythms of the music playing in their soul. It was very hypnotic to watch and I vowed to learn salsa when I returned to America.

And here I am, four months into salsa dancing, two months in a dance troupe, and two public performances later. I just destroyed my first ever dancing shoes after only a few weeks so I guess that’s testament of how much dancing has taken over my life. I guess it’s safe to say that I can salsa dance now.

Dancing aside, I felt like I have grown at precocious speeds. Anthony said once that it feels like I went from 29 to 33. And I think that wisening up only comes with watching yourself go through compulsions, patterns, addictions, desires and emotions. By taking the time to sit with myself and my shadow (oh Carl Jung, you have ruined me), I have really gotten to know myself and as a result, have gained so much solidity than ever before. I ended up falling madly in love with myself and I believe in my core that I am one of the most amazing people I will ever meet. I don’t mean any of this in the narcissistic sense. If I can’t fall in love with myself, how do I expect somebody else to?

I have tried to live fearlessly by purposely doing things outside my comfort zone. I trained myself to run. I traveled to five countries last year, two of which, I ventured on my own. I’ve gotten back to writing which is a piece of myself that I have denied for a long time out of fear. And because I have exposed myself to vulnerability, I learned not just to embrace and accept my fallibility, but to love it.

I always say that I’m at a beautiful place in my life. I am at a point where what I want, what I need, and what I deserve finally intersect. When there is incongruence, I don’t find it difficult to walk away anymore. I don’t fall in love with “promising” or “potential” any longer. I’ve learned my lesson. I don’t have space for that in my life.

And finally, the most humbling thing that I had to do in the last year of the decade was to apologize to The Ex. It was very short but it could be one of the most profoundly sincere apologies I could ever offer anyone. It took me one year and a half, but I knew in my bones that it was the right time.

And with that “I’m sorry”, I have also forgiven myself.

Serious Namastes and fist bumps to everyone in the world…
Feliz Anos Nuevos!


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