My adult beginner’s ballet class continues to go well, even though I still look ridiculous and cannot figure out how to get my brain to follow our instructor and then direct my limbs to mimic her movements. I sometimes feel like my brain is short-circuiting in class. Repeating the same routines each week has helped build my memory, however.
Forcing myself to check the mirror is something I have been thinking about as well. Watching oneself in the mirror during ballet is often disheartening. My arches, for example, are far less awesome than I thought they were. My arabesque arms occasionally veer dangerously into resembling a Nazi salute. And then you catch a glimpse of the girl in the back who’s been en pointe before, kicking her leg up above her hips, and you think, “What am I doing here? I look like a cow.”
But as Stephanie said last night, during our post-ballet drinks, “I am done with hating on my body. Done!” It’s high time we, as adult women, stopped disparaging our bodies and started treating them with gentleness and respect.
These are the bodies we have, and they have been good to us. And even if mine is currently struggling to be graceful, I am enjoying this learning curve.
I like to think that I could have been a great many things, even though this is not true. Here are the careers and vocations that I think I could have had, even though we all know that it’s fairly impossible.
People I Wanted to Be that I Now Admit I Will Never Be:
A ballerina. I adore the ballet. I was a bossy little ballerina for a few years until I hit adolescence and lost interest in the art and discipline. It may have been just as well. I have long, skinny limbs, yes, but I cannot touch my toes. I cannot even do downward-facing dog. I am an embarrassment in yoga class; I would be an abomination in ballet.
A Shakespearean actor. I hate being on stage. I am not British (yes, I believe that all the best Shakespearean actors are and should be British).
A great cook. Given up on that dream, especially since I found out that I have a husband who can out-chef me. I also am not profoundly interested in food.
A travel writer. I really like having a home. I hate living out of a suitcase.
A painter. This dream died when Grace started taking art lessons with me.
Yes, I like to make my new year’s resolutions very early. In fact, one could say that I am in a perpetual state of making new year’s resolutions. Continuous goal-making is a blessing/curse we inherited from our mother. (Grace has the worst case of it, but then again, she’s the most accomplished of us all, so maybe there is something to this mania for making resolutions.)
Things I Want To Do in 2012
Get a dog, which I don’t have to tell you. I already have. Like, a hundred times.
Take a graduate-level English class at UVA.
Take the GRE.
Go hiking more often.
Read 75 books (down from this year’s goal of 100, because I think I’ll be cutting down on my dog reading).
Take a beginner’s ballet class.
Try to take my writing more seriously; publish something, somewhere. (How’s that for ambiguity?)
Because sometimes that’s just how it goes. It’s finally starting to feel like fall around here! Gigi and I had to scrape ice off the windshield yesterday morning. Our giant, unsightly gas furnace has also been roaring to life: literally. It wakes me up every morning, it’s so loud. I think it will preclude us from having any house guests for the winter. I don’t think you could get any sleep in the living room with that beast.
Belated snax, with a sprig of parsley:
Why Sisterly Chats Make People Happier. Apparently, all people who have sisters are happier than those who do not have them! Loves it. I’ve got two great ones, and I’m plenty happy, so I guess that proves it. (NY Times)
The Ballerina Project. Emily and Catherine, this is for you. A photographer takes gorgeous shots of ballerinas around New York City. I’m enamored. (The Ballerina Project)
A Week of Dresses. She’s just too fabulous. Grace, watch out, because when I come home for Thanksgiving, I am going to outright steal stuff from your enormous, inspiring wardrobe. (Como Say What?)
Cassie, the Silken Windhound, as Virginia Woolf. The New Yorker featured people who dressed their dogs up as authors/literary characters. This dog actually LOOKS like Woolf; it’s eerie. (Also, I know more information about dog breeds than anyone should ever know, but I’d never heard of a Silken Windhound before. That’s because some crazy lady invented them! It’s probably the most dramatic breed name ever.)
Sad and Sadder Clown. I’m very impressed with this childhood photograph reenactment. Even the T-shirts are perfect! (Young Me Now Me)
High Five. (J.Hecht, if you’re reading this, now is the time to look away. There may or may not be a whale here.) THE COOLEST. Looking at this picture, I realize that I’ve always wanted to do this. (Cute Overload)
Help I’m Bored. Guion and I probably looked at these little problem-solvers for about half an hour the other day. Wildly entertaining. “Help I Hate My Roommate” is especially pointed. (Help I’m Bored)
You & I. What sweet pictures of life with his kids. I want to take photos like this one day. I also like his description: “No words are needed.” Indeed! (Cristian Ordonez)
Square. I don’t know how he does it, but I love every single photograph that comes out of Brian Ferry’s camera. (Brian Ferry)
The One Commandment. I mean, I’m going to keep posting Kate Beaton’s comics until someone tells me to stop. And even then I probably won’t. (Hark, A Vagrant!)