New Year’s End and Beginning

January 1, 2014

As 2013 comes to a close, I’ve been trying to think of my new theme/mantra for 2014. More on this at the end of the post.

In the meantime…  here is the summary of my 2013.  Funny, but I didn’t blog much this year, despite having met a ton of new people through dancing.  I guess that means I’m managing my relationships better or that I’ve been too busy to blog.  All in all life is good. 🙂

January 2013

– Not much happened.  My relationship with Ruskie was coming to an end. It certainly had it’s volatility and dysfunction.  I was also dancing A LOT.  In fact, most of my spare time was spent either in a class or trying out new venues.

February 2013

– No blog posts in month.  I’m pretty sure I was obsessed with Argentine Tango and WCS at this time and going dancing most evenings after work (I still am). 

March 2013

– Only one blog post and it was about dancing.  I remember starting classes with a new instructor up in the city who had (unsolicited) told me to concentrate on intermediate classes.  I was thrilled!  For a teacher who is highly respected in the dance community, having her tell me this without asking for feedback was awesome.  I was on cloud 9!  🙂

April 2013

– No blog posts.  I was focusing all of my free time on dancing.  Life was pretty good if I recall correctly.  🙂

May 2013

– No blog posts.  However, I flew to Minnesota for my cousin’s wedding.  It was the first time I’d been around my family since literally not speaking to them for a long while.  It went ok.  They knew to leave me alone and I went into mentally and emotionally prepared.  It was a good trip.

June 2013

– Only one blog post and it was a mesh of mainly dance stuff again.  A man I had danced with in my early days of AT had stopped dancing with me about 30 seconds into the first song of a tanda.  In AT etiquette, this was extrememly rude. I was offended and hurt, but a few months later in June, I ran into him at another venue.  At this point I had clearly become a very good dancer.  He asked me to dance and said I was excellent.  To be honest, I remember our first meeting when he stopped dancing with me I was full of emotions.  I remember thinking “I’ll show the F**’er.  Who the heck does he think he is to be so rude?”  He was my catalyst to get really good to prove him wrong.  LOL.  And I sure did!  😀

July 2013

– No blog posts.  Busy taking dance classes and going to dance venues.  Sometime in the last couple of months I had also started taking classes on Tuesdays at G headquarters.  I’ve become good friends with this group of dancers.  🙂

August 2013

– Tobi was among this group of good friends.  Unfortunately, as a great dance partner and friend as he was, he moved to France at the end of August.  I was sad, but sooo grateful for his friendship! 

September 2013

– In September I was struggling with my feelings for Geoff.  Nothing came to fruition.  There was a lot of attraction, but something was still missing and friendship sure does take a while to form. 

October 2013

– Somewhere in the last couple of months, I met Ramon, who quickly became a great dance partner.  We spent a lot of time together and there was intense attraction and rapport.  Nothing happened there either.  Meh.  Also attended Boogie By The Bay and I was blown away by the amazing WCS!

November 2013

– No blog posts here either.  I guess I haven’t really felt a need to blog much this last year.  LOL.  I think this means that dancing has become very healing for me in many ways.  This month my brother also mentioned he quit his job to go travelling. 

December 2013

– Only one blog post that pretty much summed up the previous few months.  I didn’t go home again this year for Christmas.  I was sad but it felt different this year.  It felt ‘ok’.  I wasn’t hard on myself and I knew that for my own emotional and mental well-being it was a good choice for me.  The dark heaviness and guilt I felt about not going home was less intense.  I can’t please everyone or do what they want me to do.  I need to honor myself and do what I want to do.

———

Anyway, I happened to turn on the TV (after not having done so in nearly a year) and Phantom of the Opera is on the TV.  It’s one of my favorite musicals!  It’s a good way to end this year. 

As midnight approaches, I think my themes/mantras this new year will be happiness, zen and love.  Love for myself and for the people in my little part of the world. 

I wish you all love and light in the new year!  xoxo

Men Ramblings and Updates

December 16, 2013

Hmm…so I can’t believe my last post was in October.  It’s funny reading the previous post because life took a different turn than what that last post eluded.  A few days after that “break up” with Ramon, I regretted being so hasty in breaking off the relationship.  I talked to a couple of friends and my therapist and decided to “take back” what I said.  I realized that great connections like I found with Ramon are so rare for me that to lose it all completely would be to miss out on an added dimension to my life that I was craving.  I value him as a dance partner and as a person whose perspective and relationship with me I could learn from.  I suppose a lot of this stems from work I’ve been doing in therapy, trying to get emotionally healthy, understanding that not everything in life is all or nothing, and that love and connection can come in many forms.  I’m very black and white in my thinking and I know I get emotionally attached very quickly.  Anyway, to make a long story short, i told him I was hasty in what I was thinking and that I didn’t want to end our friendship.  Since that day we’ve been dancing and spending time together, ‘tho I know the dynamic has changed.  We’re friend and dance partners, but even the dancing part has waned a bit.  I’m ok with it all. I understand that one person cannot meet all of my needs, that love from someone does not always end up in romantic ways, and that finding my inner truth in the midst of emotional turmoil takes effort, patience and compassion towards myself.  I know I have a hard time letting love in, and accepting that who I am matters.  And by that I don’t mean that I matter to someone, but that I just matter.  Period. 

Aside from this, Geoff and I parted ways as dance partners.  I’m not sure if this will be forever, but we had a talk and he said he was getting too attached to me.  I could see it happening, ‘tho.  We were attracted to each other and we enjoyed spending time together.  At the end of the day, ‘tho, I know that whatever attraction he had towards me was not enough to have him pursue me.  It’s tough to accept, but I also realize that emotionally I’m a lot healthier these days.  If this had happened a year or two ago, I might have thrown myself into a whirlwind relationship with him, or I would have been completely devastated.  I miss him at times, especially since we had the same approach and love for dancing tango, and I do miss the fact that with him I laughed a lot, but I want someone to desire me for who I am.

And then there is JJ.  JJ is a guy who I worked with through the psycho boss I had a couple of year ago.  He was at a tango venue I went to and I struck up a conversation with him.  Since then we are now people we dance regularly with when we see each other at dance venues.  More recently we’ve started talking more and I’ve come to know more of his personal story.  It was not clear when we first began getting acquainted that he was married.  I knew he had kids but he never really spoke much about his personal life.  It almost seemed as if he was divorced.  But as I got to know him, it turns out that this past year has been really difficult at home.  He’s married and he and his wife are literally not speaking to each other for about a year.  I can’t remember exactly what he said, except that they have stopped talking and his home life is hell.  Raising two kids, ages 5 and 3.5, with a spouse that is barely on speaking terms is the life he’s living right now.  It’s disheartening to accept that crap happens in life.  I’m sure he didn’t go into the situation thinking this is how life and marriage would unfold 10 years later.  And hearing such things really discourages me when it comes to marriage and relationships.  There’s this strange affinity and attraction we have towards one another, and we’ve become better friends in recent weeks.  The attraction is not necessarily physical, but I think there is and emotional need that we are both filling for each other right now.  I’m careful not to get wrapped up in it, but I do have to admit that I toy with the idea of getting physically involved.  There.  I said it.  Oy vey.  I remind myself that I don’t want to be the mistress or the distraction.  I deserve to be someone’s number one. 

Then a strange thing happened the other night.  This other guy I know from tango (single and quite a cutie, if I must say) messaged me and asked if I was going to a particular tango venue.  I went and we danced a couple of tandas.  He seemed kinder towards me recently and he asked if I was planning to be at this venue to celebrate new year’s eve.  I’m not sure what is happening with him, except that he just seems more open towards me recently.  I would love to have a new year’s eve date this year, but I am not holding my breath! 

Aside from that, the last few days have been particularly depressing for me.   The 12th was the anniversary of my dad’s death, and I physically felt down and depressed, with Sunday being particularly bad.  I acknowledged the sadness and depression, and I think that by accepting my depression, I helped myself feel better.  Instead of ignoring it like I am sure I unawarely (- is this a word?  lol) did in the past, and stuffing it away, knowing it’s there helped make it ok.

Oh well…  life continues.  Tomorrow I work again.  Meh. 

Good night all.  Sleep well!  🙂

 

 

 

WTF?

October 21, 2013

Relationships suck.  Need I say more?

I won’t go into a lot of details right now, but my relationship with Ramon was coming to a fork and last night we finally had the DTR.  I must say, I think the universe is sending signs and serendipity is at work. 

After tennis we were walking to our cars when Ramon ran into a female friend of his.  I wasn’t expecting to have this DTR after tennis or at dinner, but as things came out, it turns out that the woman we ran into was his ex gf.  They had dated for 4 or 5 months and had broken up two months prior to meeting me.

I can’t say I was necessarily his rebound because nothing physical ever happened between us.  No hand holding, no kissing, nothing.  We dance argentine tango and west coast swing, but that is the extent of our physical behaviors.  I’d say I was more of a distraction for him the last couple of months.

Anyway, running into this woman I do have to wonder if serendipity or if God was happening here.  Was God telling me to run quickly in the opposite direction out of this relationship because Ramon is still pining over this woman?  Or did God put this woman in our path that night to tel Ramon that she’s still there and ‘coincidentally’ telling him to pursue her again?  After all, that was the first time he saw her in 4 months.  I have no doubt that God is sending messages.  I just don’t know how to interpret it yet.

All I know is that it was a weird coincidence that this all coincided on the same day.  Ramon said I fit his criteria in a partner, and yet, he has no desire to pursue me.  Well, he didn’t say the latter so directly, but it was clear to me that he is still holding out hope for his ex.  And so, I did what I really didn’t want to do and that was to admit to myself that as much as I enjoyed him and our time together, his heart was not pursuing mine. 

I can’t recall a time when I had so much fun with a guy.  We were silly as heck together and the part that was amazing to me was having that activity partner that I enjoy so much.  We had deep conversations too, so there was a breadth and depth to what we had.  I feel like we had only scratched the surface on the way our relationship was unfolding.  But, alas…  we parted ways.  My feelings and attachment were becoming too strong and for the time being I can’t continue spending so much time together.  I want to find a relationship and I can’t do that by spending my time with men who aren’t of the same mindset. 

Relationships are hard.  Kleenex, anyone?

Kissing Dream

September 16, 2013

I woke up to a strange dream.

I dreamt that I went to my cousin’s wedding (she’s ~23? and does not have a bf).  In real life she’ just graduated from college and is living up the single life in NYC.  I went to her wedding and I was standing around.  Geoff (a guy that I am recently interested in, came into the building and walked right by me and kissed this woman, Jenny, and the two of them proceeded to act like a couple.  In my dream I was utterly shocked.  I kept my composure and went to sit down next to this male friend of mine (I don’t know who it is (or I forgot who, I think).  I’m pretty sure he was blonde, which is strange because I don’t have any super close guy friend who is blonde.  Anyway, in this dream the guy friend knew about my situation with Geoff, in that I really like him and that the kiss was a shock and unexpected for me to see.  We sat through the wedding together, which Geoff and Jenny sat together at another table.

In real life Jenny is a girl from one of my tango classes.  I’ve only recently gotten to know her better.  She’s kind of high maintenance and self-absorbed, but she’s been nice and we’ve all hung out a bit together recently (me, Geoff, Jenny, Paul and a few others). 

Anyway…after the wedding (no ceremony took place, the dream went from me seeing them kiss and sitting down, shocked, next to my friend, to going to some sort of receiving line/reception area where people were milling about).

I was standing around, talking to my cousin who was the one who got married.  She had the symbol written on her right cheek of (I heard m (or u) – I can’t remember the exact symbols), but it was written vertically on her right cheek like face make up when you go to a ball game.  I also think she was standing next to my oldest sister.

——————

Anyway, in real life last Sat evening Jenny, Paul, Geoff, and I had gone to a milonga for tango.  We were hanging out and I got the weird sense that Geoff and Jenny may be attracted to each other.  Nothing came to fruition with me and Geoff, so my feelings are private and as far as it goes, she could be more his type.  All i know is that I need to get over him. 

Someday, I will get my sh*t together and figure out this relationships stuff.  For now, I’ll be resigned to pining, confusion, over-analysis and bouts of loneliness.  C’est la vie.  I’m ok with this because I know it’s what I’m choosing for this time in my life.  I’m working through it, ‘tho, and that, in the end, is all that really matters.  🙂

Thanks for reading!

Feeling Sad

August 20, 2013

I’m feeling rather sad at the moment.  It’s been a while since I’ve last posted and during this time I’ve been spending a lot of my free time taking tango lessons and spending my time at milongas (a.k.a. tango dance parties).  What was surprised me was the friendships that I’ve made during this time.  When I first started dancing, I was “all business”.  I would go to class, do my thing then leave.  I didn’t mingle, didn’t linger and chit chat or care to make friends.  I was just dancing for my own pleasure.  But as I became more invested in my dancing, the same people would be in these classes and venues and inevitably dancing would lead to small talk and in some cases good friendships.  The vast majority of people I do not talk to beyond dancing.  However, there have been a few good friendships I’ve made recently, which brings me to this post.

I’ve become good friends with this particular group of people I dance with on Tuesdays.  A few of them will be moving out of the area at the end of the month, one across the pond to France and the others will be moving to the east coast.  I don’t particularly care for change and loss.  I’m not even that close to these people, at least not in terms of self-disclosure.  But the familiarity and consistency of seeing them each week has been enough to create attachment on my end of things.  I’m sad that I’ll be losing two great dance partners, both of whom have been two of the nicest men I’ve met in a very long time.  

I honestly don’t know how I will ever deal with finding ‘the love of my life’.  I get attached and so emotionally invested in people, places and things that it’s really hard to let go, change and move on.  I think what’s even more difficult is letting someone in on this side of me.  There’s a part of me that wants to let it be seen and to be known, but there’s also the side of me that knows people don’t respond well to it.  

I’m just feeling sad.  I think, for now, I’ll have to retreat into my cave and either journal or just cry.  I need to sit with the feelings and let it pass.  I’m already missing my friends (who haven’t even moved yet) which means I’m not appreciating the present moment and the last of the time I have with them.  

More later…

Tango Musings

June 10, 2013

Last night I went to a milonga in my neighborhood, despite feeling lazy and wanting to stay in.  I had told a couple of people I would be there, but I wasn’t feeling like dancing at all.  It was only a few blocks from where I live, so I couldn’t pull the ‘but it’s such a far drive’ excuse had the venue been in the city.  Anyway, I arrived and had my first dance with a nice older gentleman.  It was a very nice tanda with a few advanced moves.  He was a clear, but firm lead.  I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

I had on my new Ivanka Trump shoes that I bought the day before.  I still haven’t bothered getting ‘real’ tango shoes such as Comme Il Fauts or NeoTango.  In fact, a lot blogs tell me that doing so is somewhat overrated.  In fact, any nice dress shoe with a decent heel that allows you to pivot and that stays securely on your foot should do.  It’s usually the ‘foreigners’ to Argentina who ‘must have’ these brand name shoes.  They are usually the women who like to look like a tango dancer, but whose technique really need improvement. 

Anyway, my shoes, were rather blinged out, which initially made me self-conscious (they still do, actually), but because I needed new shoes I had to buy what was available and those happened to be ones that fit all of the criteria I was looking for – basic ankle strap, ‘bendabiltiy’, leather sole, a lower heel (why anyone loves stilettos still boggles my mind), and a nice, simple but elegant design.  However, it was blinged out with a very pretty rhinestone/crystal pattern.  I went ahead and got them and immediately got a lot of admiring comments when I wore them on the dance floor.  I’m still kind of shy about wearing them and I really don’t want to come across as pretentious – I feel like my technique still isn’t good enough to carry them off, but at some point I just have to stop worrying about things I can’t control, like opinions on how I should dress and how well I dance, which is actually subjective at the end of the day.  It’s kind of weird, but I feel like these shoes ‘upped’ my dance status to some people, as if my ballroom shoes or ratty old heels meant I was less of a dancer.  Again, I feel it’s that pretentious, snooty attitude with tango that I have to deal with now that I am a part of the community.  So what if I don’t dress the part or have name brand shoes?  The quality of my dancing will continue to bring me good dance partners, which is all I care about in the end.

Another surreal thing happened at the milonga that night.  I can’t remember if I blogged about this, but a few months back when I was clearly not as advanced in tango as I am now, I had gone to a milonga where a very snotty gentleman asked me to dance.  After maybe 30 seconds into a song, he deemed that was enough and walked me off the floor.  If any of you know what I’m talking about, doing this is pretty rude and sends the message that the dance is not enjoyable.  It’s basically a slap in the face.  The general rule is that you grin and bear it for the entire tanda.  Anyway, it was a huge blow to my self-esteem and that experience has been etched in the recesses of my soul.  I know I wasn’t that bad, but to give a new dancer that attitude is exactly why lots of people give up on tango.  I’m glad I have a tough exterior to some extent and all this time I kept reminding myself that he is just one guy with a snotty attitude and that opinions on dancing well is just that – an opinion.  

Well, last night he was there at the milonga, and immediately after my first dance with the very nice gentleman, the jerk found his way to me and asked me to dance.  I was shocked, ‘cuz I recongnized him and without censoring my reaction, I was like, “Me?  Really?  Are you sure?”.  I even looked to my left and right to make sure he wasn’t mistaken.  He said something like, “Oh yes.  You are very good.  I’ve been watching you and your tango has come a long way.”  WTF?  I was flattered, but in my back of my mind I was thinking, “You’re such a f**ker”.  LOL. In a split second I thought about turning him down because I wondered if I had developed enough to pass his standards (the thought of being dropped on the dance floor again by him was a bit unbearable), and my other thought was, why would I accept?  But, I did.  In fact, after the first song I asked if that was enough for him, and he was very insistent he wanted to finish out the tanda with me because I was so good and he enjoyed dancing with me.  As much as I would have liked to bask in his praises, something in my spirit/soul still felt unsettled.  Based on technique I finished out the tanda well, but emotionally the joy in a dance with a trusted partner was not there.  Those of you who dance AT know what I am talking about.  The intimacy and connection was not there, despite wanting to have it with a good dance partner.

Anyway, I’m still processing it all…lots of interesting dynamics are going on.  Two of the nicest guys I first started learning with have not progressed in their technique, so I’m trying to navigate the social aspect as delicately as possible.  How to avoid dances with them, while not hurting their feelings or ruining the friendship, and also to still encourage them because, on some level, I think AT dancers are very critical of themselves by nature.  One flippant action (like said jerk above) can make or break someone’s spirit and desire to dance.  I certainly don’t want to pass that negatively along.

Anyway…I’m just dumping thoughts.  I wish I had been more diligent about writing entries these last few months of my tango journey because a lot has happened.  But, alas, this is my post for now.  Cheers!

I’ve Arrived … to Intermediate AT

March 28, 2013

Last Saturday was an awesome day for me.  I decided to try out another Argentine Tango class up in the city.  I was already familiar with the instructors, but I wanted to try out this new venue and crowd.  The instructor, without any probing or questions from me, said that in her opinion I should focus on taking more intermediate classes.  I was THRILLED.  From all the blogs and opinions of people that I’ve read and talked to, I was operating under the assumption that I shouldn’t think higher of my capabilities until an instructor or someone whose tango techniques I respect offers it unsolicited.  So there I was, dancing with various people when this instructor told me I should focus on intermediate lessons.  And her suggestion was to take 1 beginner class for technique for every 3 intermediate classes.  Oh man, was I thrilled!  I love tango because it’s technically challenging, but once the techniques are mastered, it is so beautiful, so simple, so elegant and so poetic when danced.  For an instructor to say I’m pretty decent, for them to recognize it and to actually tell me, is just awesome.  The thing with AT is that there is ALWAYS something you can improve on, but to finally be at a level where you are considered ‘good’ is just awesome.  I’m happy.  I know I’m probably babbling in this text, but I wanted to capture this moment in my AT journey.  It’s become such a part of me – I honestly can’t remember how my life was before I had it as a hobby, and I know that from here on out it will definitely be a part of my future.  Oh, happy embraces to all!  🙂

Driving to Work Dream

January 26, 2013

Last night I dreamt that I was with my life partner.  I don’t have a real life significant other at the moment, and the guy that I’m sort of dating is far from “the one”.  Anyway, the feeling/impression I had in my dream was that this faceless presence/man in my dream was supposed to be my significant other.  I remember needing to get to work or something in the south bay, and my sig other insisted on driving me, despite the fact that I knew it was really early and completely out of his way to do so. Then we are in a car, he’s driving me to work in the south bay, and he takes me on the freeway in a new route that I never used.  I remember in my dream I said something to him about how I never realized this particular entrance to the freeway was there, despite living in the area for over 10 years.  I also remember there was a complex set of freeways/stacks…like in a LA when you see all the arteries.  Anyway, I remember thinking that any man who was totally into me would definitely go out of his way to help me, no matter how inconvenient it was for him.It was just some sort of innate knowing, is the best way I can put it. 

Then I woke up.

Classroom Dream

January 21, 2013

A few nights ago I had this dream where I was in a classroom.  It’s unclear whether I was actually sitting at a desk, or whether I just had a vision of a classroom in my dream.  The classroom was similar to my high school physics classroom.  One seat in the row to the left had a podium instead of the desk/chair.  What was odd was that this podium was facing the same direction of the desks, rather than facing towards the seats in the proper lecture setting.  I don’t remember seeing anyone lecturing, or feeling any particular emotion in the dream.  I just remember noticing the weird layout of the podium in the room.  Then I woke up.

Yay, for Dancing!

January 21, 2013

“Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are great because of their passion.”

– Martha Graham

——————————

Saturday night I had the most awesome night of dancing to date.  I literally danced for for 4 hours straight without any breaks.  It was great!

I went mainly for the intermediate west coast swing lesson and the night club two step class, but the open dance party rotates through a variety of dances.  I was very happy with my following skills because I was able to pick up the basics in pretty much every dance I was asked to do – salsa, rumba, bolero, cha cha, viennese waltz, regular waltz, east coast swing, west coast swing, etc.  I do have to give credit to the leaders, ‘tho.  They were really great to dance with and very easy to follow.

A couple of guys I spoke with were surprised that I had only been dancing for about six months.  One said I had good musicality, that I was good at keeping a beat and rhythm, and that I had good body control.  He told me to skip the basic classes and just go straight to intermediate ones.  🙂   I tend not to believe leaders when they give me compliments on my dancing, but now that I’ve been dancing a while I’ve heard similar things from various people, including some instructors, so I think it’s sinking in that I am not identifying myself as a dancer.  🙂  I find myself going from “I dance to tango” to “I’m a tango dancer”.  Two similar statements but both loaded with different sentiments.

I am having so much fun dancing and I am sure it shows.  Yay me!  🙂