Last night I had a dream where I was in a room filled with mysterious women of all ages and sizes listening to an instructor tell us to do some sort of free flowing interpretive dance. Women moved rhythmically and effortlessly around the room. This kind of class is Not.My.Thing. One of my coworkers takes Zumba classes. I don’t really know what Zumba is, but it sounds dreadful!
What made things worse was that I was paired with another woman with whom I was to dance, and my partner was this beautiful, poised dancer who was just loving being in the moment, in the room. She was not focused on anything other than getting stronger and expressing herself through dance, while I felt profoundly uncomfortable. Where she was able, I was disabled.
I am a confident runner. I feel great swimming laps in a pool. I’m a capable, if not a very enthusiastic cyclist (note: I rarely get on my bike, but my long term goal of triathlon keeps nudging me toward the dusty and deserted thing in the garage). I do practice yoga on a more or less regular basis, though certain poses make me feel vulnerable, exposed. I have to remind myself that others in the studio are focused on their own practice, not my own, to feel less susceptible to scrutiny.
When I woke up from the dream, I felt oddly conscious. In that moment between wakefulness and sleep where you realize “it was only a dream”, I felt this great sense of relief, and yet I wondered about the sense of exposure I felt in the room of dancing women… could it be connected to the post I made publicly about my writing a few days ago? I’m not a dream therapist, but it seems an apt assumption.
I went upstairs to write for a few minutes and then got dressed to run. It’s still chilly at 6 am in Portland, but it makes for soft morning light and an easy pace. I thought about my last post, when I highlighted an except from the true life story I am writing. I had anticipated some reaction, especially from those among my readers who knew Liz. However, I had not expected the profound range of response and emotion that I received from friends and family members, some of whom are close to me and others not. What a gift it was to hear from them.
Among the reaction the post received, someone dear to me wrote, “I hope this memoir bring you light, healing and opens unexpected doors”.
Friends, it already has. While exposure often brings about a critical moment when one can be criticized, questioned, or merely tolerated, I felt appreciated and loved. Thanks for reading.
Side note: I confess to a year (or two) in my life where I went salsa dancing all the time in public spaces; I blame such behavior on my salsa-dancing ex, un salvadoreño that could make a mannequin have moves.