YOU, BEFORE AND AFTER

Hello, dear Internet.

I’m having one of those mornings where I feel compelled to check in with you all, to peek out from behind the computer screen and wave, “hey! Hi! How ya doin’?” And then I’d share a little story with you, and maybe we’d talk about it in the comments section, and we’d both get up from our computers thinking, “that was nice.”

But…the muse just hasn’t descended yet today, I suppose. I’ll start writing a post in my head, and then just as quickly scratch it out in my head, going “no, that’s stupid!” And I’m right. I almost wrote you a post today, for example, about watching Puppy Bowl on Sunday. (Then again, that might have been an awesome post.)

So instead, I thought I’d be creative in a different way today, by sharing a video from my latest silks performance. Especially since I just dug up the video of my very first silks “performance,” two years ago!

Remember this gem?:

HA.

First of all — that’s some chemically-treated red hair. Damn.

Secondly, look at that nervous face! I must have been, what, a foot and a half off the ground? And clearly scared out of my mind. I remember my heart racing at the end of that dance, and also thinking, welp! That’s good enough! I’ll just stay here at this level, thanks.

Now, here is the video I was talking about — this is a performance I did with my friends Kari and Susan at the George Carver Center last December, using a dance we choreographed together.

I’m the one on the left.

Yay!

God, I know it’s egotistical, but I fell in love so hard with our dance that I can’t stop watching it two whole months later. Right before we went on stage, I remember thinking, “I AM SHAKING SO BAD AND MY HEART IS BEATING SO BAD AND I AM GOING TO SLIP OFF THE SILK AND I AM GOING TO DIE.” (I now think this is not entirely an uncommon thing for aerialists to feel.)

I still have so much more to learn and so much flexibility and strength to gain and so many performance jitters to quell, but holding up these two videos side by side makes me happy. It also makes me laugh. I wish I could go back in time and hug that nervous little redhead and say, “dude! Chill out! You’re going to be fine.”

Have you ever gone back and studied earlier versions of yourself doing…whatever? Dancing? Writing? Wood working? French horn playing?  Knitting?  Gardening? (Sigh. Gardening. Unlike silks, my skills there have not markedly improved and may, in fact, have worsened over time.)

I recommend it. I mean, I recommend hobbies in general, but especially hanging onto your earliest prototypes and then dusting them off every once in a while to remind yourself of progress. (And also to giggle.)

If the Internet existed back then, I would have YouTubed my dance team performances in high school and then we’d REALLY have something to laugh at — but it’s probably better for everyone if my 16 year-old dancing atrocities abilities aren’t made public.