It doesn't feel at all like in less than 2 weeks time I'm going to have my first ever dance performance in ACJC. Our debut act as the freshie J1 level no less; something I've been dreaming about ever since watching seniors leave and whisk off to AC Dance Society like something out of a schoolgirl fairytale.
It's true that the past few weeks have been really tough, and this had intensified during the last couple days. I cried for the first time in school in front of poor Maryann because I was so stressed out about Chinese oral and losing (being stolen from?) $50 and being generally upset with dance as it was taking so much away from my life rather than adding to it.
Last night I got home from what was one of the worst dance days ever, an insane 12-8 almost non-stop practice save for a few minutes they let us eat and the time spent kind of standing around waiting to get sorted into positions. The thing that made it so painful was that I was just not performing. At all. I couldn't lift myself out of the funk or hit the counts properly and almost burst into tears when Nicolette taught me this Bollywood choreo. I kept thinking that life was so bloody unfair to me. How could the choreographers just chuck me into Bollywood 2 weeks before Bailamos and expect me to catch on quickly? Yesterday was my 2nd ever Bollywood practice and the choreographers were so busy handling everybody else that I was left to fend for myself. I know now that that's just the way it is. AC Dance is a melting pot of craziness. You don't get your act together, you lose. You can't depend on anyone to baby you because everyone is occupied with looking after themselves, too. No one cares that you have back-to-back practices for 8 hours straight. You just have to deal with it.
I got home yesterday and broke down into a little cry because all this was getting to me.
Well, maybe that can change a bit if I get to become the welfare rep. That's what I put as my first choice signing up for exco. I have to remember this feeling so I can understand the J1s next year. Perhaps I'll even do special notes for people with back-to-back schedules. Because I would really love if someone, anyone, did a nice note to me.
Not that people haven't been nice. My friends are so endlessly supportive I couldn't be more grateful. I've been ranting so much on Instagram like the whiny bitch I am, and what I get in return are texts from Ali, Vicky, Jia Xin, checking up to see how I am and people like Janice and Maryann who are always always there to give me a listening ear and moral support.
But no one from dance itself has been able to give me a semblance or degree of that same support, because as said above, we're all too busy trying to look after ourselves. Sometimes there's just no room to think about other people. That's what a welfare rep must do: put others before yourself. To fulfill that role you must be selfless.
Anyway, there's one more week of pure madness to go before the big show. As they say in AC...live your dance, dance your life.
I've really not been getting any inspiration lately. The thoughts in my head come and go so what's left isn't really cohesive, it's like fragments that mumble instead of yelling something at a rally.
Mostly my hours have been dominated by dance, dance, dance. It's way WAY more than I was used to at MG, which honestly seems like a piece of cake now. It makes me question why I didn't just pick up my ass and BE a bit better at dance. But I blame my anxiety- social, general, I don't know. I was just unhappy. And anyway that time of my life is done and dusted. I've closed the lid on it and there's no dragging it back. What remains is the present which is AC Dance, AKA my dream, right now, it practically defines who I am.
Before going into anything deeper what I need to foreground is this: a realization today that it's really difficult to be truly vulnerable in front of my friends, perhaps especially so on social media. I talk a lot about the humdrum of everyday life- the so called, relateable things- but the little things that really crush my soul are never displayed for anyone to see. In fact, hardly anyone ever knows about it. For one because everyone is so goddamn busy trying to scream to the rest of the world what a wonderful amazing life they have, and at the same time everyone is scared to admit that there are insecurities that go beyond the mass mentality. I'm talking about our personal insecurities- the ones that only you know and make you feel worthless or lonely and no one can know that you feel like this because you look weak and consequently less valuable than the rest of society.
Apart from the obvious physical strain that dance gives me, this is the bare and honest truth: I am lonely in dance. This is what I feel almost every single dance training and it kills me slowly. It's not that I'm a loner. There's people that I talk to. Some more than others, granted. But I don't just mooch around by myself.
The problem is that I just become a shrinking violet in dance and I don't know why. My extroverted self retreats into a cave and refuses to come out. She can't think of anything interesting to say, she stares blankly at a friend. She can't make anyone laugh. She worries that people find her legitimately annoying. And that she looks bad dancing. All these anxieties bubble up until introverted Lydia silently replaces the shiny new ACJC Ly.
This is made especially bad when obvious cliques become more obvious than ever. Like when I was on the train today with Jay and we bumped into the Nanhua clique who had clearly made plans to travel together and possibly eat breakfast together. And there was the other time after dance when the 3 of them bid us farewell because they were going to have dinner together, without a single word of invitation. You can't be more exclusive than when you try not to be. It just makes my insides crawl because I would love to have a group of people to stick to, too. But I can't. Due to stated above, and it would also make me the biggest stinking hypocrite.
That's why life has been hard lately. I love the dancing that I do. I'm grateful for the present that each choreographer has spent blood and tears crafting for us: their own choreography. (Analogy credits to Zaki.) But some days I simply get swallowed up into this emotional void that it's hard to appreciate things for what they are.
Today I walked home and thought about all this and remembered that even if all goes to complete shit, God will always love me. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. What a powerful quote that is, because it is saying absolutely nothing, not even the good amongst the bad! can separate me from my Creator. And I will always have comfort in that infinite truth.
L / 18 / SG / ACJC
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last updated: 5 september