During my sophomore year of college, I endeavored to learn how to properly dance. I enrolled in an early morning dance class.
I am unsure of what I envisioned, but this class was not what I expected.
In between tendus and degages, I realized Jazz Dance was not for me. Whether it was the teacher’s critical–and often demeaning–remarks,or feeling large and ungainly, I can’t be sure. I do know that my attempt at alleviating my stress through some sort of aerobic activity was thwarted. My stress levels mounted, often leaving me to sob uncontrollably within the confines of my car.
Finding My Rhythm
Jazz dance may not have been for me, but it did teach me an invaluable lesson: I must find my own rhythm.
As with most lessons, this has been extended to many areas of my life, including being a mother and blogger.
My Parenting Rhythm
I leaped into parenting with my head held high, sure that I would land on both feet. I had, after all, 3 years of education behind me. I surely would be an omniscient parent.
The birth of Emily caused me to stumble, painfully landing on my knees.
Difficulties arising from nursing, colic, and sleeplessness sent me to books and other publications. The thoughtless attitudes from these sources did not bring me answers. I would try to implement their suggestions and inevitably fail. I would then question my worthiness as a mother. I couldn’t even comfort my child!
The months passed slowly. Emily was an anomaly. She stopped nursing at 5 months only to refuse a bottle a few months later. She wouldn’t eat rice cereal after only a few months and demanded the food from our plates. Her wants did not conform to what “normal” children were supposed to like. I felt helpless.
Imagine my discomfort when I realized I was pregnant again. I was drowning with one child, what would I do with two?
It was then that I realized this was no longer a solo dance. I had entered into the ballroom dancing realm.
Before Andrew was born, my partnership with Emily had been established and somewhat weathered. She taught me to follow rather than to lead. In so doing, the steps were less frazzled, the flow smoother.
When Andrew came, I was prepared. I had the experience to know that all difficult stages eventually ended. Nursing was not less painful, but it was easier. And, as before, the pain gradually lessened. When he also started into the colic, I knew it would slowly disappear. And it did.
Following is challenging. It requires that I release my pride and knowledge, and recognize my ignorance. Yet, when I do, the dance is performed with grace and beauty.
My rhythm will constantly fluctuate, as parenting is not static, but I am better equipped to handle the new steps life throws my direction.
My Blogging Rhythm
When I first ventured into this blogging world, I did so sure in the knowledge that no one would read my words. When people started visiting and commenting, I became less sure of myself. I started to write for my readers rather than for myself. I wanted to write things that would keep people coming back. The dance became inefficent, unorganized, and clumsy.
After a few months, I began to find my voice. I tentatively took the lead position. Gradually, my blog fell into step with my mind’s fast-paced rhythm.
I finally gave up the waltz and took up the Samba.
As with parenting, my voice may need to be altered here and there, but these changes will (hopefully) be less clumsy and more graceful.