Thursday, April 06, 2006

reflections from the ballet mirror

So this morning I started my ballet classes at Kits Community Centre. Might as well post about it since I'm at the office now killing time waiting for my email to get back up and running.

I wondered who might sign up for a Thursday morning class in Vancouver. You never know what kind of weird hours Vancouverites work, since there are so many small businesses, creatives who work their own hours, and so many who take their play seriously. The other day on the bus the guy beside me was telling his friend how he woke up at 11am an worked for an hour, then got on the bus. Sounds like Vancouver to me!

Anyway, so there's 12 people in the class, which is on the large side apparently. The instructor is an older white woman. Then there was other older white woman and a guy (yes! a guy!). The rest? All Asian, most of them international students. Now that is Vancouver for ya.

It was fun to get back into it, but I was reminded again of a few things about myself.

1. I wish I could be an expert now. I'm not particularly patient at waiting for progress and want to be good at everything now. Sadly, my perfectionism and this impatience keep me from trying new things too often, because I dislike the discomfort and awkwardness of beginnings and practice.

2. I hate being told what to do. There was this one woman beside me who apparently is not a beginner who pointed me onto the same page as the instructor. What's she doing in the class again? And why do I always get stuck next to the "experts" in these classes -- like the practically professional calligrapher in the Tim Botts class I took last summer?

3. I'm pretty independent and bluntly anti-social when I want to be and ran off out of the class right after it was over, rather than sticking around and getting into conversation with anyone. Yeah, yeah, I'm on Step 1 in admitting that my over-independence is a problem. Tonight I was going to visit my grandparents and then go to Balthazaar's to help a friend celebrate her acceptance into grad school. But I'm wavering -- I'd rather bury myself in my work at home tonight. (Yes, I'm addicted to my work too).

Just yesterday a friend from Edmonton emailed to ask me if I could host one of her friends in town for a week. Normally I think I am a pretty hospitable and social person. But then these types of requests act as a mirror and remind me I'm not actually that welcoming. I love to host people I know. And I only like to do so when it's convenient for me (this guest would be arriving the evening of my birthday and staying for a week, and I'd be giving up my room). But with people I don't know, I'm just more reluctant, or downright unwilling.

Everyone loves their friends. That's the normal, natural, easy thing to do out of our own capacity. It's going beyond, and loving others outside our natural love-radius -- either people we don't know personally or people we know but dislike -- which demonstrates itself as this other-worldly, supernatural love that comes from God-who-is-love himself. Thank God he doesn't only love us when it's convenient for him.


jocelyn said...

purely selfishly, I'd like to say I'm glad that you wavered in my direction. :) It was nice to see you again.

Like you, I am over-independent and perfectionistic. In fact, I think you were one of the first people to admit that in front of me and explain why it might be problematic - and it made me look at my own tendencies and think... gee, that is a little too familiar!

I've been confronted with the over-independence thing myself lately and I'm just starting to really understand why it might be negative instead of functional or helpful.

enitsuj said...

the layers of the onion go deep as i'm discovering, working through the 12 steps (among others) approach to transformation, particularly in this unhealthy attatchment to independence. I particularly related to your post about your nephew's perfectionistic tendencies already at such a young age! I'm looking forward to a good chat with you next week!

Matthea said...

Hey Justine,
Talk about great globs of time sucking black holes!! I'm at the library supposedly doing work, and I'm procrastinating by surfing people's blogs. I noticed your newly posted links margins, and clicked on the "confessions" link, and got a voice saying "I just found a dirty little..." to a libary full of studying students. Haha. Ok, that was a good lesson to tell me, "Get back to work!!!"

enitsuj said...

sorry matthea, but i'm laughing silly right now picturing you with the talking computer announcing dirty little secrets :D

Matthea said...

Yah, people were snickering around me. You should post a warning on that link! Or, it's just funnier to get a surprise...heheh. Again, I am procrastinating. And if you're reading this, you are too! ;p