Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Morass of Self-Doubt

Self-doubt spreads like kudzu. Let it in and it will cover and take over every corner of your body. It will invade your gestures, and control how you view your environment.

I used to think that if I was genuinely having fun, others would want to play too. I'll be 42 next month, and I'm not so sure that's always true now. (I spent a lot of time alone on the playground as a kid, making up stories in a dirt pile. It was genuine fun for me.)

Sometimes I'm just having fun alone. It's just me, and that's ok. This is as true for the writing parts of my life as it is for the hoop dance parts. What makes me giggle as I write it might not make the reader giggle, but I write it anyway. I have to remind myself over and over that it's alright to wear shorts with fringe on them, bleach my hair, go to a burlesque class, sing a sound poem on the elevator, wear a top hat to the grocery store, leave a painting in the woods for a stranger or a bear to find, and that it isn't some sort of mid-life crises.

Do enough people "like" what I'm doing? That smile on my husband's face - does he think I've lost my mind, or is he enjoying the show? Oh that horrible little voice inside me that says that people are laughing at me behind my back! It feels like all the worst parts of education.

Am I sorry I didn't discover that I have a body that dances earlier in my life? Yes. When I was younger my muscles were suppler and I had more energy, but when I was younger I was also wrapped in kudzu.

Right now, I'm happy that I discovered that I have a body that works with my mind at any point in my life. My forays into hoop dance have inspired others to try it. This is good.

So this post is a big screw you to strangling vines of self-doubt. If I feel like wearing shorts with fringe on them and hooping it up on the dance floor, I'm going to do it, with relish and abandon.


Mike Lindgren said...


It's better than being lost in "The Wasteland of Smug!"

Indigo Bunting said...

Dance, baby, dance.