I’ve been coming up against fear lately. I’m not talking about feeling a little anxious or concerned. I’m actually talking about pure terror and it’s not for a reason that may make sense to you.
You see, I’m not usually a fearful person. Many people who know me well would probably tell you I’m one of the least fearful people they’ve ever met. I’m the one out there on the edge, taking risks. But I’m not talking about physical risks like base jumping. I’m talking about emotional and personal risks that put myself out there; pushing my personal boundaries and jumping in where angels fear to tiptoe, that sort of thing. You see, being completely and wholly myself is incredibly important to me but the downside (for want of a better word) is that I am often left exposed emotionally and quite vulnerable. I feel compelled to ‘go there’, move forward and expand who I am but in order to do so, I often have to prise my own fingertips from the window ledge and allow myself to freefall, not knowing where I will land.
Recently the Universe has been pushing me to go to the edges of my comfort zone again and it’s been bringing up fear, big time. From being asked to perform in my Latin dance class in front of other dancers (and in the future, public audiences), to really going for it in my business and some other challenges, I’ve been feeling incredibly exposed.
How can dancing in front of my class make me feel terrified when I can confidently get up in front of a more than 100 people and present (and enjoy it!)? I know it doesn’t make sense. But it’s true. As I said to one of my classmates, “I’m not talking about something rational.” Fear is never rational.
When I shared my fears with my sister she suggested I need to do the things I’m terrified of and there’s a reason the Universe is sending these things my way.
The irony of her comments did not escape me as it’s the kind of advice I usually give to other people.
One of the most interesting things about my fear is observing how I respond when it comes up. In short, every part of me goes into resistance and a range of emotions riot at the surface. The anger, resentment and sometimes tearfulness I feel at being pushed to do something every part of me is resisting is extreme. I want to run from the room immediately, yell or nail my feet to the floor so they can’t move me.
It’s such an over-the-top reaction that it would be amusing, if I wasn’t experiencing it. I also know that such a radical response definitely warrants further investigation because it is blocking my progress forward in some way. In my experience, this type of response usually covers something that needs to come to the surface and be released.
Everyone has fears and you don’t have to do the thing you’re scared of. I’m certainly not going to commit to dancing in front of others just yet. But I am committed to closely looking at the fear it brings up and then taking steps to resolve it.
Perhaps you may see me in a public dance performance yet.
Lucretia is an author, psychic channel and transformational teacher who helps women move past their fears and connect to their inner truth. Her personalised intuitive mentoring programs help women reclaim their Intuitive Power and Live Their Soul’s Mission. Contact Lucretia at email@example.com for more information. You can also find more of her work on Facebook and Instagram
Today’s blog is a mishmash of my experiences and my friends’ stories from this week.
1. On the subject of sex.
A hairdresser friend has a casual sex hook up with a man once a month. And she treats the situation, in her words, like a man.
If he contacts her and she’s up for it, she drives over to his place for some fun.
The conversation once she enters his house goes something like this:
Her: So, how was work today?
Him: Okay. How was yours? Did you cut a lot of hair?
Her: Yep. So…
Him: So do you want to talk or something?
Her: Nah. I’ve have to get up early in the morning.
2. Old friends
Facebook is fabulous for keeping in touch with old friends. And then sometimes you end up sleeping with them.
You could call it an unexpected bonus. Thank you social media.
3. You rely on your beautician to help you look your best. And they usually do. But distract them with too many funny stories and the final product may be a little less than symmetrical.
3. A young man in his twenties, in a new relationship, will blush when you tell him that his new girlfriend is hot.
4. Parents who allowed their boys to watch Knight Rider as toddlers are responsible for Gen Y’s obsession with black Nissan Preludes.
“Kit” lookalikes anyone?
4. Sometimes working in a really shitty job will give you health issues and make you question your sanity. But it will also give you fabulous friends who will stick around long after the shitty job has finished.
Every cloud has a silver lining.
5. If you take time to scratch the surface you will find that most people have really interesting lives. For example, he may be a mild mannered public servant by day but by night, Dartanian is a dedicated parishioner determined to help his Parish Council move into the 21st century and be relevant. Unfortunately he’s being blocked every step of the way by cranky old people brandishing walking sticks. [Okay, they probably don’t actually brandish walking sticks but they are definitely cranky.]
Or there’s Ainslie, the woman who works long hours, runs around after five children, creates colour knitwear creations for every occasion and has a husband who does complex maths problems and works on rocket and space-exploration calculations for fun (but no money) in his spare time, as you do.
People are so cool.
6. Fear can make us behave in lame-ass ways that hurt the people we love. Denial doesn’t make it any better.
Talk it out people!!
7. Seeing someone’s face when they have forgotten to be fearful and now see a myriad of possibilities laying before them is priceless.
8. If people are toxic and bring out the worst in you, avoid them.
You don’t have to save them. Save yourself first.
9. Craig David plus wine equals crazy dancing person in your kitchen.
And no one will ever know.
10. There is an art to playing it cool. But I haven’t mastered it yet.
I am the classic over-sharer.
Sometimes my girlfriends and I can solve the problems of the world. Other times we just talk trash.
Here are our findings from this evening.
1. Doing online research or cyberstalking about a new love interest can also be referred to as due diligence.
2. We all know about the sex haze. It blinds us to someone’s faults because all we can think about is ripping their clothes off and screwing their brains out. Apparently it’s now known as the façade (pronounced ‘fuc!k hard’). Spread the word.
3. In the confusion arising from male and female relationships, sometimes you just have to make decisions based on what your conscience can live with.
4. Being sober will enable you to move quickly when some drunk guy starts a random punch up. It won’t help you to avoid someone spilling their drink all over you.
5. A drunk couple can go from dry humping on the dance floor to a fight and being asked to leave by the bouncer within four minutes.
6. Drunk guys will always use their inebriation as an excuse to ‘accidentally’ touch you on the butt. You could slap their faces but really, who could be bothered.
7. Single girls need to think on their feet. For example, when a nice guy discovers you work nearby and says, ‘We should do lunch,’ the correct response involves an encouraging smile and something like, ‘Yeah, that would be great. When are you free?’
Responding with a ‘Yeah, we probably could,’ while looking at him as if he is a crazy person (because the invitation takes you by surprise) is kind of stupid.
8. Sometimes we will hook up with a man just because the sex is incredible…even when we know he is unworthy of a single minute of our time in every other respect.
9. ABBA’s ‘Dancing Queen’ is fabulous to dance to no matter how drunk or sober you are.
10. When we were teenagers the DJ was the hot guy everyone wanted to go out with. Now he is the weird bearded guy in the cap dancing madly to MmmBop by Hanson.
A man told me last night that one of the reasons he loves dancing tango is because, and I quote, “You get to dance with young women with their chests pressed into you.”
And yes, he said this…WHILE I WAS DANCING WITH HIM.
Now this man is lovely, a lot older than me, but yes he has always been invariably polite and urbane. And he’s a great dancer.
And no, before you ask, there has never been that kind of flirtation between us. A bit of friendly banter sure, but that’s as far as it went.
So what on God’s earth possessed him to say that to me?
After all, I had my chest pressed into him at the time so I couldn’t have felt any more awkward.
Of course in true Lucy fashion I deployed my tried and true approach for all awkward situations – humour.
“I’m not drunk enough to have this sort of conversation,” I said.
“Hang on, I haven’t had a drink all night. I definitely can’t have this conversation.”
We both laughed and then talked about something else. Thank goodness.
If you know me, or you read my blog, you will know this kind of stuff happens to me regularly.
I don’t invite it and I don’t look for it (although I will admit that it provides fabulous blog material).
People (and all too frequently they seem to be men) will sometimes say and do the strangest things.
And dancing seems to bring out some of the most ‘interesting’ behaviour I’ve seen.
There’s the man who decided to randomly kiss me on the cheek in the middle of a dance class (absolutely uninvited); the man who decided to imitate a seventies porn star by looking into my eyes intently and slowly running his tongue over his top lip (ICK!!!!!!!); and the man who decided he would flick my bra strap while his girlfriend was on the other side of the room.
And those are just the highlights. Or should I call them the lowlights?
I’m including all these stories of slightly inappropriate male behaviour (and many others) in my book.
That would be the same book I’m procrastinating on by writing this blog instead.
Mmm. Must get back to that.
But before I go, please don’t let my words put you off dancing.
There are a lot of lovely men out there who dance beautifully.
And sometimes – when the moon and stars align – you may meet one (like I did last night) who not only moves like magic on the dance floor but is also kind of cute as well.
A baby gave me the ‘once-over’ when I was in the supermarket last week. You know the once-over, it’s that look people give you as they sweep their gaze from your head down to your feet and then back up again. Women are appallingly good at doing this look. It’s their way of assessing whether you are potential competition or someone to be pitied and/or disregarded.
Anyway, that’s the look I got from a big-headed, blue-eyed baby looking over his mother’s shoulder.
And yes, I admit that I was wearing my workout clothes and I probably could’ve made more of an effort with my appearance but seriously, it was just Coles. And since when did babies learn how to give someone the once-over?
Anyway, after that I slunk down the pet aisle to get some kitty litter (yes, I am a single woman with a cat) and then left. Clearly it wasn’t my day to be out in public…and I was getting paranoid about babies.
I got a couple more ‘looks’ on Saturday when I went out in the Valley.
The first was from some guy who spent most of his time watching me when he was obviously on a date with the woman dancing next to him. Every time I looked up he was trying to make eye contact. Then I was trying really hard not to look at him but of course he was dancing a metre away and kept moving into my line of sight. Gah!
And then he gave me a high-five when I gave the brush off to some random bloke who thought it was acceptable to come up behind me, grab me by the hips and bump up against me.
To both of these men I say, what the…?
My friend and I left the club soon afterwards. Honestly, we probably should have left an hour earlier when they played Tina Turner’s, You’re the best. The DJ at that particular club is always a bit random but Tina? Really?
Anyway, we ditched the strange men, tried to erase the Tina-experience from our memories and headed to a new club just down the street.
It was while we were lining up at the entry that I got my second ‘look’ of the evening when the bouncer checked my ID.
The fact that all bouncers now check for ID is as ridiculous as it is embarrassing. Ridiculous because they check the ID of people who are clearly well above the age of consent – what for I don’t know because they are likely to forget your name as soon as the next ID is thrust under their nose. And secondly, embarrassing, because they look at your ID, their eyebrows shoot up and disappear into their hairline and then they thrust it back into your hands as if it is contaminated. At least, that’s what the bouncer did to me on Saturday night. Clearly I was older than his usual clientele. Thanks for the ego boost buddy – nice one!
Once inside it quickly became clear that I was probably one of the oldest people in the room (okay, I was definitely one of the oldest people in the room). But, I love to dance and refuse to restrict myself to gyrating in the kitchen to Craig David so there! (Please imagine me sticking my tongue out now at anyone who thinks I should have been tucked up at home in my jim jams instead.)
It also appeared that I was a little underdressed. A few years ago everyone dressed down but now it’s all high heels and short dresses. It’s just like the eighties again.
The eighties spring to mind because the club was called Hot Gossip. The original Hot Gossip in this town closed in the nineties and has since been revamped as a Showgirls venue where the girls wear skimpy clothing and do things on poles (or so I’m told).
Hot Gossip was the first club I ever went to and it would have been apparent to everyone that I was way too young to be there (looking younger than my age now is a bonus, back then it was a curse).
My friend K, who looked far more mature and glamorous than me, talked the bouncers into letting me in (she was a regular). I remember a dark club full of Colombians, drinking Tequila Sunrises (stop pretending you don’t remember that classy cocktail) and sharing a pack of menthol cigarettes (they tasted awful but we were cool, okay).
So there I was just over two decades later in the new Hot Gossip looking at these beautiful young things and feeling a little old and underdressed. But the music was fantastic and if there is one thing I love more than anything, it’s dancing.
Of course, a few years ago I could dance in my stilettos all night. But by midnight-ish my knees were starting to give way and I was afraid I might seize up completely if I stopped moving; frozen forever on a multi-coloured dance-floor that looked like it came straight out of Saturday Night Fever.
I kept going though. I wasn’t going to admit defeat. My heart and soul was determined to dance, even if my body was crying out for mercy.
At the same time, I confess I did look at the beautiful young twenty-somethings around me and indulge in a very small moment of melancholy for that lost decade. Sometimes I feel like I wasted my twenties being sensible, responsible and wanting to be taken seriously.
Perhaps my time would have been better spent out in the clubs dancing the night away, getting drunk, having fun and sleeping with strange men? After all, there was plenty of time for being sensible much, much later (actually, preferably never).
Then again, I think I’ve made up for a bit of lost time in my thirties. And the fact my little sister told me a couple of years ago that I “was supposed to be the responsible one” is probably a good indication that perhaps I’m not quite so ‘sensible’ anymore.
My melancholic moment at the club was very short-lived and I had a smile on my face when I poured myself into a cab a couple of hours later.
I may be part of the older crowd in the Valley but I still know how to shake my bootie baby!
I might wear lower heels next time though.