I ran into an old friend at the show tonight who told her friend I’m a great dancer, “like dance dance,” and said we should go dancing sometime. I said I’m better at choreography than freestyle, social dancing. I should’ve just said thank you, but these days dancing makes me nervous. It has me wondering who I am. I haven’t answered that question in some time.
Who am I?
I am a person who’s been here for 23 years, sometimes a girl, sometimes a woman. No, 24. I am often lonely. I am here to help others.
I am not who I used to be or who I will be in the future. Today I can’t say that I have a purpose. I am thrown around in the tide. I should let go.
I am sad. I am affected by other people, more than they could know. I am a person who is so sad that her dreams are gone and who cries at night.
I got an email announcing Rockette auditions today. The first kid in line for rush is moving to New York for the dream. My friends are making it. I’m just idling. Party cuz I’ve stopped believing, partly because it’s physically and mentally too taxing. I can’t handle it. I KNOW I wanted nothing more than to be successful in performance. It’s what makes me truly happy. It’s who I am down to my core. A person who dances to all emotions and hears music constantly, who sings and recites lines randomly, who has no idea who she is without these. It’s like Susan’s poem. Who is a dancer without the dance? I don’t know.
The show was incredible tonight and I felt happy. But that small reminder of what I am now has me fighting back tears on the trolley.
The things I hear in my head: I am nothing. You have failed. Street team? Are you kidding me? You’re a fucking joke. You may have a fancy title and a glossy business card, but you’ll never be more than a crazy person playing pretend. They’ll find out, and they’ll leave you, and you’ll have nothing. They’ll leave anyway. You, are nothing. Actor, always remember you are replaceable. I know.
No matter how much I work on loving myself, how many hours of therapy, positive affirmations, “friends” on FB… the number of hours I feel happy to be alive, I come back to the reality (my reality) that I am nothing.
Maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Me feeling helpless giving everything to God. But I can’t imagine that’s what he wanted. For the default state of His people to be suffering. I try really hard. I do good things and I help people and pray…
But I am still sick. And I am still sad. I still have no money and my family is approaching crisis. And I can’t go to the dance convention in a few weeks. And I can’t breathe. And I don’t want to be here anymore. Drama at my group, in my inbox, in the mail. Now even in the place where I go to escape. There is no escape. Don’t know why I keep running.
I don’t know who I am. I just know how I feel. Confused. Tired. Sad. My body hurts. At times I feel happy, joyous, angry, anxious, befuddled, undone. I am simply the canvas to their art.
I once was the star attraction, the main event. Now I am the crew. Cellophane. Eject please.
I thought about killing myself tonight but I don’t have the energy to recover.
Today I am sick but right now I feel happy. I am a person with unpredictable illnesses doing my best to get by and enjoy life. Yes. That’s an answer I like.
© Michelle Routhieaux 2010