I hope it’s not too late

I hope it’s not too late

Sometimes it is hard to be good at a lot of different things. For me, it dovetails with indecisiveness. There’s no reason to choose one single thing. There’s never been one clear thing I should focus on, one clear path.

I’ve done artwork for various people who needed logos and things like that. “You missed your calling,” I was told. Yeah, well, I don’t see much excitement or meaning in commercial art, even though I don’t mind doing a logo for ya. And as far as the art scene, I didn’t see a place for myself there, either. I love music, too, but loathe the music scene. All of these scenes are about fashion, pecking orders, and politics, all things I don’t understand well. Those are my weak points, blind spots. I’m good at many things, but just uncomfortable with all that.

A lot of people have assumed, told me, or asked if I’m on the autism spectrum. Well, maybe I am, but I never had a diagnosis or any help, so technically I’m not, as no clinician has weighed in on that. Plus I’m female, so we women don’t fit the typical autism categories which were based on males. Plus, I’m obviously very high functioning, so even if I’m a complete fucking freak, I’m not exactly disabled the way a low functioning autistic person is. I like my ivory tower, so maybe I’m INTP.

So, what to do in life? I am acquainted with a couple people who have experienced what I dearly wanted all along: to have a specific direction, dream, and goal from an early age.

Of course there is my favourite artistic fusion bellydancer, Bagoas, who explained in the short documentary film about male bellydancers that he has been doing this since he was 15. I guess he’s in his mid-20s or something now. Certainly under 30. He does such wonderful, original, skilled, beautiful, joyful, playful, and expressive things that I so envy that I never had a life like that. I never belonged anywhere that I could pursue anything that interested me. I’m sort of acquainted with him because he’s a Facebook friend. Maybe in the next year I’ll go see him dance in Seattle. But basically I’ve watched his videos over and over because I’ve been going through the toughest time in my life with my divorce and all, and his expressive art always beings smiles to my face. Smiles, plural, never just one smile. His playfulness is absolutely golden, and wrapped in musical expressiveness and artistic precision.

Then there is a guy I know from the Scrabble group, a retired cop. This week he told me he had tried to get into the RCMP at age 21. It was what he always wanted. He was a cop  all his life and then a bylaw officer. I’ve heard of a lot of cops who get messed up from the conflict, violence, and tragedy involved in their work, but somehow th is guy came through unscathed, apparently. He doesn’t seem troubled, unhealthy, overweight, or anything. He seems very light at heart, playful, open, and able to hear others. In a man, those are all nice qualities, and in a cop they aren’t exactly the stereotype.

And I have nothing.  I can do all kinds of things – visual art, statistics, applied math, writing, research, teaching . . . and I am completely lost.

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Illness ?!?

The week has begun with a whimper. I’m sick for the first time in a couple years. Congestion, sore throad, no energy. Had to cancel activities – and in a way I’m relieved. Most of the activities are effortful, unlike the bellydancing class, which I really regret missing. Social effort. Professional connecting effort. I don’t have a lot of confidence in unstructured situations as I’m very much an outlier, and I never feel like I fit in.

Logic I can do.  Leading, I can do. Tech stuff, I can do. Social connecting on the fly – not so much.

I get the impression other people in my bellydance class feel a bit awkward with their bodies, even though they are all younger and slimmer than me. All have smaller feet and nicer waists. I just get that feeling.

For me, the dancing feels perfectly natural. For me, it is not a sexual dance. It is all about connecting with the music, and using the body to do that. It’s movement to rhythm. So I have nothing to be shy about: I have a good sense of rhythm, and if I screw up there’s no ego attached. I don’t have to be perfect. I’m not a professional. I’m not even putting on an amateur performance. I’m just foing this for me.

If you wanna see some amazing bellydancing, check out this, or  this or this or anything else by Bagoas. And if you just want some awesome traditional drumming, check out this or anything else by Reda Darwish. These guys and their art have kept my spirits up many a day over the last three months or so. Dancing is a great escape into the music. I probably look like a complete idiot, and that doesn’t matter too much. Prevents me doing it as a social occasion, but luckily that’s not my first reason to do it. I’m a music-nut first and foremost. Music is one of the truly glorious things in life.