Thursday, October 20, 2016
The Tao of Ratliff...or the awkwardness of me recognizes the awkwardness in you.
It’s been something of a year. Nothing bad has really happened to me. It’s just been a year of changes. Physical changes. Emotional. It’s not that David Bowie died. Or that Alan Rickman left us. It’s not this national upheaval of a presidential race. It’s not even that both my last two serious ex-boyfriends got married within weeks of each other (I am happy for both of them. I SWEAR). People continually asked me if I was okay, not seeming to believe I was. It was at that point I began to question whether I should be okay? Work is good. My shift exhausts me. I became more physically active over the last few years although the weight gain that is notorious in my family is starting to creep in and my love of Qdoba has to find some balance with my genetics. I began teaching barre. I am obsessed with it. I talk about it a lot. I’m still traveling. I find my self-worth in my experiences. Not sure if that’s healthy. Mentally. I am the same. Clouded under the occasional fog of anxiety that I have had my entire life. Constant questioning of myself. Am I where I should be at 32? I was talking this over with one of those friends who really seems to have her life together she suggested I take yoga. Let me blunt. I have no problem with people who love yoga. I just can’t stand it. CAN’T STAND it. I’m not good at it. Therefore...I don’t enjoy it. This probably goes back to the fact that when I was a little thing, I was pretty good at most of the stuff I did. I’m not being arrogant. I just did things. I read the hardest books. I sang in the choir. I did reading festivals. I acted. I memorized information that I could spit back easily on tests. I wasn’t good at Physical Education. So I hated it. I wasn’t good at math. I hated it. I wasn’t much of a dancer, so I quit taking lessons. In other words, if I wasn’t good at it...I was a brat about it. I’ve taken yoga classes before. I was assured it was a time to connect your mind and body and just..be. Instead, yoga for me is trying my hardest not to fall flat on my face while dripping sweat and trying to quiet those voices in my head that screamed at me as a child when I wasn’t good at something. And that time of quiet exhaling..(well, not so quiet....looking at you shirtless lumberjack man) while holding my foot straight in front of me allowed for all those thoughts about why I am still single, still not losing that mysterious five pounds (it’s not mysterious...it’s Qdoba. I know. I know), how I’m not pretty enough or smart enough or how I will inevitably screw something up at work until the point I wonder how no one else in that studio heard those internal screams in the first place. It’s an incredibly isolating experience for something surrounded by tons of people. But then, something clicked. I can’t shut those voices up....I can only prove them wrong. So I pushed through. I wobbled, I had to drop poses to not fall and then when it was over I got to my car and sniffled a little bit. And, for the first time, I found myself thinking ‘next time you’ll be better.’ Next time. I think I get it now. I’m going back Thursday. But I’m not standing next to lumberjack dude. Sorry, bro.