Just Keep Dancing: Musings From a Misunderstood Girl
Dancing is when you tear your heart out and rise out of your body to hang suspended between the worlds. ~ Rumi
People who know me well know I dance wherever I go. Because I’m always shaking and shimmying, people think I’m showing off. I’ve been accused of wanting attention.
The truth is I can’t hold still.
Dancing is my oldest coping mechanism. Before there was art or writing, there was dance.
These days, I dance at the gym. All the time.
I can’t help it. Whether I’m in the dance studio, the weight room, or the treadmill, I simply have to move.
Dancing is who I am.
(I may have forgotten about my body for a while, but I’m back in it now. Full force.)
Yesterday, I was talking to a trainer at the gym who told me I exude “amazing positive energy.” He said I appear confident and happy and like I have it all together. Even on Facebook, he said.
“If that’s true,” I said, “how come no one talks to me? Or asks me out?”
“You’re intimidating,” he said.
It’s a terrible irony. Stunning really.
To fill myself up, I dance…but because I feel comfortable in my body, I end up isolated because people see me as unapproachable. Intimidating.
It’s a weird kind of “splitting.” The world does not see me as I truly am. They don’t see me as insecure, or wounded. The world doesn’t see how I’ve been hurt. It’s invisible. It’s always been like this, and I think it’s why I often feel so misunderstood.
As a kid, many of my teachers had low expectations for me. My intellect was neither valued nor appreciated. But I‘m not stupid. I’m smart and ambitious. I have aspirations, and I continue to move in the direction of my dreams.
Learning about the way I am perceived helps me realize I have to work hard to be seen and heard. I suppose this means I’ll spend the rest of my life swirling in circles, squawking out my desires & scribbling out my words in hopes of being better understood.
Where have you been misunderstood?
6 thoughts on “Just Keep Dancing: Musings From a Misunderstood Girl”
It’s a shame that you’ve been judged by appearances rather than by your character, intelligence, and accomplishments. I wish we could all just be in the world just as we were made and find, if not acceptance, at least lack of judgment.
I’ve always lacked an understanding of certain social graces. I’m that guy who innocently manages to say just the wrong thing at the wrong time, or fails to recognize when I need to say or do something in a situation. I’ve left people thinking I’m a giant ass. I’m always mortified to find it out later. I’ve learned over the years when to just shut up, and I’ve learned some of the rules of interaction if you will that let me frame what I want to say so it can better be received. But it’s been a painful journey.
Love this. I get it. I often feel misunderstood too. I struggle with anxiety and feel like I’m crawling inside my skin sometimes in loud crowded places, and I’m always paranoid that I’m coming across as distracted, not enjoying the company I’m with.
I think that’s one of the nicest compliments—that you exude positive energy. And I hope you never stop dancing and shimmying and enjoying the life and skin you’re in <3
Also I’m sorry you were ever judged by appearances and hope that you realize your worth and the beautiful woman you are—inside and out 🙂 it comes through in your writing.
Thanks for sharing. It’s awful that people don’t see you as you are. I know how that feels though. I’m usually seen as happy-go-lucky but I’m not always. I tend to be quiet unless I really know you – especially back when I was in school – but I’m actually quite happy to talk and be loud. As people, we’re multi-layered. You can’t really judge someone by how you initially see them, though that’s usually what happens.
Oh, this is all too true. I think we’ve all been misunderstood at some point in time. People taking things out of context. People looking at a quick snapshot of a moment and think they have you all figured out.
you need to find an ecstatic dance community. We’re all just like that there and no one will think anything except that you’re just like them…needing to dance. seriously…find an ecstatic dance scene. You’ll be in heaven.
It’s so hard to be judged all the time. I think it’s beautiful that you dance and express yourself through dance. I wish I could dance honestly. Keep doing you, you do exude positive energy and hopefully others will see that beauty in you!