Friday, July 28, 2017

Reboot?

Hey if Gilmore Girls gets a reboot, this blog can too haha!

Well, that was 4 years of thinking and sometimes, a little overthinking. Today, I was reminded of what the tagline here was 'a place for venting, raving and mumbling in general' I am in need of some venting but let me just get you all caught up.

In the 4 years of not blogging, I've been doing the usual mothering and getting right into the routine of two little boys. I've kept up my stock trading, recently bought an apartment next door and have been managing it as an Airbnb and, I have also found the time to learn how to dance. Specifically, to clog.

Initially, it was the sense of accomplishment of learning something completely new. Then, it was the challenge of trying to master the proper techniques. It ignited a yearning to improve and do more challenging steps. At the same time, I realised what a creative outlet choreography could be. Music has always been so much a part of me and now I get to put music and movement together! Could it get any better? YES! Teaching others! I now teach at weekly classes and also at workshop weekends. I have a long way to go in terms of being a more effective teacher but it is the next thing I am aiming for.

Clogging has led me completely out of my comfort zones and has pushed me in ways that I never imagined. To perform in front of people, to teach others, to lead a big group in a routine. You can't imagine the anxiety I went through each time I had to do those things. Then, of course, there were all the new people I had to talk to. Many SAHMs will know that life outside the workforce sometimes depresses a person's self confidence. It makes it hard to meet new people, especially when there are a lot of them.  You want to but at the same time, you feel so out of place. So, I think I can say that clogging has given me back a little of that self worth.

In the past two years, I have been part of East Coast Precision. A little clogging team with big dreams. The dreams have often blown completely out of proportion but I have to admit that it is the limitless possibilities of a passionate mind that I have enjoyed. To dream wildly. And then to temper it with dollops of reality. On a more practical note, ECP exists to grow and nurture clogging here in Australia. It is a danceform that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities but 30 years after its introduction to Australia, it is rapidly on the decline.

Anyhow, back to this. Being a part of ECP has also led to some unexpected new skills. I would never have had the need to learn about video and photo editing if it weren't for clogging! There is nothing more satisfying than learning something from scratch. To have absolutely no knowledge of it and to slowly build up a competency in it. I cherish that because being out of paid employment means the opportunity and need for me to pick up new skills is low to non existent!

So you can see that clogging has really developed into a huge part of my life and I am deeply passionate about it. I have met so many different people along my clogging journey and have learnt so much from them. I have also found out a lot about myself. Did I find myself? No. I may have been put on hold for a few short years when the kids were really young but I have always been clear of my identity.

OK. Now for the venting.

This week, a close friend declared that my activities around clogging are in fact, wait for it, a MID LIFE CRISIS! Implying that the behavior was irrational!

She went on to elaborate that it was a reaction to my getting married too early at 24 and supposedly missing out on life! EXCUSE ME! All this because clogging has come with many weekends away and a few nights out here and there.

Well, this was a slow brewing crisis if any because it took four years to reach its simmering state now. I suppose if I had decided to return to the workforce and join her in the daily doldrums of deadlines and incompetent colleagues, that would have been a perfectly natural progression now that my children no longer need 24 hour attention. I mean, what else would a SAHM do to make herself useful but re-join a workforce to start the whinge for retirement so they can do what they LOVE. 

Popular culture today regularly touts finding your passion in life - To do what you love is what we should strive for if we want to be happy! Deadlines and grueling work hours have been glorified and a balanced life is supposedly the holy grail today. People living their passion are celebrated! Work hard and LOVE your work! Blah blah blah

But not if you are a SAHM.

It doesn't matter if there was no malice associated with the comment. I still found it offensive. To have something that I am so passionate about be treated as a bump in the road and a reaction to a dull life.

Does this make me feel better? I don't know. I wasn't feeling bad before, just indignant.

4 comments:

Bilbo said...

Welcome back, Amanda!! And don't pay any attention to that "mid-life crisis" BS ... do what makes you happy and doesn't hurt anyone else. You've found clogging, I've found gardening and grandparenting, and we're both happy. Good for you!!

John Hill said...

Welcome back, Amanda!
I imagine that your boys are getting big.
I hope we hear from you often.

Amanda said...

Hi John and Bilbo! So good to hear from old blogging friends! The boys are definitely big now - 7 and 11 !!! I must see if I can get back into blogging :)

Mike said...

HEY! What the heck is going on here!?
Been following your clogging on Facebook. Time for you to get into some competition.