I’m A Coward

It’s already March and this is the first blog entry of the year. I sat down to write several times before but didn’t have anything important to say. I still don’t. Nothing happens. Well, time flies by very fast, the days are longer and tentatively getting a little warmer. I work, go to ballet class and try to lose weight. But I’m not making progress. Well, not much. Maybe my jumps are a little better and Franca says I make rapid progress on pointe, but I still can’t even do a clean single pirouette or fouetté. My weight was 146 lb. this morning. I’ve been experimenting with calorie cycling and for the last two weeks have done ‘intermittent fasting’ or rather just eating no breakfast. Despite the small weight loss, my body keeps changing and getting leaner. I’m also trying to be a little more social.

The lovely energy I felt in the summer and autumn is almost gone. There are short moments when I can conjure it up, but it’s such an effort. I often feel tired now and have to force myself to go to class or work out. I’ve felt quite ill last week and skipped two days of training. A part of the problem is lack of sleep. I can’t bring myself to go to bed before midnight anymore, somehow. I want to, but I don’t. Another part of it is definitely a lack of inner drive, of inspiration and hope and energy. I don’t feel that I have a good reason for doing so much ballet. There is no show or exam or career to prepare for. I just do it, and nobody seems to understand. I used to love it, it used to be something I longed to do, something I could hardly wait for every day. At the moment though, the joy is almost gone. All that remains is a feeling of having to go to class, to work, to try and get better or at the very least not lose what I worked so hard for. It feels as if I had to run very fast just to stay where I am. And for what? FOR WHAT? It doesn’t matter to anybody and I’m not even enjoying it anymore…

This issue is connected with my general state of life: I do not truly like myself. I have this image of how I would like to be, and whenever I fulfil a condition of this image, I love myself and am happy for a while. Until the next thing comes up. But deep down I worry that I am never good enough. I twist my own view of myself until I find something negative and worry that other people see me in this light. I try to shape myself, body and mind and actions, to fit this ideal, and then try to show this fragile construct to others. But every aspect that I like could be seen from a different angle, in a negative light, and while I am trying to go out and show myself, I worry about which aspect people see and what they think and get terribly anxious. It goes back and forth and I NEVER feel secure and it’s scary and exhausting.

I talked to Mrs. H this morning. She told me clearly and almost in an exasperated way that I was sticking like a leech to this behaviour. She said I was behaving like a child. She said that a child looks to her parents to tell her what is good or bad and these rules make her feel safe. I look to her, to my family, ballet teachers, colleagues and superiors and friends and rules and general opinion. But I am not a child, I’m an adult. I have to stop this. I have to face life, to face insecurity, failure, heartbreak, humiliation. I have to make choices and stick to them. That doesn’t mean I can’t change my mind or grow or learn. Being mistaken or not good at something doesn’t make me worthless. It just feels that way.

Oh, this is so hard. I never even realised just how cowardly I am. I want to change. I want to grow up. I want to truly live, to love myself unconditionally. But this insecurity is so hard to bear.

I want to do it, but I don’t know how. For now, I’m going to try and be aware of this issue and my thoughts and reactions. Then we’ll see…

About annalienor

Lover of beauty, adult ballet student, deliberate creator wannabe.
This entry was posted in Ballet, Health, Milestone and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to I’m A Coward

  1. kit says:

    I just wanted to say that I don’t think you’re a coward (like my opinion matters…) because you’re able to publicly acknowledge and write about the changes you would like to see in yourself. I feel like I could have written about half of your post myself (meaning that I so identify with it, especially paragraph #3), but I remain a coward I suppose, unable to take the actions needed to break out of it. And I was doing so much better in the past too…
    Once again, just my opinion, but I feel as though the energy – the motivation – is a seasonal thing, with peaks and lows. In time it will return, but during the lows I just ride the waves…

  2. I know what you mean. Sometimes I feel I’m not good enough and I find that I always look to other people before trusting myself. The worst part is, I’m the one who is putting all this pressure on myself. The thing I try to remember is that most people (i.e. not friends and family) are worried about themselves and probably don’t even think about you too much. For example, if you make a mistake in ballet class and go the wrong way most people in the class don’t care because they are concentrating too much on themselves.

    In the end, you feel how you feel and thats ok.

    Hope you feel better about things soon. xx

  3. abc says:

    No coward would dare to expose his/her emotions publically like you do, just keep that in mind, although I understand what you mean.
    You´ve come such a long way – and I think as soon as you realise that, you´ll find your energy and inspiration again.
    Maybe it helps if you change something small in your everyday life – find a new restaurant or try a new way to work. It often gives me new perspectives in my life if I discover a “new” part of my city or simply alter my daily routine.

  4. Kaija says:

    You are certainly NOT a coward. It takes a lot of guts and self-awareness to have this level of insight into yourself AND be able to verbalise it! Please give yourself the same sort of compassion and grace that you would extend to a loved friend 🙂

    It is possible that the sort of feelings you are having (lack of energy, loss of interest in your activities, discouragement, down moods, sleep disturbances, doubling down on “new” diet strategies, etc) are symptoms of prolonged calorie restriction. Just something to consider and put in the back of your mind.

    More details here:

  5. Olivia says:

    I am so happy to see you post again, I was worried about you. I agree wholeheartedly that you are no coward! Sharing your journey honestly and directly has helped me to be more honest with myself. I also agree that motivation can ebb and flow- small changes sometime are the kick we need to re-discover what we know we love. Hang in there- you have come so far and you have so much ahead!

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