A few days ago, we attended the Onam celebrations of our New England Malayalee Association (NEMA).
I was looking forward to it because it was going to be a special moment for me; I was going to dance after 5 years in front of a huge crowd for the first time. I did try a few years ago with a smaller group, but I knew I was hideous in it. I burst out crying after I danced then, because I knew I was bad.
3 years later, I’m older and wiser. This time when I started practicing, I knew the most important thing I have to do is “unlearn”. Deleting from my mind my memories of what I was and how I used to dance and being patient with the new me, not pressurizing myself and accepting the fact that I’m not a great dancer anymore and I have nobody to impress but myself! It didn’t come easy, I’m an over-thinker and I obviously kept thinking with this one too. “What if I forget the steps?”, “What if I’m no good?”, “What if I lose my balance?”, “What if I need to stop mid-way?” Pressurizing myself with these questions unnecessarily, I developed health issues, and I grabbed my chance and backed out of the dance.
When my son heard that I’m not dancing, he burst into tears. That’s when I realized, there is someone else on this earth who misses my dancing more than I do!
More often than not, we forget that the tiny people we made are always observing us and looking up to us. What life lesson will I be giving him if he sees his mother backing out of a performance because of fear? He was performing on the same day too and what if he actually comes up and tells me, he’s nervous so he doesn’t want to sing either?
No! I wasn’t going to let my son believe that his mother chose to take the easy way out and so I rejoined the dance.
On the day of the event, we left our pet dog with a sitter because our whole family was going to be at the event. 15 minutes before the event, I got a call from an unknown number I didn’t pick. The person called again, so I picked up the call this time. A woman on the other side asked me, “Hi! Are you missing a dog?” For a second I experienced a surge of dysphoria, and I froze. I told her that our dog was at the sitter’s. She told me that she found our Knuckles on the road actually and she called me after seeing my number on his collar. Thank God I had made a customized collar for him with his name and my number. And thank God he was found by this loving woman who is probably an angel! Not only did she take care for a lost dog, but she also made sure he was back in safe hands. God bless her!
We made arrangements to get him, but I was already shaking from head to toe. I was feeling dizzy, there was no way I could dance now, but I looked at my little boy and his eyes were already teared up after listening to my phone conversation. If I showed weakness at this moment, I knew he would cry too. So, suppressing my urge to go running to my husband and cry, I swallowed a huge lump of fear in my throat and told him that Knuckles is absolutely fine and that now there’s no problem at all!
I went in to dance and, on the way, saw my husband. I waved and smiled (thankfully he isn’t as cued in as my son and so he didn’t understand that it was a fake smile). I took positions to dance, going in literally blank! I managed to remember the steps but couldn’t get myself to smile!
You know how there are some moments in life that cannot be expressed in words? This was one of those moments. Even after knowing that Knuckles is in safe hands, I couldn’t find my bearings, I cannot begin to fathom what would have happened if we had lost him.
But all’s well that ends well. I can’t thank God and the lovely family enough for rescuing Knuckles! All we could do was send them a card thanking them for this gesture. Do message me if you can think of ways, we can show the family our appreciation.
I’m also glad that I’m still able to keep calm when it comes to my kids. This time I literally danced for both of my sons.
Life definitely doesn’t hate us as much as we thought it did :)
To Life.. !