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Emilee

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My front facing camera broke on my phone, making my already limited picture taking even MORE limited. Have a throw back from last spring. I have a blog post in the works. Life has been kinda nutty, my laptop *also* bit the dirt, and things have been kind of overwhelming. Y’all are always on my mind, though! You’ll be hearing from me soon. 💕
Classes yesterday brought to you in part by @leakycon (I don’t usually dress up for costume week, but i do try and incorporate Harry Potter to some degree 🤷🏼‍♀️)
New blog post, link in bio!
My friend Bailey and her company @companythreesixty made this and I have no more words to add. It’s perfect. #Repost @catchingbreaths with @get_repost ・・・ Why didn’t I report? I didn’t report because I thought that if I’m in a relationship with someone, it meant it was equally my fault. I thought the years of unhealthy feelings towards myself which ensued, were still invalid since it could have been worse. I thought I shouldn’t tell my Momma until a couple of years later on a beautiful mountain walk together, and even then, I softened the story from shame for how I’d appear to the person I love the most. I didn’t report because we live in a world where men use sentences like “it can always be worse” as psychological shrapnel. A world that tells us we should have done more to stop it. A world that, even when I remember the attempts to push away as clearly as consciousness cinema, I was scared to push too hard because I didn’t want to make someone mad. A world that makes me worry at sharing, because I have young students and ‘should be a role-model’: with a role model being pure, respectable, elite, undamaged. Now, a mother, wife, champion, boss... I still worry to report as innocuously as through a #WhyIDidntReport hashtag, lest I somehow appear less for having shared. But as someone who’s survived a darkness far worse than that described, and Shawshanked her way to a life of light- save for second glances over shoulders- I can say that the hardest person to report to is actually... yourself. It’s the you that you had once hoped to be. The you that you’ll never be again. The you that you wish you could go back and protect. The you you wish you had been (louder, less in shock, less weak). The you that once was but was taken. To all the Yous you once were reading this (and the You in me who still feels cemented by shame)... this should never have happened. It doesn’t matter how loud, quiet, forceful... how well you knew them.... You didn’t deserve to lose You because your body wasn’t left as yours. None of us do. None of us ever will. There is no good way to end this bit of writing, because the truth is: it hasn’t ended. A perfect sentence will not wrap this up. Y
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Vulnerable. 

This is something that weighs particularly heavy on my heart (though that seems to be a trend here recently) that I’ve been wanting to write about for a while, but didn’t necessarily know how to go about it. 

How much do I divulge? What do I say? How do I remain sensitive to this topic? How do I get this out and will it be the right way? 

Nonetheless, here is my effort. 

It’s no surprise that you find yourself needing to be vulnerable if you want to go anywhere in your journey of dance. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities I have to dance, and how many chances there are to perform with where I am now. To be able to work hard in a role and get to perform it and display that hard work and all of the literal blood, sweat, and tears is satisfied in those moments under the stage lights in front of all those friends and strangers. It’s moments like that that make you come alive. (And I guess why it hurts a little deeper to work so hard and not get to perform a role, but that’s not this post.) 

There’s a history of sexual harassment in my past, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think of this every time I put on a tutu and go on stage. Though, largely up until this point they have all been romantic tutus and not as big of an issue. This year is different. 

The swan lake tutus are pancake tutus, which I may not even get to wear so that may be a non issue, and two of my recital costumes are flat and one is slit. 

I hadn’t even thought too much about it, I guess at least compared to usual, until yesterday. 

I do what I can to distance myself from certain people in an effort to protect myself. And I’d be lying if fear wasn’t lurking around many corners despite my best efforts. But there’s someone whose been supportive of my shows in the past and I hoped if I just stayed silent then they wouldn’t think to come or whatever. I had forgotten to even think about this until a comment on social media. 

Then I remembered that the person they brought to they last show they came to is now in this show. And they could come through her and her excitement. Putting him in the audience when I potentially could be in a tutu that shoes my entire leg. 

Then there’s the fear of dads coming into the studio. It’s typically not an issue, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wonder if the dads peering through the one way mirror are really watching their daughters, or if they’re watching the full legged, curvy adult in next to nothing; the next to nothing being a non issue in functionality for what I am doing. But in the wrong eyes it could be something easy to fulfill some sick desire. 

It’s why I don’t let anyone go outside the studio without some form of coverup on. 

But even with all my efforts of protection, there’s only so much you can do to avoid situations that are out of your control. 

Does that make them your fault? 

No. 

Does that mean you should live in fear? 

No. (As best you can anyway)

Is it likely anything is going to happen like you’re afraid of?

Not really. 

Does that mean I should let it keep me from doing what I love, what makes me feel more alive and safe than anything? 

Not a chance. 

Life is risk. Vulnerability is a risk. But if you let fear hold you back, who will ever hear your story?

The world needs your story. 

Hold yourself well and your head high. Work hard and let go of fear. Be kind, and also wise. Don’t be afraid to distance from people if it helps protect you, but don’t let hypothetical maybes hold you back from doing what makes your soul sing. 
(Ps. My friend wrote a book about her journey to healing from a similar situation. If you or someone you know is going through this, consider checking out her book and her story.) 

This entry was posted in dance.

2 comments on “Vulnerable. 

  1. Alicia Heaney says:

    Thank you for sharing and being so open and honest! So many times we have to put a fake smile on our face and pretend everything is okay, when in reality sometimes it’s fine to not be okay. *hugs*

    Like

    1. Thank you for your comment! Sometimes the hardest part is remembering that it’s okay to not be okay. I appreciate you! *hugs*

      Like

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