Sunday, August 25, 2013

I needed this.

Late yesterday afternoon, I received a phone call from Nicco. We had a short and brief text exchange earlier that afternoon when I had asked how he was, and I was surprised that he called me.

Knowing Nicco, I wasn't surprised that he would go on and on about himself when I had simply asked about the recent goings-on in his life. What surprised me was that he eagerly listened when I told him about my own updates. We haven't seen each other in almost 2 years (yes, believe it, baby bro), so I told him about the latest, especially about the big change in my life, which was quitting theater to pursue dancing, something that I was actually not at all confident doing. About having to face someone everyday despite certain given circumstances, plus having to face not just one, but three of my fears in just one day.

When I was done telling him all of that, Nicco had told me, "Kailangan mo rin yan eh." ("You needed that.") At first, I didn't really quite understand it. What even made him say that? I mean, we haven't hung out in ages, so how would he think that I needed to do this?

Nicco then explained that I needed this because I was always doing things where I'm always comfortable, and I'm always playing it safe, afraid to take risks and face my fears. He said that he didn't think that I was completely happy with anything that I was doing back then when I was still in theater. Dancing was something I always felt like I couldn't do as well as others, until I decided to pursue ballroom. And judging from the photos and posts I made that he had seen, it was those moments when I was completely happy with what I was doing.

I was so surprised when he said that, because upon realization, Nicco was actually right. I learned to take risks, and even face my fears. I was amazed how he was so spot on, how he knows me, probably even more than I do myself, that I welled up with tears right there outside the studio while I was talking to him on the phone.

After that phone conversation, I learned how to appreciate my friends even more. It's the way they just know a person, regardless of how often you see and communicate with each other. And they always tell you as it is, no sugar coating necessary, telling you what you need to hear instead of what you want to hear.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Facing little fears.

I never really had that much confidence in myself. I may show an optimistic facade, but I'm really more of a pessimist.

This past week, I had to learn to face some of my fears. It was a personal challenge I took on for my own good.

But let's backtrack a bit, shall we?

After I had shown my 5-year plan to Mommy Val, she gave me a little personal objective for myself that I could accomplish (if I wanted to) by the end of the year. Part of it required me to take the recently announced Lebran teacher certification exam. Yikes. Yes, I have to learn to teach a class much sooner than I had expected, because we need more teachers to go around.

It was announced two Saturdays ago that the exam would take place the following Monday and Tuesday, so it was be in two batches.

I decided to take the exam on Monday just so I can get it over and done with right away. But before that, I had to survive the day first. For Lebran, Lenny and I had decided to use the first half of the class to practice for the routine part of the exam. Because it was Myrone's class, we let him take a breather during the first half, let him grab a bite to eat and relax, before he took over for the second half.

Then of course, there was Sir Roy's contemporary jazz class. Now, I had already attended one class the week before, so I was looking forward to the class no matter how hard the movements can be. But my goodness, things were taken to the next level. I had to learn to face two of my fears during that one hour class.

After some barre work (where we even ended up doing splits, yikes), we had to do some combinations. Then some choreography. My first fear was tested. As an acrophobic, I was afraid to be lifted up on one shoulder of my partner. Eep. It took a while, but I did manage to get over it. Then I realized that after being up in the air, we girls had to flip over while our legs are still hooked around the guys' right shoulder. Fear number two: fear of falling. I had to flip over, having my legs up in the air and my head possibly hitting the floor. Ack, When I first tried it, my legs still held on for dear life even though we were supposed to let go. But when I tried it again, I learned to take the rise and let go of my leg. In the end, Sir Roy actually liked how I made a split (or at least a semblance of it, anyway) when I released my legs before settling on the floor (quite clumsily, I might add).

Then after spending the afternoon in Magallanes, it was time for the exam after the evening's Lebran class. My goodness, I was more nervous about the routine part of the exam. I can do away with the oral and written exams. But even with that, I was nervous as heck. When it was my turn, my timing was a bit off, and even more when I changed figures. Arg. But at least the other parts of the exam were pretty easy. 

When I had texted Mommy Val the morning after, reminding her to bring a book that Myrone had recommended I read, she replied that she will, then added: "Morning Ms. CLT. Certified Lebran Teacher. You were great last night. Congrats for picking up the challenge! Proud of you Tin!"


I had just started reading the book I borrowed. Here's a good quote from the very first chapter.

"Believe in yourself and good things do start happening." - The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz, Ph.D.

It's about time that I should learn to believe in myself. Every day is a new challenge. Facing my trivial fears of heights, falling and teaching a class in the span of one day was some sort of a milestone. I'm really grateful to come across those situations, and to take on those challenges, as each accomplishment (such as facing those fears) is a small victory for me.