Choosing to be Good Enough

So, it’s been a tough week.  I do believe I’ve hit what is called Rock Bottom.  You see, I need to write.  No, not just want to write, need to write.  And submit.  And get paid.  I don’t have my husband’s cushy income to rely on anymore and suddenly, after way too long, I’m finding that I’m almost completely dependent on no one but me.  And I’m scared.  No, not scared. It’s more like bone-deep terror.  I keep telling myself that writing is what I want to do, what I’ve always wanted to do, but somehow, it’s been hard to believe.  And, shamefully, the security of a forty hour a week job shackled to a computer in a cubicle somewhere has started to sound pretty good. 

And that’s just bullshit. 

So, I’m not going to talk about my writing today.  I’m going to celebrate the coping skill of avoidance and talk about pole-dancing instead.  As it turns out, I’ve been having a problem with that, too. 

Here’s the thing:  I have cellulite. 

I know.  Shocker.  I’m female and over thirteen.  Cellulite is just going to happen.

And until now, I really didn’t care too much about it unless it was bathing suit season.  I just never wear shorts.  Never.  I have a closet full of capri pants and long skirts, but no shorts or short skirts.  I just don’t wear them.  So, I just figured I wouldn’t wear them when I was dancing, either. 

I go to class and wear my long yoga pants and a tank top and I get along just fine.  Mostly.  When it comes time in the class to do some of the more complicated stunts where I need skin friction, I just roll up my pants.  Dorky, sure.  But functional.  Mostly. 

Well, one of the girls I met at the studio has a professional dance troupe.  (Which is pretty much the coolest thing ever.)  A few weeks ago, she asked me to do a number with her dance troupe in an upcoming show.  (No, I’m sorry, that’s the coolest thing ever.)  She wants to do a number where the two of us will do some joint choreography and tandem stunts on the pole. 

Obviously, I said, “Yes.”  Actually, I think I fainted a little bit and said, “OMG!  OMG!” and then began to mumble something inarticulate.  (I mean, she used to dance and choreograph professionally, in L.A.)

So, we’ve been working on choreography (which is just a treat in itself) and after a while she started talking about what we should wear, which kind of came as a surprise to me because I naturally assumed that I’d be wearing the same thing I wear to class, but when I told her as much, she simply said, “Um, no.”  Then she told me that she wants us to wear–get this–booty shorts. 

Um, what?  Booty shorts?  There is no way.  No way in hell.  Then she tells me that since our choreography is so pretty and the song is so slow and beautiful she wants them to be sparkly.  Sparkly booty shorts.  I cannot express to you my horror.  Sparkly booty shorts will draw people’s attention to the exact area I’ve spent a decade trying to hide. 

Let the panic attack begin.   

So, I’m in a store, frantically looking for anything that I could possibly wear–latex?  A full-length wetsuit?–when I made my decision … (and this is probably the only thing more embarrassing than sparkly booty shorts) … I was going to back out. 

There was just no way I could do this.  I had my excuses all ready, “Oh, well you know, the divorce … and my biz … and I’m just so busy….”  And I rationalized it by telling myself that I wasn’t chickening out or anything, I’d just back out of this one performance, and then, after I’d lost some weight and improved my skill level, well …then I’d approach her again when I’d be good enough–good enough to perform in public, skinny enough to pull off the costume, talented enough to not be self-conscious–then, and only then–would I do it. 

And, I know I wasn’t going to talk about my writing, but it’s the same thing there, too, right?  Everyone says that writing is hard, but really, it’s not.  I know the truth.  For a select few, writing is easy, effortless.  And if I can just do enough self-work, if I can just get happier, wiser, more confident, more talented, more disciplined, whatever–then the writing will just flow out, beautiful and nearly perfect.  Not quite perfect, obviously, but close.  Even Shakespeare probably had to do a little editing.  But not much, right?


Why is it that a line of bullshit like that is so much easier to believe than the simple truth that we’re all good enough, that we’re all simply magnificent? 

And so, standing there in that store, with my lungs collapsing from the pain of the decision to give up the chance to dance again, I realized that she wouldn’t have asked me to dance with her if she thought I was going to embarrass her.  I mean, she’s my dance instructor, so she’s seen me dance and she’s seen my body and she asked me anyway!  So why, if I was good enough for her, was I not good enough for me?   

I know how I look.  I have some good stuff and some stuff I’d like to change.  Big deal.  Everyone does.  And I have the choice to focus on that and tell myself the lie of what I’d need to be good enough, or I can simply choose to be good enough right now, right here, with what I’ve got.   

I can look like this and dance, or look like this … and not dance. 

And you know what I’m going to do every single time? 

I’m going to dance. 

And the writing?  Well, writing is always going to be hard.  It’s scary.  It can also be exciting, maybe even be thrilling and fun–I sure hope so–but the scary, the unknown, will always be there. 

So, I can either be scared and write.  Or be scared … and not write. 

I’m damn sure going to write.    

I’m tired of telling myself that it’s hard.  I’m tired of telling myself that I probably don’t have what it takes.  I’m tired of listening to my inner critic so intently that I can’t even hear the music.  I’m exhausted by it, in fact.  I’m going to start telling myself another story.  Does anyone else get those little Notes from the Universe?  That’s what I’m using as inspiration here.  Mine will go something like this:

“Greetings, Diane.  This is the Universe.  I just wanted to tell you something because it seems like you’ve forgotten it:  writing is really pretty fun.  Do you remember how much fun it was to write when you were a kid?  Well, it’s still like that, and it’s still that easy.  It’s a lot like dancing, and you know how much fun that is, right? 

And it doesn’t have anything to do with skill or talent, really, it simply has to do with the Awesomeness of You.  We call it the Pink and Silver Diane Sparkle Effect.  It’s impressive.

So, just do your thing.  I’ll take care of the rest.  I mean, six months ago you couldn’t even envision a life where you danced every day and now look at what you’ve got going on.  You’re welcome.  I’ve got your back, sweetpea.  I’ve got your whole Writing Life here to hand over, you just need to begin.  And beginning isn’t really so hard.  You’re right there.  You’re already doing it.  You see that, don’t you? 

Just focus on having fun with it, Diane.  That’s all you have to do.  After all, that’s really the whole point. ”

Okay, Universe.  I’ll give it a go.  I’ll keep you posted. 

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7 Responses to “Choosing to be Good Enough”

  1. Your writing is a powerful force to be applauded…….. do you realize the Awesomeness of what you just wrote and shared with us?!? I have tears in my eyes as I connected with that Inner Critic Voice that you are battling, for I am battling with it too… every single day, as far back as I can remember. But we CAN take the power back, by telling ourselves a different story… by telling that Inner Critic Voice to “shut the hell up!!”… and to celebrate, everyday, the Pink and Silver Diane Sparkle Effect. Rock on, my friend, rock on… we are all here cheering for you!!!

  2. logo icon
    Sara – Thanks, lovely friend! That Inner Critic can be a real bitch, can’t she? I know she’s trying to help and all, but when the help becomes paralyzing, she just needs to pipe down! :) Thanks for the encouragement. I’ll hold it close to me today while I sit down and write. Know that I’m cheering for you, too.

  3. Diana – extremely poignant. Why must we always fight our own beauty? We each are magnificent but we ignore it because of some “flaw” that society deems is “wrong” Throw out the flaw and celebrate your phenomenal ability to write and dance and express your life through movement. I Love It.
    BTW, you might want to check out my articles on Body Strings & Cellulite, where I talk about just these issues for pole dancers.

    I’m so glad to have found another kindred spirit :)
    Yannori´s last blog ..Going to Therapy and up Chucking the rules My ComLuv Profile

  4. I guess we can’t expect pictures of the sparkly booty shorts ::ducking & running::

    This is excellent. The dancing and the writing. Both. Excellent.

    And I’m shaking my fist at whatever cultural conspiracy has made so many adult women (myself included) compare ourselves to adolescent bodies as the standard of beauty. When you think about it, it is REALLY f***ed up.

  5. So glad Yannori already mentioned her Body Strings post – because it totally rocks and I was going to tell you about it! Yannori helps a lot of us pole dancers remember we’re beautiful.

    And so glad, Diane, that you’ve chosen to do the performance. Life is so much easier – and so much more enjoyable – when we just say, this is who I am and this is what I’m putting out there. Because the people that see that and like it, really like us – and we don’t have to fake it. Which is such a relief. And why bother trying to be a certain way for people who can’t like the real us anyway?

    Keep polin’, girl!
    Jennifer´s last blog ..Joel Bretan of Mighty Grip My ComLuv Profile

  6. logo icon
    Yannori - Body strings! I love them! How cool are those! And thank you for your words of support and encouragement. I’m so happy to have you here.

    JoVE - Absolutely! You’re so right. And, you never know, we’ll see how I’m feeling about things when the performance rolls around. I may be so proud of myself that I can’t help but post a pic or two. ;)

    Jennifer - Your comment reminded me of this, “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” –Dr. Seuss

    That’s so true. Thanks for stopping by, all of you. Big hug from me from Denver. :)

  7. Oh this is just perfect. Loved it. That whole process of thinking our way out of things is fascinating isn’t it? We can be so good at it, we dont realise how much we’re limiting ourselves at all.

    Lots of points go to you for figuring that out as you were doing it :) xx
    Emma Newman´s last blog ..Friday Flash: Sale or return My ComLuv Profile

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