doing it all...is a lie

I feel like not writing right now. because I know most of my posts during this time are going to be a little darker and a little sadder. but write I must so write I will. a story that popped up into my head to share was about my first and only panic attack that I (can rec

all) suffered.


I feel the need to tell you that I'm usually good at taking tests, well, I'm good at guessing. but really, I am embracing my nerd side more and I have always enjoyed tests. especially if it's an essay question and even better if it's a verbal exam. I can ace those even if you stuck me into a test for something I have no knowledge about, I can usually wing it pretty well.


now that you know that I'll rewind to two years ago in New York City. I applied for the teaching certification accreditation course at American Ballet Theatre, and I was accepted (that really was a shock for me). I had just started up teaching again after a 7 year break and felt more than rusty, I wanted to give my students the best that I could give them. and so I left my kids and husband for the longest I had ever done, and for 10 days immersed myself in ballet. ballet terminology, music theory, child development, all of it. and I loved it. I loved being in the city and exploring in the mornings and evenings even more, but I'll go back to my class.


I loved learning about how simple and basic the teaching needs to be, and that if you DON'T HAVE THE BASICS right everything else is just winging it. you can fudge for only so long and then you won't be a professional dancer or you will get injured. usually both. for some reason keeping things simple always hits home with me, and funny because it's always harder to keep things simple. so, here we are, on day 8 and I'm the first person to take the verbal exam. I'm nervous, but not too much. I'm prepared. I walk in, they start asking me questions and I totally go blank. zip. nada. kaput. done. they ask the question again and I can't think of an answer. I try to talk and my head feels like it's swollen to the size of a mylar balloon. my heart is pounding. my hands and frozen. my body is moving like sludge as I show the different movements they ask about. my mouth, when I open it to talk, is filled with marbles. it was like I was having a stroke right there in front of the examiners. I couldn't even think enough to be embarrassed or cry. I was...stunned.


they tried over and over again to give me easier questions to answer and it didn't matter. I was blank. so it ended, and I walked out the door. and then, of course then I could talk. "holy crap I just failed." that's all I could get out. I didn't know how to describe what had happened because I'd never had a "panic attack" before. I literally couldn't believe what had happened. I asked if I could take it again but they said no. the next part was the written. I got a 99% on the written test. I knew I needed an 80% overall to pass the course and get accredited. I had to wait 6 weeks for the results. and with a 99% written, combined with my verbal exam, I had a 76% total. I FAILED. I failed by 4%. I can honestly say I had never failed at anything before in my life.


the shock and shame and guilt over that 4% started to erode at me. I only told a few close friends and family. I went through the grieving process (ha! it seems so silly now). I was angry, I was in denial, I justified I was sad. all of them. I still couldn't believe that I had failed, it just didn't make sense. I had studied, I'm a good dance teacher, I'm an awesome mom, I understand child development and how to teach, what went wrong?


I don't know, but I'm slowly putting the pieces together. not that there has to be an answer, but I sure like to have answers.


all I can think as I sit here on my couch in a fuzzy, warm blanket my friend bought for me, and a heating pad on my stomach because I still get swollen after the d&c, and I'm recovering from losing my dance studio, losing friendships, losing trust, losing money but most of all losing a baby, is that this was supposed to happen. I don't know why, but I know we were supposed to have more kids. trust me, I can think of a million reasons why it's not a good idea to have more kids, but I knew we were supposed to. I also know how driven and stubborn I am. I know that if my mouth hadn't have been full of marbles, and my body frozen and my heart jumping out of my chest, I would have passed that test. and I would have never looked back. I would have gone on to the other certifications. I would have plowed forward on my own. I never would have joined forces with another teacher to start a studio. Which means I wouldn't have lost my marble again, or at least not that way. not in a way that brought me to here. to today.


because although I'm recovering and I feel like a squishy blog of nothingness. no baby. no job. no business, even with all of that, I know I have a purpose. I know I am a mother. one of the greatest jobs on this earth. and I can be cheesy about this and get on my soap box about it because I have ignored and put away that calling many, many times because it hurts. it's the toughest job as much as the greatest. and I know it's where I am needed and what I'm supposed to be doing RIGHT NOW is strengthening my home and family. and even if I'm still sub par as I recover, and the cupboards are bare and I can make one dinner a week, I'm still here. and I still care, my attention is there, my energy is going there.


with the dance studio, I didn't care, and I didn't feel. I ignored the kids, my marriage and the home. I ignored the call to have more kids. I ignored it all. I can see why, it's painful to be a mom. It's much easier to fix business problems than family problems. than marriage problems. than self-sabotaging problems. it's also socially acceptable. but I remember, even through all the people who would tell me that I am "amazing" and "doing it all" I felt awful. because I knew I wasn't doing it all. I knew what I was sacrificing. I knew I was letting a lot of important things slide to make it look like I was doing it all. and that's why I had to be on a lot of meds to numb all those feelings. honey, that's a dump truck load or crap feelings.


I have intense reverence and awe for the women who are called to work and be mothers. I thank God every day for the fearless women who take care of my children as their teachers and coaches and mentors. I do think there is a balance, and if you are doing your "dharma", your calling in life, it flows. the work flows with the home life. yes, there is sacrifice and stress, but it's what you are supposed to be doing. it blesses your family. but "doing it all?", no one is doing it all. ever. it's always give and take. sacrifice is part of the deal. but when it's your dharma, it's peaceful. it works. it isn't stressful.


I'm still hoping my dharma will show up. something I am supposed to do that flows with my calling as a mother. I'm going to be patient though. I've jumped in too many times to count. right now it's time to heal.


so I'm going to thank my body for the panic attack that failed my test two years ago. and thank my body for protecting me from a lot of other threats that I could and could not see that would have and kept me from my path. I'm listening to my body and it's purpose, and it needs a lot of love and attention and forgiveness. I can do that right here from my recliner, so I guess I'll start now.

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