The past week I have been offered some wonderful connections:
-My dear friend is the creator of the amazing Humans of Portland project. She offered to interview about my experience with school and take an anonymous photo. This past Monday, we had a lovely and in-depth conversation about it all, and took some fun photos of me wearing my favorite dance shoes in front of my library of sexuality books. I am excited for it to come out. (And I may share a link once it’s published)
-One of the dancers in Portland is putting together sort of an anthology of stories, poems, etc written by strippers about their experiences stripping. I had been toying with the idea of submitting something for quite some time, and late last night I finally got my creative juices flowing. I cranked out 4000+ words in less than 24 hours. It’s in poetry form, but I have worked on subjects ranging from the how I got started to regular relationships to getting ready for a shift to my rage over tip outs to my therapeutic relationship with dancing. Even if she doesn’t end up wanting the piece for her collection, I feel so relaxed and energized at the same time from getting to process my experiences in this way. I’ll probably post pieces of that here when I have finished editing it all.*
-I was contacted by the producer of Mystery Box Storytelling to submit a story! I have had friends tell me that I should tell a story at one of the shows, but I’ve never known what to do. I feel excited to brainstorm and potentially craft something to share. I’ll keep y’all posted! :)
*Here are a couple of parts that I love so far:
“Do you ever have that feeling
that somehow your life is unfolding
and you’re just watching? marveling at the mystery? laughing at the novelty of it all?
You’re doing what now, Self?
Okay, then. Let me grab some popcorn, ‘cause this is going to be entertaining.”
have plagued me since I was about seven years old.
I carried a lot of baby fat through elementary school
feeling Fat and Fatter than all of my friends
I had my last growth spurt at 12
And suddenly I felt
Being Worthy (of love, appreciation, respect)
And the Hyper-vigilance began
when might the weight return?
the extra fat around my stomach and butt and thighs?
I kept myself hungry throughout high school,
priding myself on going to bed starving and eating small
amounts of food
When I began exercising in college,
and fell in Love,
I began eating more, my curves
filling out More.
I became More.
And the hyper-vigilance cranked up
and continues on.
dancing has helped me
feel beautiful and worthy and sexy
and at other times,
dancing has worsened my
Anxiety and Self-Shaming
as I watch my curves in the mirror,
trying to pray away my god-given shape and size
No amount of Hollow Flattery
or even Genuine Desire and Admiration
can ease the pain
It must come from inside, a
Recognition and Belief
that I am Worthy of love and belonging
simply because I am alive