I’ve had a girlfriend for the past month or so now and it’s been quite a wonderful yet terrifying ride at the same time. My feelings are torn over her. I love her yet I don’t feel good enough that maybe letting her go and doing things the way I did before would be better for both of us. That way, she can find someone who can “provide” for her while I go back on my long and slow journey of finding my own career path. I hate feeling like I have to live up to someone else’s expectations. It’s much easier when I can simply be me and do what I want to do, whenever I want. I also feel like I’m putting in so much of my time and energy towards her that I hardly have any time to spend to myself. I try to do all the right things and be the best person for her, despite my shortcomings. I do my best to be patient, be a good listener, help her with anything I can, drive her to places, take her out to eat, give her massages whenever she asks (which is quite often), pay for stuff, open doors, carry heavy things, etc. I do all these things because I care and I do love her. Which is really hard for me to admit, and I haven’t told her the L word yet. I suppose I normally wouldn’t be so afraid of saying such things if I never got all these mixed signals from her. On one hand she’s very sweet, affectionate, and helps me with things to make me better. She cooks every now and then. She makes an effort to make me feel loved, and is not shy to show she’s with me in front of her friends and mine. On the other hand, she tells me she prefers someone who made as much money as she does, the traditional gender role of the male being the provider, and the worst part is she’s still hung up over her ex. About a couple weeks ago she told me she was planning to go see him and go dancing. And that she wasn’t completely over him, that she feels the need to see him so she can try to have some closure. And there was one time that she went to the movies with him a “few weeks” prior, that she did kiss him but didn’t feel anything. When I asked when exactly that few weeks were and if it was when we were together, she couldn’t answer me and got angry, as if I was pushing her away by asking that question. I tried letting it go but it’s been lingering in my mind ever since and I don’t know what to do to get rid of it. Would mentioning it to her again even help? She was supposed to go see him sometime this weekend, Friday to be exact, but she was with me the whole time. But on Saturday at the last minute, she told me she forgot she was going to lunch with her friends at 1:30. Normally I wouldn’t be upset by this, but since it was last minute and she didn’t bother mentioning any names, I didn’t like it. She finally gave me names of her friends and she mentioned that they’re not part of our dance community, but that didn’t exactly make me feel better. Regardless, I dropped her off at the train station and went back to my own place and took care of my business until she was ready to meet again. We met up again about 5 hours later, and I didn’t hear much details about it except she got a necklace from one of them. It didn’t look anything like a person of romantic interest would give her so I didn’t care to look into it further. Anyway, when I get mixed signals like this and having lack of details, it messes with my head. Believe me, I’m not a jealous person at all. I was in my younger days, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned not to be because it’s not healthy. I never pressured her into anything, ever. Especially when it comes to sex. I never touched her private areas until I was 100% absolutely sure it was ok. She even told me she liked that about me, and she had my respect after that. But back to the point. I’m only torn up because of these things she told me and I haven’t been able to fully relax in our relationship. I feel like I have my guard up the whole time, which is emotionally taxing. I just feel like giving up at times. At the same time I know she really likes me and told me she wants to make it work. Question is, can we? She also told me she’s afraid to tell me how she really feels, and that she’s a very emotional person. I feel like I know how she really feels but is afraid to get hurt again, which I understand completely. I do want to hear that reassurance so my conscience is clear and I don’t have to worry so much anymore. But until then, I’m going to feel distracted and torn different ways. This is why I do my best to detach from her as soon as we’re not together. It’s hard to be 100% with someone when you feel like they’re not 100% with you.
I hate when feelings get involved. This is probably the most exciting yet confusing time of my life. I’m dating someone who I never initially thought of being with at first because I wasn’t really attracted and now I feel like I’m in love with her. Normally I’d know where I stand with whoever I’m dating but this time it’s different. I feel like she really likes me but she’s also been sending me mixed messages. We got together for a week, then she decided to split after and wanted to stay friends, which I was reluctant to do. She kept initiating texts with me and we started hanging out again but only as friends. A couple weeks go by and we started getting close again, like hugging more often and holding hands again but no kissing. Eventually it led to kissing and we’re right back to where we started. She even invited me to her thanksgiving get together which involved all her Russian speaking friends and I was the only one who didn’t. It was a bit awkward for a while but they were friendly later on. I just couldn’t understand why she invited me out of all her guy friends. And then we finally go all the way after, which I never expected because I never tried to do it with her. I enjoyed it yet a part of me couldn’t enjoy it fully because of all the feelings I’ve been having, which is truly unusual because I haven’t had feelings like this towards anyone in a very long time. I thought I was done falling in love and it would never happen again. For me, having good chemistry and regular sex with someone was enough. I don’t want feelings to complicate things and make me question my entire life. But let me get to the point. I pretty much feel like this is all going to be over any time soon. She confessed to me that she ideally wanted to be with someone who made as much money as she did, because she’s able to go on trips almost anytime she wanted and she wanted someone to travel with. And she also believed in traditional gender roles, meaning the man should be making the most money and providing for the family. Now she knows I don’t make nearly as much as she does, and this is one of the reasons she has her uncertainties about me and also why I started to feel like I’m not good enough. So I don’t even know why I bother trying sometimes. I don’t want to hold her back, yet a close friend told me to just give it a shot and see how it goes because you never know. Unfortunately I am plagued with these thoughts all the time now and with the recent news of me only working part time now, these feelings of uncertainty have gotten stronger. I don’t know how much longer I can hold on and I’m truly afraid of feeling hurt again, though I have found ways of coping with the pain, such as working out and using music as my escape. Every time I look into her eyes I fall deeper and deeper. I feel like she has feelings for me as well but hearing those words hurt. I don’t know what to do honestly, but I guess I just needed to get it out of my chest to feel a little better.o
It’s been a roller coaster ride since I last wrote here. When I broke up with my ex in February, it was a good thing. She moved on with her life and found someone else more deserving than I am, and I moved on to be the best person I can be. I haven’t made a real effort to find anyone new since that hasn’t been my main focus. All I wanted to do was dance and be better than I was yesterday. But sometimes things happen when you least expect it. I met someone new who was assigned to me as my dance partner. She was very reserved at first but we worked on building our connection and chemistry, and it didn’t take long before we actually looked good and stood out among our group. We also started spending more time with each other and ended up being more than just dance partners. I wasn’t initially interested in anything more than dancing but it happened. I thought she really liked me so I started having feelings for her, which turned out to be a bad idea. A week later, and the next day after I just spent the night at her place, I get a text saying we should just be friends. My heart sank and I felt a drop in my stomach. I was at work and I found it difficult to maintain my composure. I even wanted to go home early after lunch. But I persevered and decided to deal with it and act like nothing happened. I lost my appetite though so I didn’t get to eat and I was cold the rest of the time at work. Despite all the hurt I felt, she still wanted me to come over to talk and practice the routine a few times. I agreed reluctantly. After work I decided to go for a run and lift weights, which helped ease the pain a bit. I go there to see her and we spoke about it. She claims she’s still trying to get over her ex and she still wants to be friends because she claims that I help her stop taking her anti anxiety medications. I don’t know if I can believe it. I feel like it’s just another excuse and next thing you know she’s dating someone else. Not that I should care but I’d rather not associate with someone like that. It’s also my fault for letting my guard down. I was so content in staying single and just dancing. I didn’t think it made sense to be with anyone since I’m leaving the country in March for 6 months. I felt like such a fool, like how could I possibly fall for this nonsense? Anyway, I’m still stuck with her and I don’t want to change partners and spread drama and gossip among our team. I will just do my best to go through it. Luckily I have my original partner still, who I hope is still cool with me. This other girl was the secondary and I guess I’m glad this shit didn’t happen much later before our audition video. I won’t see her again until next Tuesday probably, as I will be away in Boston next weekend and on Monday I’m practicing with my main partner. I do need the time to myself and do my best to move on. Things will just never be the same between us. I still can’t believe I let myself feel deeply for someone like this. I need to be more careful next time. I won’t let anyone affect me like this. I’m responsible for my happiness and no one else. I have myself and that’s all I need.
It’s been since April when I last posted and so much has happened, it’s ridiculous. It finally feels like all the hard work has been paying off and I’m feeling an all-time high. There’s still work to be done and I’m not ready to stop yet. But so far, let’s recap:
- My first performance of the year was on June 10th, then performed again 2 days later for the 2nd debut.
- Kizomba debut was on the 17th, then performed the sensual bachata debut on the 18th.
- Went to the DC Zouk Festival from Friday the 24th till the next Monday morning. Performed 2 bachata routines that Saturday and Kizomba on Sunday.
- Last Saturday, July 2nd, performed the sensual bachata rountine. July 3rd, my NY bachata group performed our debut. It was the most fun I’ve had in a long time and my partner is really hot too. To think I was so close to quitting this group and for us to come together at the last minute when it mattered most will always stay with me. I’m extremely grateful for this experience.
- This past Friday, July 8th, I filled in for someone from the NY team to perform in the city. The place was packed and the crowd noise was deafening when we first entered the stage. I loved every second of it!
Some things I learned:
- Never drink alcohol or take any caffeine before a performance. It’s always better to stay sober as it helps me stay calm and not be so nervous. Drinking alcohol brings my mood down while drinking caffeine makes me jittery and more nervous. My intention has always been to stay hyped before a show but I found it best not to take anything and I felt more comfortable and “in the zone” while completely sober.
- Practice is extremely important. If I didn’t practice as much as I had during all these months, then I wouldn’t have the confidence I’d have on the dance floor/stage.
- Study the videos. I always hated looking at myself, but I just need to swallow my pride and suck it up. I have to do it to see where I look awkward and find ways to improve so that I look better out there.
It’s been an AMAZING experience so far and I’m so grateful for everything, to be able to meet all the people I know now, to learn something new almost every day, to get better at dancing overall, to perform with my teammates, and countless other benefits I’ve gained through these experiences. The entire month of July is booked with at least one performance every weekend. I’m filled with excitement and anticipation with each routine I get to perform.
But next weekend is going to be crazy. Busy AND crazy. For starters, I have a show with the sensual bachata group on Friday night. Then I have to wake up early the next day for reserve duty, work till 4:30 (while taking my fitness test that I NEED to pass), come home, and hopefully get some rest before our social later that night where I’m performing for 3 of the groups I’m in. 2 bachata routines and the Kizomba. It’s going to be insane having to constantly switch costumes between each performance. I don’t know how it’s going to work out but I’ll be training hard this week to make sure I can make it through.
I haven’t posted anything since March 28th, so it’s almost been a month. A lot of things have happened then. And I wasn’t even thinking about posting tonight, I just couldn’t sleep. So far, things are going well. 2 of the bachata routines are wrapping up, the 3rd one is still rough and the Kizomba one is a bit delayed due to scheduling conflicts. Other than that, I’ve been really busy with dancing overall.
And the single life is good. I started talking to this girl early last week and we planned to meet in less than 2 weeks. I thought she was cool to talk to at first and she really likes me, according to how things have gone. However, I don’t feel ready to give up being single yet and I’m not really attracted to her enough to do that. And she seems to be getting the impression we’ll be in a relationship eventually. I want to let her know without hurting her feelings and also have our date and have a good time. It might be hard to do. Well, she did mention we can hang out the next day if things go well the first day. So I suppose I may not really need to tell her anything and we can just do what we wanted to do.
I keep telling myself I have to be really picky this time when it comes to being in the next relationship. I just can’t settle anymore. It makes me feel stuck and wanting more. I went to this all-day bachata event in NYC with workshops and partying all night and it was fun. I found myself meeting a lot of girls there, and while several were attractive, I did not even care to remember their names. I really just wanted to dance and get better. Of course that doesn’t mean I’d turn down a hook up, I just wouldn’t put forth a lot of effort to make it happen. I had plenty of girls asking me for dances, which was awesome too. I just wish my calves weren’t sore and that my feet weren’t killing me at the same time. I was really hurting afterwards. I even had a girl ask for my number towards the end. She was ok to dance with but she was kinda cute so why not.
As far as the quality of dances are concerned, I had a mix of good and ok ones. Of course I have to be realistic and know that most women aren’t advanced so I won’t always get those amazing dances, but I at least had some I would consider “amazing.” Speaking of amazing, there’s this one girl who I always see at bachata events in NYC, and she’s really fun to dance with because she never fails to make eye contact and is always smiling. My first dance with her that night was nothing short of amazing. It was more than I imagined it would be. She was very smooth, sensual, and thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. I asked for a second dance an hour or so later on and while she was still the same with eye contact and smiling, the vibe just wasn’t the same somehow. Like the energy had dissipated for whatever reason. I find myself with this situation at times with other girls too. Like the first meeting/dance was great, then it wasn’t so the second time. I guess it’s sort of a life metaphor. You may feel enamored with someone at first, but once you get past that “honeymoon stage,” the spark is lost. For me, I’d like to find someone who I’ll always have that “spark” with. That would be really something.
And speaking of which, I do feel I’ve met that person, and that was the girl I met in Baltimore. I actually didn’t think much of our first dance, but she really enjoyed it that she came up to me for a second dance after. And THEN that’s when I started to really enjoy dancing with her, to the point where nothing I do could be wrong, even if I messed up, and every single moment we had on the dance floor was magical. I am kinda mad she got me feeling this way though, because I never got her contact info, not even her Facebook. Well, at least the good thing is I know what to look for now.
I’d like to write down some things that are important to me and what I’d like to achieve this year.
1. Be happy
2. Dance a lot, train, perform, and be one of the best on each team I’m in. Be really good at social dancing, meet a lot of new people, make connections.
3. Go out on dates. Have fun meeting new people, traveling and sharing new experiences.
4. My ideal woman. Pretty (who doesn’t want that?), fun to be around, have an amazing connection with on the dance floor, intensely attracted to me as I am to her, doesn’t get jealous, secure of herself, looks good without makeup, and easygoing. That seems enough. If I list any more I’ll just be way more picky than I already am.
5. Get promoted to Staff Sergeant.
6. Get deployed.
7. Be a better person than I was yesterday and each day that passes.
It’s been a while since I wrote here, and I have to say I’ve been through quite a bit the past couple of weeks or so. But I’ll only focus on the more significant parts. Last night I went to the Baltimore Salsa Bachata Congress and while I only took one workshop and danced for hours, I had a great time. Finally I was able to enjoy a night where I can dance bachata for a long time without having to rotate to salsa or other music. I got to experience some really good dances also, and met/danced with some attractive girls. It was a lot of fun. There was one girl in particular I ended up really liking and she was feeling me from the start. She was one of those girls I danced with where no matter how many times we messed up, it was all good and it never felt awkward. And it was just one of those dances where you didn’t want the song to end, and stay wrapped in each other’s arms forever. It felt like being in love, honestly. I’m still feeling the high from last night that I can’t even properly describe the feeling that I had. And it wasn’t just her that I enjoyed my dances with, although I’d say the dances with her were the most pleasurable.
I’ll admit that I don’t know a lot of crazy turn patterns like some guys. To me, that doesn’t always equate to a good dance experience, cause when you’re just doing turn patterns you might as well dance salsa, since that’s what it looks like. On another end, you can be dancing close the entire time and make it look awkward cause it looks like the guy is just thirsty. To me, I try to keep it balanced between doing footwork, turn patterns, and the sensual stuff. Although I added more sensuality than usual by using a lot of eye contact and slowing the dance down and taking my time to do the moves in a way that my partner doesn’t feel like she’s being jerked around. I did dance with some girls who barely returned eye contact and I thought that was kinda annoying to deal with. Even some girls I saw who I thought were good, weren’t fun to dance with once I realized they barely made eye contact. I just like making that connection by eye contact and I feel it really helps make the song better and more enjoyable to dance to. I also found that the girls typically like the sensual stuff when it’s slow and deliberate. So maintain eye contact, a few turn patterns, keeping distance at first, get close eventually, then pull away, and come back in. Even while close I still pull back a little bit just to keep that eye contact and that’s always fun, looking at each other intimately like we’re about to kiss but we’re not.
I’m gonna have to go more of these types of events, where the venue is playing mainly bachata. I almost feel like I should start DJ’ing, cause I know exactly what’s good to play, and most DJ’s don’t have the variety of tracks that I do. I’m too tired to write anymore, I’m done.
This weekend I just felt off during and after social dancing, but I realize it’s just what happens when one’s trying to improve. This is one of those things that just takes some time to master, and you just have to keep going no matter what. I can’t let anything discourage me. I also realized I haven’t even been dancing that long. I started dancing bachata around March 2013, but I was really on and off that year. I only went out and took lessons a handful of times. In 2014, I picked up dancing again around August, and was pretty consistent with taking lessons and social dancing until I left for basic in November. I was also on and off in 2015, where I danced once or twice around March, May, and then I took a bachata shines performance challenge in November and performed in December. I still wasn’t going out every weekend like I should’ve. It wasn’t until this past January where I really picked things up and took it to another level. And now it’s March 13th, so basically I’ve only been doing this on a regular basis for 2 and a half months. 2 and a half months more and I’m set to perform the 4 routines I’m learning. In conclusion, I’ve done so much the past couple of months that it literally has felt like 6 months or more. I can’t be down on myself like this when I’ve actually made a lot of progress since January. I learned a lot and improved a lot. I’ve made several friends and I got to dance with a lot of them this weekend, so I should be thankful that I’ve been able to do this. Because if I was still on and off like I have the past few years, I’d be that guy who just sits by himself and doesn’t really talk to anybody, or someone who’d prefer to stay home because it doesn’t feel worth it to travel a bit just to dance.
I have to look at the big picture. My problem is I’m too critical of myself sometimes. I understand I want to be really good right away, but I suppose it’s just not realistic to achieve greatness in a couple of months. It takes several, even years, to get to that level.
I also realize I still have insecurities that I need to address. One is that I don’t like looking at myself in the mirror, and to get better as a dancer, you have to look at yourself in the mirror at all times so you can see where you need to fix things and know what looks good and what doesn’t.
Another thought that’s been coming to mind lately…I know financially I’m not in the best situation, especially at my age. And while most people would expect me to focus on establishing a career for myself so I don’t have to worry about bills, here I am focusing on doing what I love instead. Why? Because screw people’s expectations. Life is short, and I have to enjoy every moment I’m given, you never know when it will be your last.
All my plans for this weekend have pretty much gone out the window. This weekend is the reserve duty one but since I ‘re-scheduled’ it I thought I didn’t have to come in. Apparently I was wrong. I still have to show up since I’m on my annual tour. Because of this I had to cancel my plans to practice with G and stay over the night in NYC. I wouldn’t have gotten any sleep and I would’ve been exhausted if I had gone through with it. Instead I went home and fell asleep for hours. I pretty much spent the majority of the day and night sleeping. It felt good to be tested yet I’m disappointed that I didn’t get to dance and experience staying overnight in New York for the first time.
I’m hoping to have the opportunity next week since I’ll actually have the weekend off then. Oh yeah I have to miss 2 rehearsals tomorrow as well, so this pretty much sucks.
Thursday night I got to hang out with J at her place, watching videos and practicing a bit, although we didn’t get much done with that. It did feel awkward only because bachata is an intimate dance. But it was our first time practicing so maybe next time it will get better. I slept on the pull out bed and it was actually pretty comfy as it was memory foam. Even though I told her she didn’t have to, she still woke up early when I did and made me a sandwich for breakfast, which was nice. The weather sucked so I had to drive through some crappy snow and around crappy drivers. And I was still an hour early to work.
I am regretting the fact I signed up for my annual tour in March because the timing couldn’t be any more inconvenient. Fuck. I can’t wait for these 2 weeks to be over.
I believe I fell asleep around 2:30 then woke up around 6 AM and I could not fall back asleep since. I’m wide awake yet tired at the same time.
I’ve officially backed out of the salsa team. Pretty sure my director is disappointed but it is what it is. I’m in 2 of his 3 teams so he can’t really be that mad. It’s a huge weight off my shoulders for sure. Now I can fully focus on what I love the most. Dancing bachata. With a sprinkle of kizomba, and some zouk every now and then. And having fun doing it. Also meeting new people and building relationships with people.
It’s a new week. I learned some new stuff yesterday and revisited some footwork that also needs polishing. My Tuesdays are finally freed up so I can do other things besides take lessons or go to a rehearsal. Maybe I’ll go to a Bachatuesday in New York at some point. Who knows. I’m just glad I don’t have to stress over a salsa routine anymore.
I feel like this weekend is gonna be hectic. I’m supposed to practice with a friend on Friday after I get out of work, then we’re going to my favorite spot in NYC after. She’s even letting me stay the night, which is nice. Now I know what you’re thinking. She has another room with a separate bed, and that’s where I’ll be sleeping. Then I have to leave early the next day so I can meet up with J to practice with her at her place in Philly in the afternoon. It’s gonna be a lot of running around. Should be fun though.
My thoughts are all over the place this morning. Ugh. Yesterday’s rehearsal was interesting. I’m talking about the 3rd and last one. Although I don’t have it down perfect, I was pretty much the only guy who came in knowing all the steps we were taught, since I’ve been practicing by myself and with G the previous Friday. Some of the girls didn’t know the new partnerwork from last week also, so I had to lead them to it, which was cool to do. I got to prove to myself that I can lead, even if it’s not perfect and as long as I got them to the end of their part, that’s what matters. I saw some impressed faces too, so I know I did some good work.
Other things that’s been on my mind. My current life situation. I know it’s busy right now although I’m not exactly making a lot of money. I have my annual tour starting on Friday. I’m praying to get on Day shift so I can have a life outside of work for the next couple of weeks. That would be a real blessing. My supervisor will have to cope. I’ll make decent money off that. But the real question is making money on a consistent basis. I may be accepted on a full time job for at least 11 months, possibly more if they really want me in their company permanently, which would be nice. But I’m not counting on it. I’m supposed to start school in April, but it’s looking like I may just postpone it so I can keep enjoying my time off. I think I can survive with a part-time job and collecting unemployment in the meantime, while being wise with purchases.
I’m still on the same stance with my dating situation. I’m not concerned with other people’s expectations of me. I’m just here to have fun and enjoy life, cause it’s short. These years will pass by very quickly and then that’s when we realize how much we missed out and how much stuff we should’ve done. It’s my duty to do whatever it takes to be happy right now.