my mom found an old vhs tape of my old 1992 dance recital last week and as a family we watched my sister and me dance through our awkward preadolescence.
the tape filled my mom with nostalgia.
the tape filled my young niece with glee.
the tape filled my sister with shame.
the tape filled me to the brim with all three emotions because, seriously guys, i was 11 years old, and just starting to have my growth spurt, and i was not good. like, embarrassingly not good. but i loved it. i watched myself spazz out in front of an audience with my giant, BEAMING, brace-faced smile, and was just so glad that i'm not 11 years old anymore.
okay, but seriously guys, my perfectionist sister was mortified. "why did you make us do that?" she asked my mom. "we were so bad! and we, like, worked so hard at it! why weren't we better??"
my sister watches a lot of reality dance shows, so i think her standard for a 90's era, low to middle income, community dance studio is a tad skewed, but i also think she's genuinely that hard on herself all the time.
my (equally perfectionist) mom kept trying to say that we were beautiful dancers. however, the video evidence was pretty damning.
my (burgeoningly perfectionist) niece asked my sister why she thought we weren't good.
and my sister ranted a little more and then my mom turned off the tape and said, "you were really good."
i- the flighty bumblebee- marvelled at the fact that i STILL KNEW all of the choreography. and yes, during the entire exchange between my mom and sister i was standing in the middle of the room, dancing along. get off my back!!
but truthfully, i was annoyed.
not because of the harsh, yet accurate, criticism of my youthful hoofing.
but because it took me decades to learn how to be bad at things. i still really, really struggle to do things i like when i'm not good at them.
and i hated seeing that attitude of only enjoying the things you're good at getting passed on to the next generation.
i feel like i need a better ending than that... um... i love that i suck!