I have to say, this is not what I imagined my first blog post to be. I, in my perfectly built castle in the air, imagined I would start to talk about what makes me special and I’d write something really intriguing which would keep you guys coming back for more. Spoiler alert, that has not been the case. My entire life has been upside down (which is not an excuse) and I’ve been trying to pen a few words for over a month now. Now I’m not the kind of person who is short of words (when writing), but this time I couldn’t bring myself to say anything.
“What would these people want to read sef? What if I write and they don’t like it? What if they are not interested in your story? It will be for nothing! Who sent you work now?”
For the past few weeks, these are the conversations I’ve been having with myself. I had this huge idea to talk about everything I’m going through as a dancer, every conversation I have with people and with myself, every time I fail and every time I reach a milestone. The goal is to document my growth, so why is it so hard??
In the past week, I’d been sick. Not to say it was a good thing but I really needed that time off work to think and really get myself together. Even though I had taken a break from work earlier, I didn’t take a minute to sit and really breathe. So I guess I’m saying that the sickness was blessing in disguise…. As the sickness took its toll on me, I couldn’t dance, couldn’t walk (don’t be alarmed oh, I was just dizzy every time I stood so I was in bed all day), I was just very weak. So I used the time to take a step back to analyze everything. “Ijeme”, I said to myself, “you’re putting too much pressure on yourself” Those words hit me… It was as if someone was scolding me because right after I said it, I began to panic. How did I even get here? How did I set so many deadlines for myself? How is it possible that I don’t have hypertension with the way I’m overworking myself?
“But my blog”, I replied myself, ” it’s been there since, I haven’t put anything up”. And then as if I just switched personalities, I replied myself, “Oya, rush it now, write rubbish… shebi you want to kill yourself. Little steps Ijeme, little steps”. Then it dawned on me, where am I rushing to, please? I have been so obsessed with the idea that I’m getting too old to achieve my dreams that I almost forgot that I am someone who believes in breaking barriers. How will it be extraordinary if it’s not extremely difficult? I started dancing at 19. People with professional careers start at 3 years old and by the time they’re my age, they are settling into a dance company to dance for the rest of their career. I would beat myself up because of how stiff my muscles were, but it was in those moments of hating my situation that I pushed myself to stretch. I had no teacher, no dance school. It was just me. I am nowhere near where I want to be but I have to admit that I am so far past where i started. Little steps, little steps. Put in the Nigerian slang, I can’t comman kee myself….
This past week has been an eye opener for me. I realized that I am not rushing anywhere, I’m taking little steps. The reason I decided to start this blog was because I wanted people to understand my journey, I wanted people to see why I struggle so much for this thing called ‘contemporary dance’… They ask me, “why don’t you do contemporary and afro too, people will like to see that, try afro or make it afro contemporary”. Not that I don’t appreciate the care and the love, I just wish people would understand me, my journey and my goals.
One of my favorite songs to listen to is ‘The Climb’ by Miley Cyrus. She says, “Ain’t about how fast I get there, ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side, it’s the climb”.
My heart beats a little faster whenever I hear those words, I’m not rushing anywhere, I am enjoying every milestone along the way, I am taking little steps.
This is my journal, my online journal…my journey, please walk with me. We’re taking little steps….