I'm Okay and Then I'm Not

Adulting, Dance, Mental Health, Womanprenuer

I wish this blog post was fun. I wish I was taking about fashion trends I’m currently loving or discussing ways to switch your old products to safer beauty, but I just don’t have it in me today.

A week ago I was hit with the reality that my business would be “shut down” until AT LEAST April 3rd. I own a dance studio and I make a living off of being there, in person, with my students. That’s my favorite part about this business actually is the personal connection I have with my kids. Yes, there’s other options and thank goodness we have technology, but it’s not the same.

I am a part of this network of dance teachers/studio owners on Facebook and while it’s been amazingly helpful at times…it has caused me so much anxiety through this process. There are thousands of members and among them are studios that have been around for 50+ years or instructors that have been teaching for 20 years or dance companies with hundreds and hundreds of students with the money/resources to tape professional, online lessons etc…. THIS as a beginner with a small town studio has made me feel inadequate and completely shaken my confidence. Gosh, I sound whiny, but it’s how I feel!

Here I am 100 miles from my studio. I have teachers that are amazing, but they are scattered around trying to still keep up with their own college classes, now online. I thought I knew how to lesson plan, but physically not being there has me stumped. Yes, I am aware of the Band App and Zoom. I’ve heard it all and I’ve read every suggestion out there. It’s a mess and today, I’m just not able to pull myself out of the negativity.

I have emailed out next steps to my WDC families. Even through my hopelessness, I do believe communication and transparency are key. I do have some solutions at the moment and I know for a fact everything will be okay…eventually.

I feel guilty for even throwing myself a pity party when there’s people out there loosing family members to this virus or the elderly who don’t have much time left and aren’t able to have visitors or the students with horrible home-life situations who rely on the schools for food and stability. It’s all too much right now.

The weight of it all feels so heavy. So heavy in fact that I want to lay on this couch and hide for awhile. I know my body needs to move and I have plenty of dancing/exercising I need to do, but I don’t want to. I’m tired.

If you know me, you know I try so hard to see the positive and keep the humor alive even in the midst of the chaos, but today I have nothing to give. I am nothing to laugh about.

I hate writing blogs like this…. where I have no advice at the end. No profound statement to give you all. No amazing words of wisdom or empowerment. All I have is sadness in my heart today and if that’s you too, you’re not alone.

Most days I power through, but I know it’s okay if there’s days where I can’t. You don’t have to either. Whatever inconveniences you may be feeling right now because of this damn virus, big or small, you are entitled to them. You want to cry? do it. You want to scream? do it.

Growing up, when I was stressed out, I remember my mom telling me to just do at least one thing or get just one thing accomplished that day. I’ve been overwhelmed since birth, I swear to god! But, I carry that advice with me especially in situations like this. One task at a time. One hour at a time. One moment at a time.

I will eventually be my motivated self again, I just know it, but for now negative Taryn is going to try to accomplish at least 1 more thing today. Positive Taryn will be back soon.

Much love,

T

Coaching – The Toughest Job in the World

Dance, Womanprenuer

As another year of coaching comes to end, I’ve been reflecting on the last 9 months and also looking at a few of my unpublished articles that I’ve written throughout the year. Some things I wasn’t able to make public, because I try my hardest to be respectful and classy. I did have a situation this year that made me question it all. It was with a dance mom, and you guys, 95% of dance moms are NOT like the show! But, there are some that have kept me up at night. In this particular chaotic meeting, I was called some choice words and I also used some choice words back. It was an out-of-body moment honestly. The anger boiled over into something that I am not proud of.

These incidents as a coach, instructor, dance studio owner always hit me hard. They knock me down harder than I’d like to admit actually. I can’t eat. I feel numb. I feel like the anxiety might never leave me!

I came home after that dramatic night completely depleted and embarrassed. How could I let myself slip so far away from inner peace and who I truly am? Even after apologizing multiple times at the end of the meeting and getting words of support from mothers I respect, I was still filled with self-doubt. My one saving grace was that the moms who know me well knew that my outburst was all out of love and passion.

And….they’re right. I am an “all-in” type of person and when I teach/coach, I put my absolute everything into it. My heart, body, mind, and soul go into teaching these young people. I think what is most frustrating as a coach is that nobody, or very few, truly see that 100%. Nobody knows just how much anxiety you get thinking you didn’t do enough. Nobody sees how much it kills you when one of your players/dancers/students is struggling. Nobody sees you up until midnight planning practice for the next day or doing 5+ hours of choreography just because if they don’t get 1st place, it will be your fault. Nobody sees the tears you cry when you have to make a judgement call that inevitably will disappoint someone!

Speaking of disappointing someone…that was and is a constant battle as a coach/teacher. Not trying to throw myself a huge pity party over here, but if you’re a coach, you’re signing up to ALWAYS let people down. It’s a fact! I’m learning to accept that and understand that there are parents out there that are miserable people, unfortunately, and they will always have a problem with something. What I can’t get behind though, is parents trying to do a coaches job. I’ve had about enough of that and speaking for coaches that have left great programs…they’ve had enough too.

Parents, you have to stop doing this to your coaches or there will be none left. Trust in that they want what is best for the whole team and that when your child signs up to be a part of a TEAM, they are sacrificing their personal needs. If you can not accept that, then maybe your child should take up an activity or sport where they compete….ALONE!

What pains me most is that I get along with 92% of people I come in contact with. Not trying to be full of myself, but I really do enjoy people and I feel as though I am genuine and transparent so usually people respond well to that. That night I let one of those 8%ers get to me. There are some people who I really don’t think I’m meant to be civil with.

I don’t believe I conducted myself like an “adult” at that meeting, but the kicker is, neither did some of the “real” adults. One thing I will not do is apologize for caring. I don’t take back my passion or desire to do what’s best for the TEAM. I refuse to toughen up my soft heart and soul, but I think I do need to learn to protect it a littler harder. As I look back, I felt so defeated and in all honesty, I was wondering if the constant criticism was something I could continue to subject myself too. I thought about the future of my family and the way I want to raise my children. Do I want to subject them to the stresses of having their mom be a coach and/or teacher?

Now, that it’s been months later after some amazing success and milestones with my team, I know that leading young women is a place I need to be. The more struggles I have, the more I will learn about how to navigate such an important role. When I have children one day, my patience will be solid (lots of practice) and I want them to see me struggle. There’s something special about your kids seeing that you are human and I truly appreciate that my parents weren’t always perfect. It made me realize that there is beauty in the hiccups of life.

I love my dancers and time will tell. My soul will guide me, always does, even if it guides me to an overly stressful dance mom meeting, I am right where I’m meant to be, always.

Much love,

T