boyshapedbox: (me in baby drag)
The extremely fabulous [livejournal.com profile] smiley_kiley asks: What sparked your love of dance?

Simple: My Sister, Alissa.

If anyone has seen the musical "A Chorus Line" and remembers the first monologue/dance number "I Can Do That!" then they know the story of my life.

My sister went to dance classes, and me being 4 years younger went along and sat with my mother. There was a waiting room, a back room/dressing room/bathroom, and the main dance floor room. I used to sit in the doorway between the waiting room with all the parents, and the main dance room and study what my sister was doing. Then I would run to the backroom and try it by myself. Over and over I would watch, run, practice, run, watch, repeat.
Well one day I got caught by the dance teacher in the back room dancing. She asked me if I wanted to take tap classes and I said yes. I was only 3, and the age to start was 4, so she told me that the next year when I turned 4 I could start in beginner tap classes.

By age 7 I excelled in tap and began competing solo dance routines to (surprise surprise) Gene Kelly tunes (as well as actually performing to "I can do that" kinda an homage to my sister). I started winning titles, and getting gold medals and trophies. I competed for 7 years and never got anything less than a gold medal which meant that when you got a gold, it made you eligible for nationals. I competed at nationals, I won nationals in Louisianna (or was it New York? which year? help me Alissa) which was the nationals for the Eastern half of the country. I only lost one title in that entire time and it was because I had bronchitis (I still got a gold, but my overall score wasn't the highest). I ended up tapping all over New England and down the coast. I tapped on 42nd St, and at tap festivals, as well as guest performed at the Gerber Headquarters, Jacobs Pillow, was asked to tap dance at the Rose Bowl, and TOTALLY pulled a Tiffany and tap danced on a small MALL tour to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy. I also was in a ballet company for 11 years that she was a part of. I was a lead dancer which made it tough to have a social life. I was one of maybe 4 main guys in a ballet company, so needless to say it was crazy strenuous. As well I competed in Gymnastics for 7 years, was in the Jazz Band, and competed in group competition numbers. When you dance 6 days a week from age 4 to age 17 you miss out on a lot, but when you love something it is so worth it.

But I owe it all to my sister. She inspired me, she kept me grounded, she didn't let me get a big head, or slack off after I won. She got me down to the local community center, she persuaded them to let us use the stage/auditorium, and she would have me practice for an hour or two every week ALONG with my normal practices. She was there before the competition to help me warm up and stretch as well as to calm me down, as well as afterward to congratulate me and tell me how proud she was. She was there before hand to make sure my costume was set, and that my makeup was good. She went with me on trips to Nationals and took care of me because my parents had to work and couldn't go. She was there to listen to me bitch about smelly dance partners, as well as give me pointers on what I could do to improve myself. She took a backseat and graciously dealt with being "Richard's Sister" for years and years.

I loved dancing, but I needed that push to be the best I could be. She was there to push me when I needed to be pushed. Sometimes I hated it, but I look back and I can't thank her enough for sometimes having to be the bad guy, but I think she did it because she knew I'd appreciate it down the road.

I love you Alissa, and I can't thank you enough.
boyshapedbox: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] mulekick asks: I have a BIG question: Time is short, what is important and what is unimportant?

Wow. That is both a really tough, but surprisingly easy question....depends how you look at it.

I could go on and on about how sometimes things that are important become unimportant, and vice versa, so staying intune to what you really want and need is ESSENTIAL.

Things that will ALWAYS remain important to me is family and friends.
My life would be completely wasted if I didn't appreciate 100% of the time spent with them. I surround myself with people that are EASY to hang out with, people that really get me. If you have to stuggle to remain friends, then it isn't worth it. That energy could be spent on someone deserving.
boyshapedbox: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] dhbearguy asks: All the time I've spent with you, you have been upbeat, happy and fun loving. Have you since coming out experienced any bouts of being down and depressed?

Like any other person I have my ups and downs....but there is one quote that I live by and that it really describes how my brain works.
*caution* incoming cheesy quote:

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."

I know I know....cheeeees-tastic. But it's really true.
I am a very optimistic person and I really think that focusing on the good, rather than the bad, can get anyone through anything.
I've gone through many heartshattering break ups that were completely out of my control, I've dealt with loss, I've dealt with heartache.
But in every situation there was atleast a moment of happiness.

When my mom went through breast cancer that was a depressing time because I couldn't be in CT with her. But I was in constant contact with her and my sister and made sure that my presence was felt. I focused on what I COULD do, as opposed to what I couldn't do, and it helped.

Instead of focusing on all the negative aspects of something or someone, try and recall all the positive aspects and learn from them. Take the good, use that knowledge of what makes you happy and try to find it in other places or other people.

Yes, I get depressed. And it's hard when I am alone, but when I'm around other people that make me happy, and when I focus on that, I can usually change my mood.

*******edit**********

I just reread the question, and the phrase "since coming out" makes me think this question was more relationship oriented than just general depression.

When it comes to men I am very sensitive. On the outside I am both confident yet shy. I am pretty reserved even though I don't project that to others.
I have a very clear idea what makes me happy, and what brings me joy both emotionally and phyically. I think it has to do with learning from previous failed relationships. I learned what made me happy, and what I just won't stand around me. I learned to appreciate the little things that you can't get from just anybody. Although, I have a hard time expressing my appreciation to others, but that is a whole other problem all together.
The things that get me depressed, and stick with me, are the aspects outside of my control.
Having to move.
Boyfriend is addicted to drugs/is a dealer.
Boyfriend is mentally and emotionally unstable and without the means to stabalize (ie. insurance and medication).

things like that. Those are harder to get over.

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