my journey with truth

Archive for the ‘ComfortTX’ Category

Dear Beatrice,
How are you?  I [sic] just gonna jumble everything together.  I miss Comfort so much.  I miss Kota and Jesse and Don and Susan and Andrew and Casey and Lois and David and Brittney and the football field and the church and the 4th of July parade.  I miss fireflies and jumping on the trampoline.  I miss life being perfect.  I miss the time of my life when boys and girls were friends.  I want a boyfriend.  I want someone to like me.  It’s not fair.  I miss Pawpee and Mimi.  David and Lance were in a car wreck today.  We only have 2 more days of school left.  Tomorrow I’m going to Celebration Station.  I just want to give Jesse and Kota a big hug.  I’m scared to grow up.  I feel like 6th grade has flown by all too quickly.  I made 1st chair for 7th grade honor band.  I also tried out for advanced choir.  Miss Altrogge said I made a perfect score.  I was confirmed on Sunday.  I want a boyfriend so badly!  Next year I’m going to knock ’em dead!  I also like ____ ______.  He seems really nice but once again I choose to like someone that I have no chance for.  He’s in 9th grade.  Today in P.E. I jammed my middle finger on my right hand.  It’s bruised but I think I’ll be OK.  I gotta go take a shower.  Maybe I’ll write again later tonight or tomorrow.

:`) [my attempt at a smiley face with tears?]
Lizzie

Well, guess what.  I still want a boyfriend.  And I can’t believe I used the phrase “I’m going to knock ’em dead!”  Like, I actually wrote out an apostrophe-em.

Most telling to me in this entry is the deep truth that growing up is chaotic.  I don’t think I’m alone in that.  And I don’t have any illusions that my experience of growing up represents either an extreme or a “normal” (I hate that word) version of it.  It was my own.  That’s all I can know about it.  And yet, as I have loved children all my life (including while being one) and have worked with children and youth through college, seminary, and the real world, I think that it has a universal element.  The chaos of growing up, that is.  And in the midst of that chaos, we humans will grab at anything that resonates with order, simplicity, and comfort.  It just so happens my version of order, simplicity, and comfort includes capital “C” Comfort, Texas.

I assume I felt really crummy that day.  I’m bad at consistent journaling (uh, hello blog) and always have been, so usually if there’s an entry it either means I’m in a crisis mode of some sort and am trying to sort through things by writing it out… or it’s about a boy.  Whatever brought me to the low point of that day, it’s interesting that in the very middle of it (seriously, sentence 16 of 30) I say “I’m scared to grow up.”  Oh, sweet little 6th grade Lizzie “Holden Caulfield” Wright.  You have no idea what growing up is in one way, and yet I know you are hurting so right then over the growing up you’d already done by then.  Part of me wants to say “Get back to me when you truly can’t keep straight what day it is” or “Get back to me when you’ve said ‘I love you’ to someone and they say back ‘OK'” or “Get back to me when you’ve had a friend betray you for a job promotion” or “Get back to me when you have to swallow everyone telling you how you’re too young to really understand and yet you’re the one with the masters degree between the two of you”.

But I also remember what it felt like to ache for Comfort, TX.  It was life before any of that stuff (or any of the stuff that feels like it can never be named, never have that truth sounded out for fear of what might come of it) happened.  For one thing, it was probably life before you knew what days of the week even were.  But then isn’t it all the more strange in a sense that Comfort ends up getting translated by my psyche into order, simplicity and comfort?  So much so that the “jumbling” I do in this journal entry moves from missing a former hometown to self-worth defined through boyfriend (not that I declare that in the entry, but I kind of have an ‘in’ on what was going on there…) and then to the grief of lost grandparents to the danger of potentially losing friends (the car crash).  The chaos of growing up gets lumped in with deep grief, anxiety, and low self-esteem.

Well, I guess to be fair, little just-finished-sixth-grade Lizzie could turn right back around and tell me to snap out of it, too.  She could say “Friend, you may have dealt with some deep grief and deeper grief, some anxiety and some depression, some low self-esteem and some terrible terrible life decisions made out of it, but you have also created some order (I said some), sought out simplicity, and given comfort.”  And she might remind me it’s ok to cry.  Some things change over time, sometimes we learn from ourselves, sometimes these “sometimes” take a long time.  And some things never change – like I need to go take a shower.

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I took ballet as a child from Ms. Bobbie at the Comfort Hermann Sons Dance School.  Believe it or not, Ms. Bobbie still runs the whole show (see this flier, bottom right corner).  Either she’s ancient or she was succeeded by another Ms. Bobbie.  Either way, I’m kind of not shocked.

I was a very meticulous 5 year old in ballet.  My mom always says I looked so serious because I was concentrating on getting everything right, but then, I got everything right.  That was a time in my life when I felt good about my body.  Even as a little girl, I knew I was a little bit bigger than the other girls in my class, but I was good at ballet.  I could do all the moves.  I was a little hesitant when we did “gymnastics” (somersaults and cartwheels) at the end of each class, but otherwise, I felt just right.  My body felt just right.  My body was technically the best in the class.  And my body looked amazing in those recital outfits.  My body was transformed into a princess’s body.  The shirt I’m wearing below used to be my cover-up shirt – that’s the one you wear over your black leotard and pink tights before and after class.  It used to go down to my knees.  I also used to fit on playgrounds.

We moved from Comfort when I was 7.  I never really got back into dance after that move.  I had also been playing tee ball before the move (only girl on my team and a slugger of sorts), and should have moved up to softball the next year.  But we moved.  And I never really got back into a sport after that, either.  All the kids in my new neighborhood swam (I cheered the Forest Oaks Frogs at many a meet) and it seemed like you needed to have been swimming for years to keep up – next to no one even had a pool in Comfort, TX.  The active things that had made my body capable or even a little talented were gone, so all I was left with was the part where I remembered and saw my body as bigger.  And soon that came to mean it was incapable and untalented.  It was just big.

Nearly 20 years later, enter Ninth Street Dance Studio.

“Ninth Street Dance opened its doors in 1993 with the belief that people of all ages, shapes and sizes can enjoy and benefit from learning to dance. Not a studio for professional dancers, we invite anyone who would like to explore new ways of moving and inhabiting their bodies to join us. We strive to provide a nurturing, non-threatening environment in which beginners as well as experienced dancers/movers can enjoy their favorite movement styles or try out a wide variety of new ones.”

I take beginner ballet on Thursdays with Raina and Saturdays with Danielle.  For 60 short minutes twice a week, I feel long and graceful.  Even when I look in the mirror and remember I’m short and wide, I see my arms and my legs doing the right thing, and I’m still graceful.  Grace-full, I should say.  For 60 short minutes twice a week, I gracefully give my body a little slack for being short and wide.  It doesn’t have to be anything other than what it already is.  Even short and wide my body is able to turn my feet out into 1st position, my arms curve well and not stiffly en bas or in 5th position (don’t forget to keep your shoulders down).  For 60 short minutes twice a week, I love my body for knowing how to move rhythmically, keeping time without thinking about it – it’s just something it knows how to do, even if it is short and wide.

I am not a ballerina.  That is the harsh truth.  I have terrible flexibility – you can see it in my demi-plié, which is shallow (if I try to dip just a little bit farther, keeping my pelvis tucked under and not sticking out my butt, that means my heels have to try desperately to stay grounded so as not to cross over into grand-plié in 1st position) but maintains good form.  My feet don’t curve as much as I’d like them to for that beautiful shape ballerinas make in tendu or dégagé, but they curve and my big toe just touches and I strain to keep my turnout, imagining my ankles being pulled forward (as Raina reminds me).

I am not a ballerina.  But for 60 short minutes twice a week, my short, wide body is long and grace-full.



  • None
  • myjourneywithtruth: i had it in my office at my internship in Corpus Christi two summers ago. ellen davis is brilliant and glows with an aura of holy.
  • amy h: i love this quote. i think i may need it hanging on my wall where i'll see it daily. perhaps in front of the toilet? by the door? bedside table? i'll
  • chaz: That post made me really sad too. Mostly because I want to take young Lizzie by the shoulders and shake her (gently?) into sublime realization that sh

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