The year was 2003, I had gotten my very first Vegas gig and you couldn’t tell me shit. I didn’t know at the time that they were only looking to fill one spot and I’m glad because there were so many dancers and I probably would’ve been nervous. I got the spot and it was my DREAM JOB. Costume & wig changes several times a night (ok yasssss), mostly improv, a little simple choreo, 9pm-4am, everyone was nice and the money was GOOD. You really couldn’t tell me shit.
Before moving to Vegas I was in a long term relationship throughout my 4 years of college. All in all the relationship had a positive impact on my life. He was a little older, very intelligent & extremely outspoken. He was a biology teacher but also could dance his ass off and naturally I was very attracted to that. The relationship had officially ended in part because I was dead set on moving to Vegas after graduation. He wasn’t in agreement with that choice for many reasons but my mind was made up.
Anyway he came to visit about 2 months into my Vegas life. I invited him to come see where I worked, I had drink tickets and shit, he could hang out for a bit whatever.
Now I was PROUD of myself…. fresh outta college,
got the first gig I auditioned for, cute lil apartment, my own car for the first time in my life. ADULTING, ok?
Well, he was not so proud. He couldn’t believe that I had jetted off to Vegas after getting a college degree and graduating with honors to merely “dance in a cage”. He felt that I was smarter than that and that I grabbed the low hanging fruit and chose to profit off my looks and sex appeal as opposed to my talent. It bothered him that people would see me as I dunno…. an airhead, uneducated, just part of the ambiance, a sex symbol whatever.
I was crushed. Even though we had broken up I still loved this man and I was proud to show off my independence. It was like I had broken the image of the virtuous student of the arts, young woman of substance that he knew me to be and now I was just another dime a dozen girl shaking ass and making tips in a fast assed city….. (because women are either this OR that never this AND that but that’s a whole different post for another day)
Recently while reflecting I thought damn…How glad am I that I didn’t internalize that shit!!
I understand now that he was projecting a lot on to me. He was the first in his fam to go to college, being from where he was from it was very important to him that people knew and respected his intellect. He would debate anybody down on anything.
I didn’t care. I’ve always been more of a listener than a speaker. I’m content to be quiet and let folks draw whatever conclusion they may based on whatever. We were so different in that way. I never thought about it then but I see it in retrospect.
As a 22 year old I don’t know how I was able to let that hurt roll off me. I mean I am stubborn af but I was wounded. And young. His opinion meant something to me.
But I chose to keep doing what was making me happy and I am thrilled at the way it’s all panned out.
Who knows what my life’s path may have looked like had I internalized someone else’s image of what I was supposed to be and built a life based on THAT!
I can’t imagine!