The Cocoon Chronicles - Chapter 1

Welcome to the Cocoon Chronicles.

This blog was inspired by the idea of transformation--not just your average, run-of-the-mill transformation, but specifically, the transformation of a woman who has spent her life following the “rules,” living her life to meet the expectations of others, and succumbing to the voice in her head that has told her that she had to stay small.

She grew up never quite fitting in, was always too much or not enough for the people in her world, and saddest of all, she believed the lies that told her she wasn’t

“enough” EXACTLY the way she was.

Does this  sound familiar?

Have you ever felt this way?

I’m here today to bust those LIES.....‘cuz really, that’s what they are. BIG, FAT, LIES.

Here’s what’s TRUE:

There will only and forever be one YOU.

Just one.

YOU are the perfect YOU because there is no other.

Even with all your quirks, all those traits that make you uniquely you....even if you are at the very beginning of your journey, with no idea of where you’re going....even then...you are perfect exactly as you are in this moment.

Scary, huh?

But a little bit of a relief, if you’re really honest with yourself. May not feel like it now, but deep, inside...in the depths of your soul, you know this is true. Problem is, we have YEARS, decades even , of UN-learning to do! Society has brainwashed women into believing that there’s something (many things, actually, if you believe that BS) inherently wrong with us, simply because we’re women. How NUTS is that?

But here’s the real deal: having an entire segment of society believe that there’s something wrong with them opens up a huge opportunity to use that insecurity, lack of self-worth, desire to be better/look younger/thinner....etc, creates a NEED.

Welcome to the wonderful world of beauty products, cosmetic procedures, & the diet industry. It’s all about the MONEY!

And here’s the kicker.....since there’s truly nothing “wrong”, this creates a never ending need to fill. Nothing will “fix” us, really, because there’s nothing to fix!

So we’ve ended up with generations of women trying to fight the aging process (good luck with THAT), competing with an ideal of beauty that is unachievable, women making themselves over in a false image of “perfection” in which  everyone is trying to look the same.

Have you noticed how women are starting to look alike? As if there’s some mold that they’re designed from? (Kim K, I'm looking at you!) It makes me so sad, because they are denying their individual beauty, all those unique things that make them special, to conform to a cookie cutter clone.

Time to break that mold!

After years of trying to “fit in,” I’ve decided that I’m done trying to squeeze myself into a box that is not made for me. There’s a great, big gorgeous world out there and it’s time for me to live MY life...no one else’s.

Does it feel weird?

HELL YEAH!

It’s almost as if I’m looking around for someone to give me permission to live my life.

BANANAS!

I’ve spent the better part of my life aspiring to do what was expected of me (in my own, defiant way of course).  I’m done trying to fulfill what I think someone else expects of me.
 

Once upon a time, I was a dancer.

It was ALL I dreamt of.

All my free time, outside of school, was spent in class, practicing dance routines, stretching in my room. This was in the early 80s and “Fame” & “Flashdance” were popular movies of the day. I would get lost in the movies, dissecting the movements and trying to learn the routines. Trying over & over to perfect what I saw on screen. I imagined that was ME on the screen, living that life, living the dream.

It started innocently enough...

There I was...

Only child.

Only grandchild...and a GIRL!

Spoiled rotten.

I’m told I was a hyper active kid.....probably trying to get all the attention I could get...lol!

SO....my mom put me in ballet classes at the age of 4.

Probably thought the discipline would be good for me...and would tire me out.

Who knew I’d take to it like I did?
Looking back, I think that may have been the beginning of my “not enough-ness”....

The world of ballet is precise, competitive, and thrives on perfection. Even at that age, I remember my teacher pushing me to be better, more exact in my movements, lift my leg higher....you get the idea.

Trying to squeeze myself into the image of the “perfect” ballet dancer.

Over the years, I experimented with tap, gymnastics, and other activities, but I finally came back to ballet around the age of 11.

I dedicated myself and committed to doing whatever it took to be the best.

A few years later, I auditioned for a spot at the School of American Ballet. I didn’t make the cut.

The reason?

I didn’t have the body of a classical ballet dancer.

My body had betrayed me.

At that point, if I could have cut off my ass and my muscular legs, I would have.

Instead, I did the next best thing...I shifted to jazz classes and fell in love with them.

My classic training served me well, and I thrived.

By this time, I was a junior in high school and the expectation was that I would go on to college...first in my immediate family to do so. Lots of pressure.

And I didn’t want to go!

I wanted to DANCE....

I also didn’t want to disappoint my family...especially my mom, who had worked so hard to give me opportunities she hadn’t had. She refused to let me go to public school and, instead I won a scholarship to an esteemed all girls private school.

I applied to schools with strong dance programs and agreed to “try it” for a year.

Long story short, I went to school, spent most of my free time in NY taking class and auditioning. After my freshman year, I quit and devoted myself to dancing. I worked in restaurants, and between that and my intense class schedule, I blew out my knee.

My dream was over.

Well meaning relatives told me to get serious, get a “real” job and settle down.....and that was the beginning of how I learned to settle for a "normal" life.

 

...to be continued...