What a long two weeks this has been, made longer by sleep deprivation. Still, I'm not really complaining -- I'd do it all again and probably will next year.
It started out with me working all weekend (March 28-30) at the San Francisco Open. This is a really nice ballroom dancing competition held every spring at the Marriott near the San Francisco airport. I think the organizers, Stephan & Denise Krauel, are great and I enjoy being there to check-in the competitors and help them with schedule changes in their events. The SF Open gets larger every year, and I meet the most interesting people while working there.
I was home for a day, then I got on a plane to Baltimore to work at the USA Dance National DanceSport Championships. This was the largest Nationals ever, with well over 500 couples participating. The venue was beautiful -- the Renaissance Harbor Place -- and once again I met a lot of great people. I work at these competitions because I get huge satisfaction from helping to create the framework that allows these fabulous dancers to achieve their dance goals.
My own dance goal includes one day competing at Nationals, but that seems so impossible at this point. First of all, I need a dance partner. Second of all, I need a dance partner who is willing to spend the time and money to train and fly across country if necessary to compete in a Qualifier and then at Nationals. I might as well try to put a man on the moon. This is my one big sadness with competitive ballroom dancing: that none of my partnerships have clicked sufficiently. I've danced with some very good dancers who were wonderful people, but it takes a lot to put a super solid competitive relationship together, and I just haven't been able to do it yet. Part of it is my own fault, and part of it is just bad luck and bad timing. Someday, though, I hope.
After the competition, I flew up to New Hampshire to surprise my father for his birthday. My mom told my dad she was going to a volunteers meeting at her local library. Instead she went up to the airport to get me. I walked into the kitchen while my dad was rummaging around in the refrigerator and said "hi" and he turned around, turned purple, and I was worried he'd have a heart attack or something from the surprise. I spent a few days up there, and now am home again, tired, but glad I made the trip.
Something very interesting happened to me on this trip. I got hit with a massive and unexpected crush on someone. It's pretty much impossible to do anything about it -- that's not why I'm writing about it -- but rather I'm just amazed by the fact that I even still have the ability to experience any kind of feelings at all for a man after all I've been through. I'm taking it as a sign of healing, or of finally being healed enough, or something like that.
I'd pretty much forgotten over the past 15 years how crushes work. One minute I'm sitting there minding my own business, the next moment my brain power has shrunk to to the size of Paris Hilton's and I can't sleep or eat because my mind is whirling in circles. It's like having a tropical disease. Cupid's arrows are virus-tipped. It's violent, and thrilling, all at the same time. So life continues, on, for me. I'm not dead inside.