I did a little bit of everything tonight. I handed out programs. I worked the sound. I stood there afterwards with a box and tried to guilt people into donations. But basically, I just sat up in the booth in a little bit of awe.
It’s hard to describe it if you haven’t seen it. The girls are both incredibly awkward and young looking and so mature and graceful and gutsy. They do this bellydance that is so amazing you just can’t help but roll your hips along with them. And then they do this African dance with drums and more hip shaking and just kind of controlled abandon.
I want to be the kind of feminist those girls deserve as a role model, someone who is smart and funny and self-assured and at peace with herself and unafraid to live in the world. I want to know, really know bone deep, that y’all are lucky to have me.
In other words, I’d like to take more of the brazen hussy you find here and move that part of me into my real life.
It’s weird. Can we digress for a little bit? When I started Tiny Cat Pants, this was clearly something private, a space to kind of work out who I wished I was and to practice being it. But there’s a lot of ways in which this has become my public face, the way that many folks first come to know me and the way that even people who knew me before keep up with me now. So, I think I’m still kind of uncertain and graceless in real life; it’s just no longer the first impression people have of me.
That makes a big difference in how I perceive myself. I feel braver and more together.
Still, when I watch those girls on that stage… I worry that they see me and think, “Wow, I can be like her.” I want them to look at me and see me as a sign post to a way of being far better than anything I have worked out for myself.
It’s complicated. On the one hand, I know we can’t wait around for perfect people to do things. There’s only us messy fucked up complicated prone to failure folks to do anything. We’re all there is to do things. Still, how can we teach these girls lessons we don’t know how to learn?
I know the Professor always says that we teach best what we most need to learn. On the one hand, I hope that’s true. On the other hand, I came away from tonight feeling slightly disingenuous.
I hope they get that we don’t know what we’re doing. I hope they have not put their faith in us, but in themselves. Because we don’t know what we’re doing, really. I don’t think.
I don’t, anyway.
Anyway, my heart is full and it’s broken a little. I don’t know if I really know what I want to say. The girls were marvelous. I’m struggling to be.