Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Worst Case Scenario

In the name of honoring the downs as well as the ups-
my 'trying not to cry face'. 
In my blog entry of six hours ago, I thought the worst case scenario of my new dance class would be one new student showing up. I was wrong. Worst case scenario is actually zero students. And right out the gate, my worst case scenario unfolded.

I spent the afternoon eating a good meal and trying to relax, get some positive energy flowing. My sister, Sharlene, called and gave me a rousing pep talk. Motivated, I decided to own this shit. Cut up a shirt and made it cool dance teacher-y. Did my hair and make up. Put on big earrings and bangles that alluded to Bollywood but were understated, Oaklandish.

Darnell, who was supposed to let me in, showed up three minutes before class was to start, but it hardly mattered as there was not a student in sight.

The studio faces Grand Avenue, a happening part of Oakland, full of restaurants and bars. I turned up the music. Put out my sign up list. Business cards. Class flyers. Tried to look busy. Approachable. Like I wasn't crying inside.

I waited 15 minutes then packed up. When you've envisioned a thing a hundred times, it's easier to face when it actually happens.

Darnell came back to lock up. I tried to glean information. Turns out he co-runs the studio with the man I'd been in contact with.

"You should have talked to Dan, he'll help you get going," Darnell said. I had tried. Dan had not been helpful.

"You should have made a flyer," Darnell said. I had, but it hadn't been put up at the studio. "Oh, wait, I think that's my job," Darnell said. "When it doesn't say the studio's name, I throw it out." I pointed to where it did say the studio's name. "Oh. My bad."

Darnell promised to get word out to his students. I told myself this is what it's like to work with creative types. But I'm a creative type, and I don't do things this way.

I sat in my car and cried, the full moon lighting up Lake Merritt across the way. Called my sister, Fiona, who said all the right things. I tried not to be hurt that none of my friends came to support me. Tried not to go down the rabbit hole of no one loves me and I'll die alone.

Because the truth is, my life is still in transition. New neighborhood. New business. New friends. I don't have my Bridget Jones/Carrie Bradshaw posse who comes to all my shit and is always a phone call away. I am still forming friendships, forming community. A new start is amazing and difficult.

I came home, fried up some turkey bacon and made a smoothie. I sat in my beautiful apartment which overlooks San Francisco (okay, fine, if you look over the phone wires and rooftops, you see a three inch view of San Francisco, but still).

"One day, people will have to pre-register to get into your class," Fiona had said.

Maybe that was true. Maybe not. What is true is that this whole year is an experiment. To see what works and what doesn't. And sometimes, you do everything in your power but some things are out of your hands.

Now that I have some turkey bacon in me, I can see the silver lining: at least I have my awesome "the day that no one came to my new class" story under my belt. It can only get better from here, technically speaking.

But as I said in my earlier blog entry, the only thing I can't do is not do.


  1. This too shall pass. Best of luck for the whole thing. And get Darnell to put up them posters. You have a great first story to periscope this whole new time in life bit. :)

    1. I love that way of looking at it- who is this, btw? :)

  2. That last line is the best line. And a good reminder for me as well. Thank you Phi :)

    1. P Dot, thank YOU, as always, for the support.