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Beginnings Pt5

Updated: Jan 13

In the end I chose to be swayed by Edward’s denial. Looking back, maybe it should have been the end, and I should have left him sitting there drinking his rose’. If I had any true sense of self-worth I probably would have. But I was raised in a culture and race that have been marginalised, oppressed, and exploited. One of the psychological effects of that is the feeling of powerlessness, and little to no development of a positive sense of self. You may ask yourself what does that have to do with this. Well, a common reaction to one’s feelings of powerlessness is to create a false bravado of strength, to provide some sense of control, but mainly to protect from completely breaking down in utter hopelessness and self degradation. This bravado gets passed down from generation to generation. And here was my turn. I’d cultivated and nurtured an armour of false boldness and strength that could be summoned up on demand whenever I felt the need to defend or protect myself. Therefore, the strong black woman display that I gave face to Edward when I entered the restaurant was all a sham as it had no resource of self-worth to support it. As a consequence, when I was told that the situation that caused my offence was incorrectly interpreted by myself, I caved, because of my lack self-confidence and self-worth. And so, I trusted Edward words over my experience and told myself that he didn’t say what I saw him say. In 2006, I wasn’t in a mature place, and wouldn’t be for a good may years to come. My drive to succeed at achieving my goal won over the little stores of self-respect I had, which, caused me to make a decision to stay, which then took my life into a turn that I could have never predicted. For those who debate, like I have so often in regret, what would have been the result had I left, for better or worse one can never know, accept to live in a Terry Pratchett alternate universe. As it happened, in failing this little life test, the universal powers that be clocked the huge gap in my personal development, and signed me up for a few hard life lessons to learn through the unambiguous path of experience.

It turned out that I didn’t need to broach the topic of the possibility of my performing, as Edward brought it up himself after I took off my coat and sat down . I took that as a sign that I was on the correct path and this filled me with a determination to see the meeting through to the end. It was a very strange experience to be offered a long held secret desire just at the moment I was about to ask for it. It felt like someone had read my diary. I should have been suspicious, but my wariness was tempered by the excitement of getting what I wanted. I had, at the very most, expected to be told that I needed another year of hard practice before I could be considered, as I couldn’t even get into a handstand at the time, while those who were in the company were floating up into them with grace and ease. So when Edward asked, “Have you thought about performing.” I almost choked on my champagne in surprise, but then quickly replied “I would love too.”. From there the conversation turned to Edward explaining what was the true idea behind Tripsichore. Because at that moment in time, Tripsichore had become a style of yoga asana practice that was taught in yoga studio workshops and teacher trainings in the US . However, he explained to me that the company actually started out as a Punk Ballet performance group in the late 70’s with performances in the UK and Europe. I was enthralled with the history lesson that I was receiving. I began to enjoy myself and we ordered some bar snacks with my second glass of champagne. Having completely forgotten about the earlier social faux pas, I became flattered with his interest in me, especially as I had never seen him show interest in any other non-company practitioners. We seemed to have the same likes and dislikes, and I began to wonder why we had never connected before. And yes, I felt special, and that lead me to become enamoured with him.

When we finished our second round of drinks and all the bar snacks were gone, Edward offered to continue the conversation back at his place, the studio. This gave me pause, and I cursed myself for being naive’. My concern was on multiple confusing levels. 1. What does this mean in regards to my performing? 2.Was that a real offer or was getting me back to his place the ultimate goal? 3.If sex was the real goal here, can I still work this situation to my advantage so I can still have a shot a performing? 4.I’m already a bit tipsy so maybe I should go home so I don’t make any bad decisions. As I couldn’t discern the answers to any of those question at that moment, and I was still holding out hope that he was really interested in my performing, I decided to take a risk and go and see what would happen, and then make a decision on the best course of action.

So, we left, and walked up Gloucester Road where Edward surprised me by popping into the local Waitrose and buying a bottle of Laurent Perrier Rose’, as I had told him it was my favourite when he asked me while leaving the restaurant. On the drive to the studio I became aware I wasn’t feeling any sexual attraction or excitement towards Edward, only admiration for what he was doing with yoga and art. So I decided that if he made a move I would give it a chance and see if any sexual feelings were lying dormant. I still was hopeful that we would continue the conversation, and this would be the beginning of an amazing working relationship.

We got back to the studio and started on the champagne and continued to talk about yoga and how it could fit into the performing arts, and I thought myself a cynical fool for thinking he had other plans. Although this may sound corny and typical, but believe me when I tell you, I felt like I had finally found my tribe. Edward began to talk about my potential with Tripsichore, and I was in awe that he saw so much in me as I only had been practicing a little over four years. And then I got drunk serious with him, you know what I mean, when you know you’re drunk, but you turn serious because what you are about to reveal is important. So you lean in, squint your eyes, which are probably have closed already, and use your pointer finger to convey the importance of this big reveal that will enlighten all. This I did when I told him the truth about my secret goal to become a performer for Tripsichore and all the avenues and possibilities that I saw his company could venture into. In short, I let him know the beginnings of what I didn’t know then would become the big dream of my life, to create a Yoga Performing Arts School. I saw how I could create a short cut for myself by doing it through Tripsichore, and its loyal following. I remember him listening intently, and when I had finished he seemed enthralled by the idea of creating a yoga performing arts school. But then he his mood changed and he became dejected and said, “I would love to do this but I don’t have the energy. I’m ready to die and pass on the mantle to the next generation.” Even-though, those were the words he said, my brain interpreted them to mean, he wanted me to take on this big task with and for him. And this interpretation further solidified my idea that I was on the right path, and as a result, at that moment I linked mind and emotions into that reason for being. And when I applied that reasoning to my past experiences, my mind made sense of it all. My mind is crazy like this, I never once told you that I was sane, so cut me some slack!

We talked some more about this idea, and in drunken excitement of the possibilities of what could be, we agreed that we would do it together. We toasted to the new vision for Tripsichore, downed the last of the champagne, and then it happened. Edward moved in to kiss me. I was taken off guard. The drunk confusion came back with even more intensity, because during our whole conversation I never clocked any sexual intent or tension. But I let him kiss me and I kissed him back, as I had made the decision to give it a go and see if there was anything there. But it felt awkward and forced. So I pulled away before it went any further than kissing, and told him that I couldn’t if he was going to be my boss. He was surprisingly accepting of my turn down and I was grateful. So I gathered up my things, and Edward in gentleman fashion drove me to the Neasden underground station, where I took the long journey back home.

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