As I sit here preparing to write today’s blog, I notice that there is a double rainbow outside. What wonderful symbolism this is for today’s topic: change and renewal.
My divorce was final in March 2000. In June of that year, my beautiful daughter graduated from high school. In late August, I graduated from Auburn with my Ph.D. One week later, I left my job, my dog, and my daughter to move to Arizona. This was a new opportunity, a chance to continue to change and grow.
I lived in Arizona for four years. During that time I completed the requirements and earned my license as a clinical psychologist. I also continued to lose weight and find my inner athlete. For a while, I was running three miles each day during the week. We juiced and later followed the South Beach Diet.
Around 2002 I began taking private belly dance lessons. I was too self-conscious to take group lessons at the time. I soon fell in love with the dance and was even interviewed about belly dancing for local television news. I performed only once. I am an introvert by nature and performing in front of about 50 people terrified me. It was agonizing and the woman who arranged the show was quite harsh in her critique of my dancing. Although I never performed again, I did continue to dance. Not long after the performance, my dance instructor decided to stop teaching for a while. I cannot really remember how I ended up with Ava Fleming, but I will always be grateful that our paths crossed. Ava is beautiful, funny, a wonderful instructor and an amazing belly dancer. Don’t take my word for it, see for yourself: http://www.avafleming.com/.
Belly dancing taught me balance and allowed me to change my center of gravity from my shoulders to my hips. I learned to move in ways I had never imagined and fell in love with the music, the jewels, and the wonderful fabrics. There are few things as feminine as belly dancing and it is a tremendous workout as well. Sadly, when we left Arizona, we left any opportunity to continue with this level of instruction. I have tried a few classes in Nevada and have been disappointed each time. But now I have gotten ahead of myself.
So, in Arizona I ran and belly danced. My weight never really got to the ideal range and a hysterectomy in 2003 interrupted my exercising and dancing. Despite this roadblock, I did return to exercise after the surgery, but I was never really satisfied with my weight. By the time I moved to Nevada, I had even put on a few pounds.