Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I'm Not Depressed, I Am Just Honest

Please correct me if I am wrong
I see myself as a pretty upbeat, thoughtful, and inspiring person.
Am I delusional?
Controlled Burn Fitness, Chez Calasanz, Disciplined Indulgence
Me, Melissa Adylia Calasanz, striking one of  my signature poses...
Hmmm, is this what a depressing person, with a poor self image, looks like?
Well, I guess so, if I am supposed to believe what I was told yesterday...
Last week, I was assigned to do a Self Critique of my performance during my skills test for the Jazz 3-4 class I am enrolled in at Orange Coast College. (You can read  the essay in my previous post, "A Reflection on My Journey Back to Dance"I believe I did a very thoughtful and thorough "Self Critique."  However, the Jazz teacher, whose class I wrote it for, pulled me aside yesterday after class to "have a talk." She said that after she read my paper, she was worried about me. She said she thought I must be suffering from depression, thought I had an unhealthy self image, and that I needed to seek some counseling. Now, I'm certain that everyone could probably benefit from some counseling from time to time, myself included, but golly! I thought my self-critique was objective and insightful, and I made a pretty good effort to point out a positive after any negative I wrote about myself.
I found the process of writing the paper and sharing it on my blog, and with friends on Facebook, to be therapeutic and inspiring. In fact, I received some wonderful private messages from friends, clients, and fellow students who had read the paper after I posted the blog on FB. One of my dear friends even re-posted it on her FB page with this:

"My good friend, Melissa Adylia Calasanz, posted this today. I thought I would share it with my friends and family as I find these words quite inspirational." 

When I got home after the interesting conversation with the teacher, I reached out to the friends who had commented on my blog post. A dear friend, former client, and respected health and fitness professional posted this note:

“I think your teacher did not read the last two paragraphs of your wonderful essay. Count the number of "loves!" I think you evaluated the past and today in a completely honest, open, positive and accepting manner. Just think of how many great woman (and men) have written memoirs about aging, life, death, disease, loss, gains, basically the Shakespearean themes, and are they judged as depressed, over the hill, institution-able???? It is a shame that your teacher does not recognize your boundless joie de vivre! But those of us who are lucky to have you as a friend, confidante and teachers do know. That is what counts!”

In this day and age where people are constantly coddling each other with politically correct platitudes, and "everyone's a winner" just for showing up, it is rare to hear anyone openly and honestly share the fact that they have taken an honest look at themselves. I have no problem facing the truth-even if it stings a bit.
If  a "self critique" is supposed to be focused on one's "self," and everyone’s “self” has a mix of positive and negative, should there not be a focus on both the positive and negative?…Hmm, I guess I need a better education?
Anyway, here is the amended, "upbeat" paper I whipped up in 20 minutes last night.
I'd love your opinions, good and bad, please share!

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