I was kind of excited to take and find out the results of my MMPI-2. I completed this test when I initially started therapy 6.5 years ago, so it was very interesting to see what things have changed and what has remained consistent. I was delighted to see that the results indicated improvement in my eating disorder and anxiety. I feel like I have made huge strides in both these areas, so it was really cool to have that validated. I still struggle with depression but that has certainly improved as well.
One area assessed by the MMPI-2 has to do with honesty and rebelliousness. My scores in the area were pretty close to unchanged. I scored low on the lying scale which pretty much implies what you'd guess - I am not a lair. That is good news for anyone who might be wondering :). However, in comparison, I scored quite high in rebelliousness. Generally, when a person scores high in this area, they tend to be your stereotypical "trouble makers." They tend to disrespect authority, get into trouble at school, have problems holding down jobs or have trouble with the law. Anyone who knows me would tell you that I am pretty much the exact opposite of that. I was always a very quiet and reserved honor roll student who never once visited the principal's office. I have never been fired from a job or had any issues like that at work. I also have a family full of police officers and never gotten anything beyond a speeding ticket.
I was puzzled about this result because it just didn't seem to fit me. However, as we dug a little more into my history and childhood, the reason for this test result started to become more clear. It turns out, I am incredibly rebellious internally but I do not generally act out negatively because of it. My rebelliousness can be seen in my beliefs, world view and outlook on life. I have some fairly unique views on life that go very much against the grain of mainstream society. When I do choose to express these views, it is generally very well thought out and purposeful. In other words, I don't rebel or "stir the pot" just for the sake of causing trouble. In essence, I am a rebel with a cause.
I began pole dancing a year ago for the acrobatic and physical enjoyment it gives me. I started out with the intention of exploring the under emphasized, non-sexual side of pole dance. I wanted to use it as a vehicle for a much more broad range of self-expression and so far, I feel like I have definitely accomplished this.
I've never been a person who has felt comfortable expressing my sexuality through dance, movement or really anything at all. During my upbringing, sexuality or anything related that kind of expression was simply not acceptable. In fact, nudity or anything "unmodest" was considered down right shameful. As a result, I have always shied away from expressing that side of myself in any way...until now.
Enter the Rebel Stef, flying the banner of expressive freedom! I am no longer interested in repressing this part of myself and feeling ashamed of it. Sexuality is an absolutely vital and beautiful part of being a person. As human beings, our bodies are an incredibly powerful vehicles for expression. Through my dancing, I have explored expressing a wide variety of things. I've expressed anger, fear, sadness, joy and playfulness. Each time I design a solo routine, I make a conscious effort to focus the expression of something different. My first solo (click to see here) was about experiencing joy and pain at the same time. The second one (here) was much more light-hearted in feel. It was a cutesy and innocent routine that I did in a playful, 50s pin-up style. My most recent solo (here)was focused the themes of power and confidence. I used the Game of Thrones theme song for this routine and wanted to do a routine that I felt was an "ass kicker" so to speak - and it was! My body went through a lot while putting that routine together and interestingly, I felt incredibly powerful and confident when it came time to perform it.
I have begun to explore sensual movement during dance class and with group routines but NEVER in a solo situation. Sexy or sensual moment is not something that my body does comfortably or naturally. BUT, when you are a self-growth junkie like me, that means only one thing: its time to go there. I've made the decision that my next solo is going to be ALLLLLL about the sexy.
I'm a little freaked out to be so vulnerable - alone out there with a crowd of eyes watching me do my "sexy" thing. What if the ideas I have in my head don't translate to sexy dance but instead, simply look like I am having some sort of organized seizure. What if I can't take myself seriously and end up just trying to choke back laughter the whole time? Well, I guess that is truly the reason I am doing this: to push myself past that discomfort. It has been my experience over and over, that there is some really, really amazing things on the other side of that discomfort. I am excited to find out what might be on the other side of the discomfort in this situation!
So, to take it even one step further (because that is what I do), I have made the decision to try out for our dance studio's professional burlesque troupe called the Wicked Wenches. If you are unfamiliar with what Burlesque is all about, please watch the documentary "A Wink and a Smile: The Art of Burlesque." The Wicked Wenches do shows at theaters around the Twin Cites area. The most recent one was a brilliant parody on Star Wars. It was geeky, hilarious and sexy and I wanna do it too. I think auditions are going to be sometime in the next month - so wish me luck!
Even if I don't make it as a Wench, that is OK. The process of pushing myself to do this is what I think is the most important thing. And in the meantime, I am gonna try to tap into my sexy and find out what that even looks like for me. I have absolutely no idea what my sexy style is but I am really excited to find out and then share that new found style though my dance. As scary as this feels for me right now, I am actually very excited to be a sexy rebel with a sexy cause.