This Germany trip, oh, where do I even start?
It starts about 11 years ago. 11 years ago, before street dance, before popping, which is what I do now, I was a professionally trained ballerina. Not that kind, not the kind where you send you kids to class for fun, friends and exercise. I go to the kind where teachers leave rolls of toilet paper on the floor so 6 and 7 years old who cry from too much pain can wipe their tears off their own face.
And I loved it.
I loved dancing, I loved ballet. It was the only thing for me, my thing, at that time. Anyone asked me what do I want to be in the future, when I grow up, I said, “a ballerina”.
Until 11 years ago, when I was 10, and my parents stopped me from dancing because they afraid I can’t get into college. At.age.10.
I have a half brother and I have sisters, like most of you know. My brother is my father’s kid, and my sister is my mother’s. My brother, too, was a ballerina, only was a lot braver than I am. Age 9,he ran away from my family, from the word “no”, to France, to learn to be a contemporary dance choreographer.
We never talk, my brother and I. Our age gap is 24 years, by the time I was 6, he was married with kids, so my only memory of him is him being home for a single day on Lunar New Year, as of our Vietnamese tradition.
Last year, however, after I went back to live in Vietnam, moved out of Singapore, we started talking. I started to go visit him every weekends, we started to work together as well. And it was crazy how it felt like, it starts to get scary how similar we are, we finish each other sentences and stuff. I, for the first time, knew how it feels like to have a big brother.
June 2015, we went on a dance tour in Vietnam together. I was his technician for stage lighting and translator. There is this thing runs in our family: we drink; we drink a lot. Me and my brother, we drink together all the time, and we got truly opened up only then. We are also closed up people. He said to me “ For the first time, I feel like I have a little sister”.
He is the founder and the choreographer of a very special dance group, the dancers are deaf and mute. They have performed around the world, and I too when I was little, dance with them. This year, they were invited for a Germany tour. He asked me to join him, but as a dancer.
I was so worried, I have not do ballet in 11 years. They have trained together for 14. I have a month to rehearse for the entire show. I told him, I would, but I would wreck his show, I can’t do it. He said, “ That is not your issue to worry, it is mine. It is my job to train you, and it is your job to dance, you do your part, I do mind. “
I said yes.
Now, fast forward. A month ago, I got married. This is way after the story above, so I got married for a month, I leave Vietnam, and my husband alone for a month. I was devastated, he was devastated. I have been alone, I was always alone, and I am always alright with it, because it was my only way to be, but now it isn’t anymore. I changed, and loneliness kills me.
Another funny story (haha): I have always been going around, I am home may be a few days a year even, going places to earn some money. My friends, before they come over, ask not “are you home”, but “are you in Vietnam”? Me and my friends, we never say goodbye anymore simply because we have said it far too many times. We are also alright with it, because it was the only way to be.
This time, however, before I leave, we have a farewell party, which, indeed, blew my mind. What even crazier, my friend hugged me before I leave, and said “please take care”. I almost got teary even. I told my husband how this situation is in my wildest dream, and he said “you changed, and they feel it, so they changed too”.
Despite that very happy start, Germany trip was one hell of a rough trip. Me being alone, me falling back to exactly where I was before I met Nam, my husband. Everything bad took over of me, different city everyday, I want to jump down from a different window everynight.
I wreck every hotel room I am in, with food wraps, blood stains and cigarette burns. I know I am an asshole, but I can’t, I just can’t. I feel bad for every room service I gone through, but I feel worst about myself, so sorry.
Everyone stares at my cuts, everyone whispers, no one said a thing. I said nothing either, I just kind of puke.
Despite me being me, our show was fucking amazing. Holy hell, sold out every night months before performance, we booked 2 tour for the next two years. That is the wonder of dance, ( or art ), when you kind of shit, your art is never shit. Ahaha, I feel like shit, so let me have this one, will you.
Let me end this completely wrong and terrible and rambling piece with a sunny side up story. I can’t ride a bike. Never have. One day, my brother and I, we got shit drunk after a show, and he tried with every bit of strength he had left to pull me on a bicycle, hold it, and push me to go around a lake, at midnight, in a random town, in Germany, when our deaf and mute dancers claps with cheers they themselves can’t hear. Now that, I will never ever forget. Still can’t ride a bike, but I tried, and my brother tried.
Trust me though, to turn everything into complete shit. I am at my worst. Everything dark in me has taken over, and I could not focus on anything more than my own pain. Every night I use up every dime I have to buy binge food. Every day I stay away from everyone to scream and cut. I trashed hotel room after hotel rooms, paid hundreds of euros of fines for smoking and burning carpet. I ruin my dance group reputation. I bled through the white dress I use to perform. My colleges started to get terrified of me, and I understand why. I was supposed to be working, to be making my life better, to experience, to travel, to create, to enjoy my dream on stage coming true, but instead I lock myself in my room, doing unspeakable things, and wish I was dead.
Not every story is a happy ending story.