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Miss Jackson if You're Nasty

Whenever I hear Nasty by Janet Jackson, I'm taken back to 8th grade. We were going into our freshman year of high school and a group of us girls decided to try out for the dance team. Nasty was the tryout song. We practiced for weeks. At school and on the weekends. For the first time, I realized I could dance as well as some of the girls who had been dancing for years.


Regardless, I was terrified.


The night before tryouts came and I was an emotional mess. I remember missing my mom terribly. After hours of worrying, I convinced myself I wasn't good enough for the dance team. I let my anxiety slowly take over. I hardly slept that night and in the morning, watched the minutes pass by until tryouts had ended. It was nauseating. The weeks to follow were even worse, seeing all of my friends excited for their new journey together.


I was devastated. I also think for the first time, depressed.


The Silver Lining is that I learned to start telling myself the truth. I was capable of making the team, but told myself otherwise. Reflecting on this, it seems ridiculous. In times of stress, we're capable of convincing ourselves we are less than we actually are. I started to recognize and become fascinated with the power of negative and positive thoughts.


Cheerleading tryouts came around Sophomore year and I approached the situation differently. I was weirdly determined and I met my goal. Just like that, I felt validated and empowered. This mindset has helped me achieve many goals since.


I share this story because I believe it's important to recognize negative thoughts before they effect our decision making.


Ironically, I fucking love Janet Jackson and the song Nasty.


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