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Welcome Aboard!

--"Izzy, how did you start dancing?"

--"What got you into martial arts?"

--"What kind of dancer/martial artist/writer are you?

--"How do you deal with brain damage, bodily injury and 

     C-PTSD, yet still dance, write, train, live the way you do?"

--"How do you still find joy and beauty amidst pain and loss?"

--"Wow, you should write your memoirs!" 

    This Is My Story

NSFW, 18+

  • Writer's pictureBella Dancer

THE SEARCH BEGINS: Why I'm Still Not Back on FB--excuse me, Meta.

Last month, out of nowhere, one of my favorite people pinged me. "Izzyyyyyy, did you drop off the face of the planet? BTW others on FB are asking." (This happened before the Meta rebrand was announced.)

So I answered. "Nope. I'm totally around, just not on FB. No, actually for me it wasn't a time suck. It's because I got tired of having posts hidden. (I might have a propensity for blacklisted words and topics.) I really-really got tired of getting flack from 'friends' for what I write on my blog. But here is all the fun stuff I AM doing. So...followup question-question?"

I shit you not, three days later, another of my favorite people pinged me. Maybe they were involved in the same FB conversation. I dunno. This one was, "Heeeeey, it's been a while and you came to mind. Oh, hells yeah. Stupid busy. So?? How's project A, B and C?"

I replied. "Project A is phucking phenomenal. Project B (Gladiators) is pouncing me in unexpected ways. And project C has been giving me issues so I've been jerry-rigging some means by which to wrangle it into submission. Followup question-question?"

You have to understand, I don't have many friendships that are the daily- or weekly-serving type. Never have. Even monthly pushes it for a lot of my closest and most enduring friendships. It goes like this.

One of us will ping the other out of nowhere. "Hey yo! Wassup? It's been forever!" The other will respond, "Heeeeeeey! It totally has! What's up with you?" We'll launch into a fast & furious download of our latest shenaniganry. Perhaps this will lead to the necessity for a video chat or a phone call, perhaps not. On very rare occasions, it might lead to a flight. Just not in a pandemic. Not for me. Eventually, the conversation will wind down. The current pressing questions and tales will wrap up. Then...

Decoupling: Engage.

Trickling off: Complete.

Or one of us will have some major project or trip or something, so the decoupling happens more abruptly.

Months will pass. Depending on who and where we are, it could even be years. Doesn't matter. We pick right up like we never lost touch. know...for the extra gobs of stuff we have to catch up on. But that can be remedied with coffee-time.

Not this year.

This is--again, I shit you not--the seventh person among my oldest and even some of my closest crew with whom things have gone down like this in the past year. They ping me, I pong back, they tell me what's up with them and ask what's up with me. I tell them and ask some followup questions and--


I mean, it's one thing if I'm the one pinging someone who is trying to subtly tell me that they Just Aren't Into Me Anymore by not responding, or responding with two-word answers and never asking anything in return. Gotcha, thanks. I had a whole lot of that back in 2017-19. Some particularly crappy things happened with the people I had considered my closest local friends, and other funky things were going on with older relationships, so I made a decree on New Year's 2019.

Fuck this chasing bullshit. Fuck it professionally and fuck it personally.

I'd felt like I was doing all the work to keep a bunch of connections alive, and I was correct. Those connections went fthhhhhpt the moment I stopped blowing air into the balloon. Okay, no problem.

Decoupling: Engaged.

A few of them still reached out on occasion, only to be condescending with me about my new directions and some of the ways my brain injury is affecting me. Condescension is the last thing I need so that gets no energy either. The pandemic polarized a few more. When months or over half a year had passed, some couldn't even be bothered to answer my simplest texts of, "Hey. Fly-by purring! Thinking of you amidst your rough seas."

This happened multiple times in a row, so I eventually quit reaching out to anybody who doesn't reach out to me. And yeah, I know. Life. Shit. Mega shit. Ummm...I know nothing about mega shit around here. Nope, nothing at all. I know nothing about falling off the face of the planet and then having to apologize profusely when someone pings me to ask if I'm still alive.

This hasn't been me falling off the planet. This has been me getting those last remaining toes off the old planet and fully stepping onto the new. Anybody who is super excited about that transition is more than welcome to join me, provided your presence on my planet is a boon, not a detriment. Otherwise?

I refuse to be that little dog, yipping, "Hey, boss! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!"

Which is exactly how I was feeling for way too long. So I stopped. I also have no time for dagger-digs issued with a smile--annnnnnd I'll be fucking off now, thx.

Last month, when both of those conversations cut off so abruptly the moment I started talking about what I'm up to lately, I admit. I went into deep mourning. It wasn't our normal communication pattern and my guts knew within 2 days.

"Ohhhh, well, why didn't you reach out and make sure they were okay? This has been a really rough year and--"

Yeah. It has. And that's all I did for years, so I guess the bad apples have spoiled it for everybody else. Kinda like Facebook. Kinda like a lot of things. Why DO y'all keep pinging me if you don't really want to keep in touch with the person I am today?Because when I can look at our text history and see your pattern of "Ping-pong-ping-pong--Crickets."

Shrug. I figure any genuine friends who want to keep communicating with me...


After a week had passed with this latest ghosting, I figured I should probably wait until Mercury Retrograde was done. You know Retrograde and communication. During that time, I considered getting onto my old FB profile to publicly answer Where In The World Iz Izzy? I've never completely nuked that account, just disabled it because leaving was such a long time coming that there was a major buildup of pressure behind it. It all got released in a split-second CRACK and upheaval of tectonic plates, so I figured I might have made an emotional decision that I could regret later, hence why I didn't completely delete the account.

That decision was emotional.

It was also one of the best things I've ever done. Not one day has gone by that I miss Fakebook. Do I miss some of the friends who used to contact me there? Of course. But most of the people who still used that platform to stay in touch with me have my email, phone number, YouTube, my other YouTube, Instagram, website, Teachable, Ko-Fi, or even my home address.

Toldja I haven't fallen off the face of the planet. So yeah, I could go over to Meta this very second and reboot my account. I could share this post with all its groovalicious WITWII links and leave it there for anybody who happens to wander by, wondering why they haven't seen any posts from me.

Well, gee, Boo-Boo, I dunno. I only tried to migrate people to my new website, my new FB page, my new YouTube, and my new blog for years. Yeeeeeears. I only did a gazillion posts saying, "Hey, yo. I'm about to set this FB profile to Inactive. I'm pretty much only going to be using the official Hartebeastie FB Page, and although the old IzzyDancer YouTube will remain up, I'm moving to the new Hartebeast Channel."

After three years of sending up flares like that and having only a few people trickle over to the new stuff, much less interact with it, I took that as a sign that I had the new skeleton crew. Cool.

We are few but we are RAWR.

Was it mostly an algorithm thing and all sorts of people who would love my new Underworldly direction be jazzed to hop aboard if only they'd seen it? Maybe. But I did a big algorithm experiment shortly before I left FB. Ohhhhh, the experiment proved that I knew exactly how to increase people seeing my stuff. Almost overnight--BOOM! A 300% increase. I did this for an entire month and in that time, I did not have a single new FB page subscription, YouTube subscription, Ko-Fi donation, course sale, or IG follower.

I didn't even get an increase of engagement on the posts themselves. Nope, it was just my customary few people who always liked mah shit. And I was giving free dance lessons in those posts. FREEEE. Instruction. Zero increase in so much as a like button on them.

So could I go over there and leave a Meta marker directing people to all my new stuff? Sure. That's what I did on my old IzzyDancer YouTube. Not that it's really done anything for the new one, but I absolutely could--


If anybody really wants to find me, I'm in a bunch of the places I've always been, and I'm completely Googleable. I'm even more searchable on YouTube. But I don't want numbers. I don't want guilt-pings. I want enthusiastic connections. Period.

"Izzy, why'd you leave Facebook?" (stress.)

"Why don't you perform onstage or teach dance anymore?" (seizures.)

"Why is your dancing so different now?" (liberation.)

"Then why don't you put out more dance videos and courses?" (injuries)

"What happened to that old blog we all loved so much? What was wrong with telling the stories like that?" (muzzled.)

"Why do you have so much disturbing, dark stuff in your writing and dancing?" (you--? shit, we ain't even halfway down there yet. you prolly wanna bail now.)

"Where's the fun? Where's the life? Where's the light?" (you must not be looking very hard.)

"WTF? I thought you were a dancer. Now you're trying to make money off your injuries?" (...)




(🤪 whew...dang 🤪)

(That one's almost as good as that hilarious one about me "faking my injuries for attention"--remember that one? If not, we'll probably get to it this Drunk Driving Season. Stay tuned! Holidays have officially opened and somebody's always gotta piss me off with their negligence and vehicular assault, thus sparking the next deep dive into The Crash Saga.)

So there ya go. That's why I left FB and I'm not coming back to it, rebranded name or not. It's why I've left a whole lot of things.

Let's end with another of my favorite Muse-ical inspirations, ИF. You really wanna know where I've been, what I've been up to, and what's on my mind lately, or were you only asking because--I dunno. Because of some social norm thing I can't begin to guess about? If you genuinely want to know, then let me tell you.

Besides the sparkly and soul-searching stuff I've been writing about on this blog lately, beyond all my passion-projects, listen closely to the following songs and you'll get a good idea. Just replace "music and rap lyrics" with "dance and writing." Oh, yeah, and replace "making millions" with "being capable of paying for all my living and medical expenses--wouldn't that be a miracle?" I will eventually tell you about it in my own words. Some of it is rough-drafted already, but being in the middle of stuff like this is not the time to blog about it.

Until then, let's let my Muse Tribute of the Week say it better than I could right now.

  • He finds the light when he's stuck in the Underworld and shines his own down there.

  • Sometimes he shines it with the glare off his big, long middle fingers. (Yet he has the coolest Sith magic of being able to do that without a single cuss word. My bashed brain and I envy that sick skill.)

  • He arms me with amazing responses to all the blowback, haters, and chirping crickets that my arts and the things most important to my soul receive.

  • He reaches out a hand and pulls me to my feet when I feel like I can't stand up one more fucking time. (See? He leaves all the F-bombs to me. "Izzy, why don't you just delete them before posting?" Because then it's less of a shock if you meet me in person, especially when my Think-It-Say-It-Syndrome is active.)

  • He sings my heart and reminds me who I am at my best. Who I am at the core.

  • He does for me what others have said I do for them, which is one of the greatest of my gazillion blessings. And yeah. I don't touch even 1/496 as many people as he does, but it's still gotten me death-threats, too, so I guess I must be doing something right. There's another topic we'll be getting to soon.

Ready to abandon ship yet?

If not, get our your kitchen dance slippers. I can't sit still when this music is on. This is what I've been dancing to night after night after morning after night. I've also started filming dances to some of this stuff. These dances are snarky. Hard-hitting. Fun. Deep. They're about the real deal.

And yes, I do play Lindsey Stirling and ИF in the same dance session. Often. #PersephonesGirl:

Thank you, И. I could never have said it half this well. That's why I've left it to you.


--UP NEXT: THE TREBUCHET - A Siege Engine Knocks My Trajectory 163 Degrees Sideways



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