Against All Conventional Wisdom: doing what you came to do.

night-dancerrIn the beginning, I tried to justify the ballroom dance lessons by competing. I thought if there was a “good reason” for it, then spending the money would make sense. But I really just wanted to dance. I especially wanted to dance with someone who was excellent, a professional – and that wasn’t free! Eventually, after years of learning and practice, I got much better at dancing and began to teach, which offset the cost a little, but I just ended up taking more lessons with the money I earned.

For years, I felt guilty about my dancing. How could I possibly spend so much money on myself – on doing something strictly for the fun of it? How could I put other pressing financial needs on the back burner, as if they didn’t matter?

I’ve tried to quit a few times – tried to convince myself that the lessons really weren’t “going anywhere,” that I was wasting my money and time. I made excuses. I could stay away for a month or two, but I’d always go back. It’s like a drug habit I just can’t kick! To put it simply, I love learning about dance, even though I already know a lot. I love how the lessons push me to be a better person in so many ways. Funny,… but despite the physical, emotional, and mental challenges of learning to dance, doing it is when I feel most alive. 

Believe me, the naysayers have already spoken…At my age,… I should be saving more for retirement. I should be putting my money in things like life insurance, health savings, my 401K, home repair, a new furnace, or at least furniture for my living room instead of on expensive dance lessons. But sadly, I don’t see the logic in the thinking, even though it’s common.

There are just things we have to do even though they don’t make sense to most people. There’s times when we have to go against the standard conventions and make up our own rules about living life now. and in the future.

You see, I’m never going to stop “wasting” money on dance lessons because,…

I came to dance, not to sit on the sidelines and wonder what life would be like IF… I came to sweat, to wear out my body, to leave glitter behind peaking from the cracks in floorboards where I’ve walked… I came to face the frustration of growth and improvement. I came to work hard for something that matters. I came to discover balance – that sweet spot between soft and strong, give and take, between me and you, holding and letting go. I came to explore the boundaries of possibility. I came to discover what I’m really capable of. I came to find my own inner beauty and let it out without fear. I came to meet people – to get to know something about everyone… I came to touch… I came to connect with a song and a person who hears it as I do… I came to learn what makes people shine and also what makes them sad… I came to explore the human experience… I came to dance…

So, I don’t really care about what happens in the end. If I’m penniless and homeless, at least I’ll know I did what I came here to do. I don’t plan on having any regrets about it.

What one thing makes you feel alive?

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6 thoughts on “Against All Conventional Wisdom: doing what you came to do.

  1. I don’t think you’ll be penniless or homeless, but I do think budget will be tight and that’s ok. Some people don’t get that, because finances and security are valued more than experiences and adventure. Some people save their whole life and get to relax during retirement, some save and save and then die in an accident or cancer or heart attack at 44 and never enjoy what they’re saving for. It doesn’t matter what the naysayers say because they’re not living your life and it doesn’t matter if you’re gonna be seen on PBS with your ball gown competing or in a studio a few blocks from home. If it gives you purpose, and you enjoy it then that’s what you got to do. Whether you’re awesome at it or not isn’t for someone to judge, it makes you feel awesome and that’s all that really matters. High five to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the encouragement and perspective. I’ve always felt if the desire is strong enough, there’s a reason to do it and the Universe will fill in the gaps when needed and the time comes. For now living on borrowed time as we all are. Thanks for reading!

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  2. I simply don’t have the courage to ignore all the things I need to do, retirement planning, showing up to work 6-4 everyday, taking care of the house, etc despite my desire to dance instead. It will be a longer road for me to learn, fewer lessons, many more group classes, but I hope one day to be a good dancer. Probably never competition level, but competent and pleasant.

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