Chasing Unconventional Dreams: Doing What You Came To Do
In 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 more sense. But in reality, I just wanted to dance. I especially wanted to dance with someone who was excellent, a professional.
And professional dance lessons aren’t free! In fact, they’re quite expensive.
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?
Over the years, 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 was like a drug habit I just couldn’t kick! I had to face the hard truth: 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 spending it all on expensive dance lessons. But sadly, I don’t see the logic in that 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 are 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 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 the elements of 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 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 emotional and physical 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 did you come here for? What one thing really makes you feel alive when you do it?