I was a little kid in the late ’70s, early ’80s when Disco was king. My older sister, only the age of what we today would call a tween, was too grown for words and loved all the cool things of the time. She loved Disco, she loved to dance, and I was her partner. We shook our non-existent hips, and she led me through turns so fancy that John Travolta would be jealous. We were little dancing queens who reigned on the living room dance floor. And that’s how I grew up…bailando (dancing).
To me, dancing is an escape from life. A beautiful freedom.
I close my eyes and I am alone in a world of beautiful sensations. ~Soul Music
It’s the only time I don’t feel the weight of the world on my shoulders, and I often ask myself now as an adult, why I never had dreams of becoming a dancer as a child. But the answer is simple, I never considered becoming a dancer because I was a dancer. Moving my body to beautiful rhythms wasn’t something I dreamed of becoming, it was a part of me and as natural to me as breathing, and as essential.
I am not one with the music, I am the music. It’s in my soul and I am dancing to the rhythm of life. ~ Soul Music
Yes there’s a but…that’s me, when I’m dancing by myself. Dancing with a partner, well that’s another story, and another life lesson.
See, what had happened was…
This past weekend I was at the Tito El Bambino concert (post and pics to come very soon) with a friend, and feeling the music, we started to dance. Now, as I said above, I am a dancer–those who know me well call me Dancing Queen–but this is a new friend, and he’d never seen me just dance as me, only as a partner dancing some bachata, quite awkwardly I think, some weeks earlier. So there we were again, attempting to dance as partners, and again, unlike my usual self, I was awkward.
He said, “Stop trying to lead.” Hmm…well, interesting, because I didn’t realize I was. I thought about it for a second, cleared my head, and tried to loosen up. I did much better than I usually do when I dance with another person, at least I think I did.
In the following days, for some reason the whole “trying to lead” comment stuck with me. It was bothering me and the fact that it was bothering me bothered me. But as things that are meant to teach you lessons do, it wouldn’t go away.
The next day, another friend sent me a link to an old blog he’d written. Re-reading it had made him happy and proud of his writing, was his comment as he shared it with me. And what did I do? I proceeded to edit it, not realizing until I got to the end that I had commented on the beauty of his writing when it was originally published. He, knowing me well, wasn’t surprised, or, I hope, upset, but I felt like an ass for not celebrating with him unconditionally as he felt pride in his work.
Later the same day, I sat venting to another friend about something that transpired in a meeting. I probably took about 30 minutes of his time, not to mention mine, going on and on about a situation that when I recalled it later that evening all I could think was that I just wasted so much of my, and another person’s, energy on something that on the radar of my life, would barely be a blip. And there I was, back in my own head and obsessing over the “trying to lead” comment and in the midst of my frustration with myself, the light bulb came on, “I’m a control freak.”
Okay, I’ll be honest. This really isn’t news. It’s not a revelation. I knew I was a bit controlling. A bit! I didn’t realize how far out of hand it had gotten.
I thought to myself…
“Why couldn’t I just let him be happy, at least for that moment, about his article and suggest edits much later?”
“Why do I let such small things bother me so much?”
“Why can’t I share my love for dance with another person?”
Then somehow today, as I looked through my post archives, I came upon this one: If you’ve never failed, you’ve never lived. While I didn’t initially find it relevant to the thoughts in my mind, now, as I think about the fact that I’m not as fearless as I used to be, I can see the correlation. The desire to be in constant control is often born out of fear. So in response, today I attempted to let go, to feel more zen. I did okay, I think.
It’s a work in progress as all life lessons are, but worth the work if I can feel this way again…
I feel weightless, I am floating. ~ Soul Music