The following leads me to believe that I have changed very little in the last 30+ years:
Tap. Jazz. Ballet. Kids’ choir. Pageantry. Grammar school drama. Junior high drill team, chorus, drama. High school banner girls, choir, play production. A brief stay at a performing arts school. More pageantry. Salsa. Ballroom. Lindy hop. Belly dance. Mexican folklorico. Chorale. Flamenco.
This is basically a list of all the activities I have participated in between the ages of six and 36. There’s a pattern here, no?
When I went off to college, I considered majoring in theater, dance, creative writing or even art. But somehow I thought those were only things I loved to do, not real career options. No, I had to put those things aside and learn how to do something that would earn me a paycheck, at least. Since I loved writing and was told I was pretty good at it, journalism seemed like the way to go. Little did I know that journalists are some of the lowest-paid and least-appreciated folks out there and that I probably would’ve been better off majoring in something I thought wouldn’t get me any job at all.
I’m not complaining, though. I’m grateful to have a good job working with great people. But after 15 years of successful servitude in various offices, I still haven’t been successful in quieting the 3-year-old inside me who still wants to stand on the couch and sing “Animal Crackers in My Soup.”
After almost two years of flamenco, I realize I’ve learned more than footwork. Seeing myself progress from complete beginner to first-time soloist and feeling the sense of satisfaction and joy that came with it has helped me get back to being the person I’m supposed to be, instead of the one I thought I had to be. And while, yes, I am completely and utterly married to the dance till death do us part, I’m not opposed to having affairs with other arts.
I’d like to continue with the chorale and maybe someday, many years from now, I’ll use my voice for flamenco. There’s an acoustic guitar in my living room and I’m determined to learn to play it one of these days. I’ve always enjoyed drawing and I’d like to do it more often. And I’ve always wanted to try sketch comedy …
And then there’s writing. For years I felt like I had nothing to write about, but now I do. Thanks for letting me share my random thoughts with you.