"Show me slowly what I only know the limits of, and dance me to the end of love..."
~Dance Me To the End of Love by The Civil Wars
I realized on my way home from dance tonight that I was feeling such a way I've never felt before about anything else, anybody, any place, any thing... really truly passionate. On my way to the studio I'm energized and fluttery, during dance I'm entirely unaware of my cognition, and on my way home I kick into depression mode and the countdown to the next lesson begins. I am pretty smart when it comes to using my head - I can think critically, I can conceptualize abstract notions, and oh. man. can. I. analyze. ;) But dance is the one and only activity in which I have ever engaged that I have been able to move from my head and into my body. My mind gets a respite while I embody this other element of my being. It almost even feels like this spiritual force in my life.
There's an old home video (actually it was taped almost exactly 21 years ago to date) when I was 3 years old at my sister's 5th birthday party. My dad took the video camera around and asked each of us there what we wanted to be when we grew up. In a very matter-of-fact tone of voice, my babyish and confident self quickly responded that I wanted to be a "mommy or a ballerina." Well, I'm confident one day I'll be a mommy, and I'm fascinated that I knew I wanted to dance since that early in my life . I can recall during elementary school years turning on the Dirty Dancing soundtrack and dancing in my living room in front of the windows longing for some famous talent agent to pass by my suburban, residential street in Skokie, IL and see this cute little 6 year-old-girl dancing who he knew he had to hire and make into a famous professional dancer :) Ha, well, not much has changed...
I've spent this past month dancing with a really talented ballroom dancer who's been training me to get ready for my first ballroom dance competition, which is actually just one week from tomorrow (aaaahhhh!!!!). This is suuuuch a dream come true! I've been getting invaluable one-on-one training and feel like I'm in the best position in the world as a student. During my time at the studio and through conversations in passing I've learned a bit about dance instructors' jobs: They get the opportunity to teach (which I love!), compete professionally (which I imagine I might love even more), and travel while doing so (need I say more?).
So as I think about what kind of work I might want to do when I get back from my trip, working as a dance instructor looks like a pretty perfect option... however, there's a catch... I feel like there's this expectation set upon me by many people I love and value so much that I need to formally use my Masters degree in Human Development Counseling when I get back from my trip. One person in particular whose approval means a tremendous amount to me I know will be disappointed in me if I don't go that route. My intention in naming this is not to call anyone out nor do I mean any disrespect - it's not others' perspectives that pose a challenge to me, it's all about my ability to accept or reject those expectations. What a challenge!
I really do see a route for creating an opportunity to professionally fuse my interests in dance, counseling, education, and business. My college and graduate degrees provide me with such a strong foundation in the latter three areas, and perhaps teaching and pursuing dance at a professional level will give me better insight as to how I can combine this passion with other career interests. As I see it, my degree isn't going anywhere, I truly employ what I've learned from it every single day, and it's not only valuable if used in a formal community counseling setting.
One thing is certain - nobody who has made significant repairs in his or her world did so by doing things that had already been done. My ambitious life's mission is to leave this world a better place than when I entered it, hopefully while touching the lives of many. So, will I dance when I get back? Maybe. Will I go back to Nashville and pursue my license as a professional counselor? Maybe. Will I do something I've not yet imagined in a place I've never lived? It's possible. It'll be interesting to see how I feel in 9 months... And, as you ride these waves with me during my time overseas be forewarned that I'm likely to bounce between ideas as I explore my desires, my overall self, and my world. As such, I think I'm gonna go ahead and encourage you to gear less energy toward hearing what I say and more energy toward watching what I do ;)
All my love to each of you reading this...
All my love to each of you reading this...