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Living On The Edge

Step 1: Leave the House.
Step 2: Say Yes.
Step 3: Find your Edge.
Step 4: Live on it

Last Friday I got the urge to go country dancing.  I don’t know where it came from, but there it was, in the front of my brain… “must go dancing, must go dancing, must get your honkey-tonk on.”  And even though I had no one to go with, and had never been to this country bar before, I decided to go anyway.  My thoughts went, approximately, exactly, like this.  “I want to go dancing.  There’s the Saddle Rack I’ve been meaning to check out.  That would be fun.  But I wonder who will go with me.  I’ll text Aaron.  Shit, he’s busy.  Lily is with the kids.  Hmmmmm.  Maybe I’ll go alone.  What if that’s weird?  What if I get there and don’t like it?  What if I have no one to dance with and everyone else does and they just think I’m some loser?  Fuck it.  Whatever, then I can just leave.  But it’s kind of late.  And the bar is kind of far away.  And I could stay here and watch a movie with the puppy.  Yeah that sounds nice.  And I could probably get some writing done.  Yeah, good idea.  But wait…I want to go dancing.  That sounds like fun.  What else am I going to do, really?  I can sit here anytime.  Besides, I am trying to not be on the computer that much.  OK FUCK IT! I’m going.”

So…I put on some hot pink lipstick, my cowboy boots, and got in the car.  Country music station blasted through my speakers the whole drive there, reminding me of times passed where men openly dreamed of taking care of their wives, having several kids running in the yard, and sitting on porches with said family members, looking out over their ranches, watching the sun go down.  Simpler times, that I’m sure still exist in places outside of Oakland, California.

I pull up to the Saddle Rack and my night goes pretty much like this: One man (old enough to be my dad) after another comes up to ask me to dance and teaches me the dance if I don’t know it.  I two-step, I dip, I twirl, I giggle and smile.  Before I can even sit down after the last dance, I find another man coming up to me asking me for the next one.  They are complete gentlemen and I only sit out for three dances total, all night.  And eventually, a young cowboy comes up to me to ask me to dance.  A cutie with light eyes and a big ol cowboy hat.  I say yes, and we dance the rest of the night. And I had an absolute blast.  Best night in a very long time.

Cowboy and I decided to hang out again and during that time, I did things I’ve never done before (and some I hadn’t done since I was a kid), including:

1)     Shooting guns-22 rifle, 12 gauge shotgun, and a 45 handgun (no animals were hurt during this venture)

2)     Driving a quad

3)     Riding on a tractor

4)     Shooting a bow and arrow

5)     Riding dirtbikes (and consequently…my first time riding a motorcycle, ever)

6)     Dipping (as in chewing tobacco)

7)     Dancing the night away TWO nights in a row, learning 7 new dances

8)     Getting my chair pulled out for me before I sit down to eat

9)     Being on the back of a motorcycle when it’s doing a wheelie

10)  Hanging out with goats

11)  Riding in the center seat of a dually truck

I had a blast.  And even though you might think I’m generally an adventurous girl, I don’t view myself that way at all.  Riding the motorcycle scared the shit out of me.  I crashed a couple times, got super embarrassed, had mud all over my face.  But I’m so glad I did it.  I got back on, and tried again.  And it was fun.  And I can’t wait to do it again.

This experience got me thinking about all the times in my life when I didn’t feel like doing something, almost decided not to go somewhere, but went anyway and because I did, my life was changed, or at the very least, I learned something new about myself.  This is one of those times.  I almost turned the cowboy down to hang out again.  Was thiiiiiiiiiiiiiis close to canceling plans.  But I didn’t, and now my life experience is just a little more rich, I have some new skills, I stretched myself out of my comfort zone, I met a really cool new friend, and I had A LOT of fun.  You can never know just exactly what will come out of doing new things, but you can always count on the fact you’ll come out of it a little bit different.

This post is all about living on your edge.  And I don’t mean that in order to live on the edge, you must live dangerously, or jump out of airplanes, ride motorcycles, or swim with sharks.  Everyone has their own version of an edge and it’s important to find yours.  Nothing cool or interesting ever happens from doing the same thing you’ve always done.  It’s only when we break out of our norm, do things a bit differently, switch up the routine that we meet amazing people, that we learn about ourselves, that we have interesting experiences.  This week, find an edge.  Then go live on it.

And on that note…I’m OFF TO FREAKIN COSTA RICA TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  See you from the other side!

Leave a comment and let me know some of the edges you’re wanting to edge towards. :-)

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29 Responses to Living On The Edge

  1. Kathryn says:

    Does this mean you’re going to Burning Man this year? ;)

    • Sallyhope says:

      HAHHAHAH! Well…it might have meant that, except I will be on a different adventure during that time, traveling cross country and shiz.

  2. Colin Wright says:

    Ummm, pretty sure you said you’d let me win at juggling. False advertising.

    So excited for you! Have a safe trip to CR, and enjoy the hell out of it!

    • Sallyhope says:

      Oopsie. Did I say that?
      And yes, I promise you I’ll have fun, be safe, and conduct some fancy experiments of my own. First one being…can I actually pack all my shit in a small bag?!?!?!?! Stand by.
      Skyping will happen. Hopefully drunkenly.

  3. Wow! So is this what life can be like when you don’t have kids? ;). Sally, sounds like you had a BLAST! Rock on. Love this story and… since you’re in denial… I’ll remind you that YOU ARE ADVENTUROUS! Trust me. Luv, K

    • Sallyhope says:

      HAHAH! Girl…yes, I imagine life without kids to be a bit more free than with kids, although freedom with kids (i believe) is still possible. And thank you for reminding me that even though I have fears, etc, that I am still adventurous. YEAH!!!!

  4. URK says:

    hahaha..you just experienced my childhood :)

  5. HELLZ yeah!!! Love, love, love this post! And girl? Seriously? Shootin’ guns, country dancin’, riding dirt bikes, rockin’ the cowgirl…I think rodeo should be next. Yeeehaw!! Can’t wait to hear how you rock your edge in C.R.! :)
    You’re really inspiring me to see where my own edges are…I’ll report back…but I think it might have something to do with hip-hop dancing & a karaoke solo for starters…

    • Sallyhope says:

      WHOA GIRL!!! YES YES YES YES YES!!!!! Def on the hip-hop and karaoke, and luckily for you, there is a karaoke bar right around the corner from you where you can rent out private rooms for cheap. DO IT DO IT! It’s called Jaguar.
      Can’t wait to look back on our journeys and giggle at how much we we had (and are still having!!)

  6. hahaha, welcome to my life… tractors, dirtbikes, canoeing in my pond, watching gators, shooting guns (yep, all of those you mentioned and more), shooting a bow, playing in the woods, boat rides, bonfires (I’m a pyromaniac!), and city gone country girl. Only I don’t have boots. And I don’t do the country bars! I’m more of a cajun country girl ;-)))) Crab boils, crawfish boils, lots of days outdoors.

    Pulling a trailer full of people attached to a tractor through the woods at night is a ton of fun. Kids and all!

    And there’s definitely a ton more freedom when you don’t have kids. A TON MORE. You aren’t one person anymore, but 2 or 3 or 4 or more. Imagine packing that up. Definitely can be done though!!!!

    Enjoy Costa Rica!!!

  7. “If you’re not living life on the edge then you’re taking up too much room!”

    LOVE that you’re embracing this Sally!

    Can’t wait to hear about your CR adventures…

  8. Kim White says:

    I love you Sally!!! There should be a zesty spice named after you. Can’t wait to see what kind of edges you find in Costa Rica.

    • Sallyhope says:

      Thank you so much girl! A spice…hahaha! Awesome. Now tell me dear, what’s your edge? :)

      • Katie B. says:

        Edge Edge edge… I cannot think of one at the moment but this juggling intrigues me m’lady. Aren’t sexy cow boys the greatest!?! I have a sweet Tennessee man myself and I get all giddy when he say’s things like “Fix’n” or “I tell you what!” Have a blast on the trip my dear.

        • Sallyhope says:

          Ahhhhhhh!! Lady I love you. And your Tennessee man sounds real nice. Hee hee. Keep in touch lady and findan edge dammit!

  9. Hawk Mazzotta says:

    What a wonderful time that was little Ms.Sally. Great blog, I say do Somthin everyday that scares you, makes you feel alive! Have a wonderful trip and these boots are ready for ur return to the dance floor. Lookin forward to seein you all knit up real nice like.

    • Sallyhope says:

      YES! “I say do Somthin everyday that scares you, makes you feel alive!”
      I agree 100% On all of it. Gonna make sure to practice my dances while I’m here. Me and my knits will come back solid (and tan!) You better do the same.

  10. DZR says:

    Wow. 1 – 11 was pretty much my childhood growing up in Kansas (minus the goats – but you could replace that with ‘using a .12 guage to make squirrels magically disappear’). For me, living on the edge meant escaping that environment. Which is what I did at the tender age of 18. The wonder and amazement you felt on that motor bike was exactly how I felt when my toes hit the sand in Redondo Beach for the first time and the ocean breeze gave me a sense of freedom I had never had. But there was definitely some fun times when i think about it, and it’s a life my daughter will probably never experience (unless Bev Hills turns into farmland). For a variety of reasons, I’m actually a bit sad about that. Ahh, nothing a day at Samy’s Camera won’t wash away.

    Cheers,
    $DZR

    • Sallyhope says:

      Don…it’s so funny, isn’t it? I mean, I grew up with my toes in the sand. Literally…when I was born until I was 6 my house was on the sand, beach and ocean my backyard. And then LA basically being my surroundings my whole life. So for me, this stuff is so foreign, so exciting. I can imagine the other way around and what that must have felt like. It’s just amazing how different experiences are…all rich. All amazing. Now go to Samy’s and wash that pain away!

  11. Sarita says:

    Um, so rad! where the heck is that? ain’t no country like that in Oaktown, right?!

  12. Tad says:

    bad ass. and you can juggle. of course you can.

    this post resonates so much. i think of all the people i’ve said hello to that i was nervous to. all the festivals i’ve gone to and things i said yes to that i almost said no to and all of the incredible things that came from that. how different my life would be (entirely in some cases) if i’d said ‘no’.

    i don’t think we’re totally happy unless we lean into our edges in our lives. and invite others to do so as well. i think so many of us want to but are scared. and i think your work is about giving people permission to say yes to they things they want that scare them.

    • Sallyhope says:

      I never quite had the words, but I absolutely agree that my work is about giving people permission to say yes. And yes to whatever THEY want. And it won’t look like my yes or your yes. But your own YES.

      There’s an awesome Darius Rucker song that I was reminded of while writing this. Doesn’t relate exactly but I think you’ll get where it does. http://youtu.be/bjKFb-4t_vg

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