June 11th, 2011
Tonight I tried salsa dancing for the first time. I mean, I’ve danced before. Been dancing practically my whole life. What’s a little salsa? I can do this, I thought. I mean, I love reggaeton, that’s like salsa music, right? Well, the answer to that is a big fat freakin NO. Salsa is unlike any other kind of dance. Not even in the same category as Cumbia (which I LOVE). And as I was there, fumbling over my feet, apologizing to whichever poor guy had asked me to dance, I re-learned something I already knew very well…which is…I hate doing things I’m not already good at. I’ve never been one of those people that finds joy in the challenge. That loves mastering a new craft. That sets a goal to find the hardest thing possible, and then dominate it. But rather, I love things I’m already naturally good at, and tend to just do those things over and over.
Put me in some cowboy boots with a Coors Light in hand and I’ll Tush Push your face off. Get me in a salsa club with some sangria, and I’m out the door faster than you can say “Ay dios mio!”
So what does this have to do with anything? A lot. Actually. It has to do with everything. Up to now, I’ve been “country dancing” my way through life. Doing it the easy and natural way. Getting by on my natural talents and abilities, never needing to really push very hard or challenge til it burns, because my natural has always landed me in pretty cool spots, with pretty cool cowboys.
I’ve (subconsciously…apparently, at first) decided that my natural isn’t good enough anymore, and moreso, that my “natural” is actually a bad habit…a bad pattern. And for whatever reason, I’ve decided that it is no longer ok to just stay in the Sally’s Status Quo Zone, especially when it comes to personal growth.
You guys have been with me for my last couple posts which have been (hard for me to watch) emotional, to say the least. It has felt like a constant and unrelenting growth period. Just when I think I’m “fixed” and “yay! I looked at that, I’m all done and I don’t have to look at it ever again” (kinda thing) something else pops up that is worse/deeper/harder/more guttoral that the last thing. That happened to me this week.
Just when I thought my journey of self-growth was leveling out, and just when I thought I couldn’t get any deeper in it, it happened. Another mountain to climb showed up. Last week, I was honestly thinking to myself, “ok good…phew, I’m glad that Daddy realization came up. That was a big one. I’ve known that was bound to show up and by golly…I’m sure glad it did. So…………..cool. I’ve looked at it, and I’m done for now. Moving on. Good. I feel good. Yeah.” But oh no. Nanananananana no. I’m not done. I’m not even close to being done.
Right now, I’m looking at this all in a categorical way. Like last week’s Daddy realization goes into the category of “Things That Have Happened TO Me That I Had No Control Over That I Buried Deep Inside Because They Hurt” i.e. the “Victim” category. And this week, I’ve discovered a whole new category. And this one is even HARDER to look at. Because it goes in the category of “Needing to Take Responsibility For The Times I’ve Messed Up And Really Hurt Someone and Buried That So Deep Inside Because I’m Afraid That If I Looked At It, It Would Show Me That I’m Actually A Horrible Person and Big Ol Fugging Asshole Bitch” category. I.e. the “Persecutor” category. Shit. That is hard to swallow.
It’s easy to look to other people and blame them for hurting you, and blame them for why your life isn’t the way you want it to be. Like, “Look what YOU did to ME!” “I’m sad, scared, alone, a mess, not living my life fully because of something YOU did!” It’s harder to look at yourself and realize that you’ve hurt people, and that “my life isn’t the way I want it to be and I’m sad, scared, alone and a mess because of something I did.” To see that you’ve messed up. You did something you knew you shouldn’t have done and you did it anyway and it resulted in pain for someone else or yourself. You can explain it away. There are a million reasons “well I was hurting!” or “I was going through a hard time in my life.” All those things are probably true. And what’s also true is that because of where I was at, I behaved in ways that then hurt someone else, and probably caused them to go through a hard time in life. I was perpetuating the cycle. Victim to persecutor then back and forth.
And…so what, again, does this have to do with salsa dancing? Well, personal-growth isn’t easy. Looking at this stuff doesn’t feel good. It’s not a natural state to be in. I’m not already good at it (like salsa). But yet, I find it to be extremely important and since I’ve been doing it, my life is already so much more rich, colorful, real, rooted, better. My heart is expanding, I’m more sensitive, I’m more tender, I care more, I love more and deeper, I want more for others. I’ve always known that being “aware” and all those other woo woo words were important, and now I believe it with my whole heart.
And I’ve decided to stop my pattern of taking the easy road (in life, in business, in love), and now I’m dedicated to trying out the unpaved road, seeing where it leads me (in an RV, apparently). I want to try harder, push myself MORE towards discomfort, MORE towards that which scares me.
And most importantly, I’m realizing that I can’t plan for shit, so I’m going to stop trying. 100% of life is unknown. I have no idea how everything is going to turn out. All I can do is live my life the way I want to live it, and see what happens.
So for anyone who is ready for a change, or looking for a new perspective, or new glasses through which to look at your life out of, here’s one possibility. Take the beginners mindset. We’re students. We’ve never done this before. We’re just learning how to run our businesses, be in a relationship, dance salsa, raise one eyebrow, send a tweet, or be a decent human being. We can’t expect ourselves to 1) know how to do it right away; and 2) be perfect at it out the gate. Nothing in life works that way. We all need to learn how to live, and the first step is trying. Experimenting. If it doesn’t go well the first time (or fourth or fifth or millionth), we gotta get back on that bike (or is it horse?) and try again. And in the meantime, allow yourself the process. Don’t beat yourself up. Just be, where you happen to be.
And…where I happen to be today is that I am so so sos osososoosososoososos SOOOOOOOOOO excited for my upcoming adventure of RV’ing around. A few weeks ago I was scared out of my mind, thinking it was impossible and ridiculous, and now, I’m imagining myself driving through the open and cloud filled skies of Wyoming, with the wind in my face and my dog in lap, listening to the radio, and smiling. And I feel happy. And free. And grateful for my life.
What are you going through right now? Any big life lessons showing up for you lately? Leave me a comment. Let’s throw a big ol personal growth hoe down together.
And I will now leave you with a video that sums up how I’ve been feeling about my time winding down in the Bay Area, while I look forward to my next thing. The path and the destination are still unclear. Who knows where I’ll end up? But to me, it doesn’t matter. I’m going anyway. Here I go. Again. :)