A party! A cyberspace party! People all over the world having fun visiting from blog to blog, making new friends, learning new things, awakening to new ideas, even winning prizes...who would have thunk it? Ah, the blessed internet! This invisible world linking us all. I was marveling this morning at the blessings the internet has brought into my life. I met a best friend on the internet. And if that can be topped, I met my husband on the internet! Maybe those stories on another day. For now, let me dwell on "letting loose". This IS a party, right?
It's sometimes hard for me to let loose. Maybe I'm just not yet comfortable in my skin, but I'm definitely riddled with insecurities and inhibitions. It's my least favorite thing about me, and the thing that people find most difficult to believe about me. Here comes a confession: I've never danced. Never. I WANT to dance, oh, how I want to dance! But I can't break free of the cement casing that binds fast my body. Growing up LDS, I attended every Stake dance. Every single one. I was fairly pretty and popular enough with the guys. I don't think I ever sat a slow dance out. But when the beat would accelerate, and I would feel that rush of blood and adrenaline course through me, somehow the excitement would come to a dead halt somewhere between my head and my feet. I just couldn't do it. I have a natural sense of rhythm, that isn't it. It was more, "what if I look dumb?" I would watch the other kids on the dance floor and envy their sense of abandon and fun. I would carefully watch the moves their bodies did and try to memorize them. I can remember vividly trying to will up the courage, and battling between this intense desire to just go have some fun and let loose, and the defeating voice in my head reminding me that probably everyone will notice my inept sense of dance style and will stop and stare....and think less of me. One of my very favorite songs of that era, ironically, was Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody", and every time it would play I would think, "okay, okay, I'm gonna do it this time. Okay, next phrase. In just a second. Well, the song's almost over now. Next song." But I never did. Years went by like this. Years are STILL going by like this. It makes me mad! Sure, there have been occasions when I've been pulled out there by a frustrated and well-meaning friend and I've done some stupid two-step to the beat just to appease. The whole time I'm running this tape in my mind that says something like, "Move your arms, dummy! Yeah, like that. No, that's dumb. Try this. Too forced." Dying for the song to end. Faking a good time. Just enough to keep suspicions low. Many times I went home from those dances and cried in my room, or blasted some Debbie Gibson and tried to let loose privately. Even THAT couldn't happen.
My daughters are great dancers. Carefree and spontaneous. My oldest daughter, who's almost 13, has taken 6 years of dance instruction in tap, ballet, jazz, and Highland. She has the guts and the self-confidence that I admire so much. I've tried really, really hard to instill that in her. When she would perform in her dance recitals each summer, I would be the mom in the audience crying. Yeah, I was proud of her and had all those mom thoughts of "look how beautiful she is", and "look how my little girl is growing up", but my tears flowed from a much, much deeper well. Those tears were because I wanted to dance. I watched those girls dancing, and any other dancers dance, and I have had this distinct impression that I CAN do that. That I AM a dancer, and I just haven't learned how. I haven't remembered that talent, given to me long before I came to this earth. I have even watched prima ballerinas, and the absolutely infectious Riverdance dance troupe and thought that somehow I belong to those groups. I'm one of them, but nobody knows it. I have this uncanny feeling from the deepest part of my soul that I miss dancing, though I don't know where that would come from.
Just the other day, I popped in a favorite CD of really fun, let-loose music. I tried a few moves, but it was a complete joke. I can't even take it seriously, I'm so afraid of rejection, so I have these ridiculous cop-out dance moves. I even went to the Ellen DeGeneres show and let me tell you how I sweated that one out. She dances! She expects the audience to, also! So, to cover my shame, I worked it with these completely embarrassing, silly, goof-ball, borderline retarded dance moves that I mortify my children with, and don't you know, I was pulled down on stage to dance for the entire studio audience and given an "I Danced With Ellen" T-shirt. What a joke. Everyone else REALLY danced. I was so jealous! All I did was make a fool of myself to AVOID making a fool of myself.
Every now and then I feel those moves trying to bust their way out, but I always stop them. I don't even mean to. My husband caught me in that snare the other day, and he just came over and held me and quietly laughed. "You poor thing," he said. "I saw you almost break free and then you shut it down. You poor, poor girl." He's such a good dancer. Totally uninhibited.
My goal is to dance. Just once I want to break free and feel it flow from my head, through my heart, and fly out through my arms and hands and fingers, and legs and feet and toes, and everything in between. I want to laugh with unabashed joy and freedom and surrender, and I want to sweat and get tired, and keep on dancing. A party is a real good place to start.