It's no fun being a wallflower

Piece Of My Mind #19 - September 2014

I was 34 when I started to dance.

Sad to say, it took that long to shush the voice in my head saying “people will think you look stupid” and just enjoy moving to the music.

It's not that I didn't want to dance, I was just too scared. From age 16 to 33, I was a wallflower, watching and thinking it looked like the dancers were having a lot more fun than me.

Until one day I stepped out on the dance floor, inner voice be damned. And it was fun, way more fun than watching. 

This is how it goes. I’m a serial late-bloomer, usually because I pay too much attention to what others might think. I picked Chemistry as a college major because people told me to. My Catholic upbringing kept me on the sidelines during the 60s Sexual Revolution. I didn't go to grad school until I was nearly 50. I've only recently started to write and design things simply because they mean something to me. At age 67 I'm still playing catch-up. 

What I've learned:
  • Starting late is better than not starting at all.
  • That inner voice that's holding you back? You can ignore it.
  • Things may not get easy, but they get easy-er.
  • Dancing is more fun than watching.

What about you?

You may be already dancing up a storm, like my friend Jeanne who says she actually can't not dance. Still, I'll bet there's something you're watching from the sidelines, wondering if you can do it, worrying that you’ll look foolish if you try.

It might be skateboarding, or painting, or starting your own business. Maybe it's going back to school or joining a band. Or something simple, like talking with someone new at a party. All are scary if you think too much about that inner voice telling you how silly you'll look. So next chance you get, don't listen.

I'm here to tell you it's worth trying. You don't have to be a great dancer, artist, or writer to add joy to your life and your unique beauty to the world. Do what you can, share what you have. 

Because you can do it, you know.

See you on the dance floor!

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