Last year, as a new year resolution, I made this commitment to myself to dance anyway. I am not a dancer. I was never good at dancing either. But that never stopped me from dancing anyway. My policy in life is to ignore the noises around me and focus on my goals. So one day, I decided to start learning ON MY OWN. I have taken dance classes before but never really enjoyed them very much. Why? Because I just can’t follow the instructors well enough and the classes are too fast-paced for a beginner even if they are “beginner classes”. From my observations, any time there is opportunity to learn a routine, it seems like people just get it all in a couple tries. For me? Not so much. But the truth is, I don’t really care. What I need in order to be satisfied at the end of the day is to know that I have tried my best and that’s enough.
I started dancing last year as a way to keep my body active throughout the winter and just to de-stress myself and take myself away from life, work and my expectations of myself. Dancing was perfect. I was terrible at it and I loved that. I enjoyed being myself for 15-30 mins everyday. It was a very liberating experience.
At first, it was just so hard to move that I felt like I am trying to move a huge rock across the room hahaha but it got easier and easier to feel the music and dance to it. It took about 2 months just to loosen up, feel the music and let myself move. That’s just after I started to learn, but quite honestly, it took me all my life get there. To let myself be myself. Anyway, that didn’t mean I had become perfect at the routine I was trying to learn. It meant that I didn’t feel like I was chained to something anymore. Following instructions is hard and sometimes you feel like you are moving like a robot. At that time, I didn’t have a schedule but I promised myself that I’d dance at least 5 days out of 7 even if it’s just for 5 mins a day. I did that with a lot of dedication for about a month. As I started getting more comfortable with the slow-paced routine, I started to look for fast-paced videos to make dancing more fun. Sometimes the mix-up helped, sometimes it didn’t.
As I tried these workouts, I found myself singing and dancing at random times for absolutely no reason at all. Have you ever had a day when you once again unwilling got out of bed, went to a job you don’t really enjoy, didn’t have time to eat breakfast, talked to your friends about usual things and yet, you didn’t care about any of those things because inside your heart, you felt happy and satisfied? Well, at 9am that day, in the cold and gloomy February, I didn’t care about anything else in this world. My heart was still dancing to the new dance routine I tried the day before and that was really all I could hear. Everything else was just noise. I was at my job at a very early hour for an early shift (which I didn’t usually enjoy), customers still called to complain about their services, I still hadn’t landed a full-time job matching my education and interests even a year after graduation and yet, I was happy. I can never forget that day. It made me realize what’s most important to me in life.
It was peace. It was the need to be far away from everything around me whether good or bad; the need to disappear from my own life for a few minutes every day and return as a changed person. If, every day, I could take the time to shake everything off and just enjoy being with myself the way I am, it was enough to change how I feel every day.
More than anything, Dance taught me to accept myself. I admit that I am not a perfect person. And I am no longer going to aim to be. You know why? Because no matter what kind of person I am, I am enough! For myself and (hopefully) others too. That I am content with my fears, my insecurities, my imperfections, my weirdness; I am enough! No matter what people think of me, I am enough! No one can live my life for me. No one can go through my struggles for me. I know where I am today and how hard it has been to get here. That is why, no matter what anyone thinks, wherever I am, whatever I am, I am enough!
So, if today, I cannot express myself with Dance as easily as others can, that is perfectly enough. May be I look funny. May be I can’t move at all. Still, for me, taking small steps every day is enough. I don’t want to get anywhere tomorrow or even the day after. I wanna take my time to learn, to have fun, to make mistakes, to repeat a step hundred times before I finally get it. Because you know what? What I do for myself every day is enough. The acceptance of who I am, the hard work and commitment, the ability to let myself be comfortable in my mistakes – all of it is enough because I am enough!