Thursday, October 4, 2007


Let me be clear about one thing: African Dance is hard. It has the frenetic energy of Jane Fonda on a venti red-eye with an extra shot, featuring staccato movements to a super-fast drum beat. It has been a truly humbling experience. It takes the title of that TV show, "So you think you can dance?" and adds a hefty dose of attitude - one that has left me hanging my head.

No. I can't dance like that. At least not yet.

I am getting a little better every week, but it will take me YEARS to master this entirely impressive style of dance.

The "years" part has me very aware of the finite nature of my life at this point. I am finally realizing that I must set my priorities and focus my intentions.

I am no longer so buoyed by youthful naivete to think that I can master everything all at once. I cannot master African dance AND refresh my Samba skills AND get better at Salsa AND study for the GREs AND learn swahili AND go to yoga twice a week AND do my art AND get my PH.D AND maintain an active social life AND volunteer AND go hiking every week AND go to the gym three times a week AND end world poverty AND lose 20 pounds AND keep my house clean AND spend time with my loved ones AND travel to exotic locales AND save money for my non-existent kids to go to college.

It's depressing. I know I can do some of those things - some of which I already do quite well, but how do I keep learning new things, trying new things, and perfecting new things, when there is already so much on my plate?

I'm willing to admit that African Dance stresses me out. It is so structured and I struggle to grasp the complexity of making my body move in a new way - and at such a fast pace! I'm almost ready to give up. Even typing that makes me feel bad. I AM NOT A QUITTER!

See? See my internal struggle here? There are so many things to be done. I want to be able to set my priorities in a way that empowers me and gives me more energy for the things I love, but I am also nearly paralyzed by the guilt I feel in letting go of things that are not working.

I need a shot of youthful naivete. Anyone got some just hanging around?

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