One Wrong Turn

Two lefts do not make a right, but two wrights do make a plane 🙂

That’s been my favorite joke for a while.

I discovered that I have a lot of bad habits, probably more than I even know right now. The problem with habits is figuring out a way to stop them. Have you ever had a desperate need for something common and routine in the midst of your chaotic life? Maybe. One the other side, have you ever needed a break in the normality of your life to spice things up a little?

Those are two totally different sides to the same story. No matter where we are in life, it usually does us good to change up what we have been doing.

If you live in a lot of chaos, sometimes you just need to slow down and get some routine. If you live day to day with the exact same routine, you probably feel the need to do something different for a change.

I have found that two things are necessary for a fulfilling lifestyle (at least for my personality). I need to have some form of routine stability (a job, school, family, etc) and I also need to have the ability to do something fun for myself and my brain at least once ever few weeks.

Although this does not always happen, the times in my life that have been the most fulfilling have followed this pattern. There is one more thing necessary. It’s not a commodity or person, but an idea. I have to care more about someone or something else more than myself.

To be self-centered is the most detrimental thing you can do to  yourself.

My modern teacher said something interesting today, she said,  “We teachers can teach technique to a tree. The only thing we can’t teach is passion, and you all have it. Thank you for that.”

It struck me as odd that she would say that, because I had not noticed any of the girls who were particularly passionate. However, there was something else. Dance is a world it’s own. You cannot compare it to anything else just like you cannot compare two completely separate sports to each other.

The world is a strange place. I find it hard trying to explain certain bad habits away to people, mostly because I have noticed those same habits in all of my friends at dance.

One thing must be said: just because something is repeated or is ‘the usual’ in a large group of people does not make it right or ok.

Psychologically, our brains tell us that if everyone does it, it’s ok. The more a habit or a thought or an action is reinforced, we will actually look to do that action or thought or habit again.

Of course, this applies to everything. What we wear, where we go, how we act, who we hang out with, everything. No matter how hard we try, ( and I tried) it is impossible to avoid the influence of popularity and bandwagon mentality. I remember how hard it was for my to watch my little sister grow up around other little dancers. My sister wanted to go to dance as soon as she could.

She would do everything I did, good or bad. It didn’t matter. This included dance. My mom agreed to put her into ballet classes. My sister was elated, but when my mom saw the first costume they would be wearing for the performance, it caused some problems. The costume was form-fitted black yoga pants and a skin-tight bright blue long sleeve leotard.

When I saw the costume, I could not think of why my mom did not like it. My sister liked it because of the color. It was not until later that I would find out.

Instead of worrying about how my sister currently felt about the costume, my mom was concerned what would happen if my sister compared herself to the other girls. You see, at the studio I danced in, every girl in my sister’s class were half her age and thin as sticks. My sister, as the oldest, was also the tallest and largest in the class. We knew she was fine, but we also knew that my sister was comparing how she, a ten year old, looked in a costume that all the six and seven year olds were wearing.

As son as my mom explained her concern, I understood. Even when I was growing up as a young dancer, I thought I was fat because the other girls said I had ‘football shoulders’. Comparatively, I looked like a football player when standing next to the other girls.

Yet, I never once was overweight. In fact, most of the time I was struggling to put on weight. Comparing that experience to what I knew first hand what my sister would be thinking, and I could no longer stand the thought of letting her dance.

We do not want to watch those we love suffer from the same demons we fought.

She just wanted to fit in, to be like everybody else. It reminded me of a time another little girl, one I taught dance to, came up to me and said, “I want to be just like you when I grow up.” My reply to her was simple in words, but complex in meaning. “I think that you should grow up to be you. Because there is already one of me in the world, but there can only be one of you. The world would be missing out without you.”

Spending your life trying to be something you are not does not get us anywhere. God made us unique. That is why there is only one of us. Without you, there would be a gap in the world God created you to be a part of.

Do not doubt who you were created to be. That is everyone else’s job. Your job is to prove them all wrong.

Be blessed today.

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