How often do you question the things you’re about to do? Do you wonder how you’ll appear to others, what they’ll think of you if you go after what you really want?
Wednesdays I go downtown to dance West Coast Swing with friends. One of the newer guys there asked me to dance and I agreed. Just as we were beginning, he said, “time to make a fool of myself again.”
I replied, “Well, you could be a fool for lesser things.”
If you don’t know it, it’s a line from the Billy Joel song, “the Longest Time.” And the context of the song is feeling foolish for falling in love.
To be a fool means to be tricked into acting silly or stupid.
The guy I was about to dance with was definitely afraid of looking silly or stupid right in front of me. It is a risk all dancers take when engaging with someone new.
We’ve all been there at the beginning of doing anything, the fate of being a total beginner. I knew how he felt and all I wanted to do was help him see the value in playing the fool.
Because I remember…
Dance is something I love with such intensity that I was willing at one time, like this guy, to look/feel like a fool to get my foot in the door. I was willing to trust the strong pull of desire just to find out if I’d ever get better, and I had some pretty high standards about getting better!
Long story, short, I’ve stuck with dance 20 years now. I’ve spent thousands of dollars learning from professionals, traveling, competing and meeting new people. I took a risk, played the fool and would easily do it all over again. It’s what I love and it pays me back with joy. Because of that, I’ve learned an important lesson: you’re not really a fool if you’re chasing love, no matter what.
What one thing had you at hello?