Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Outside my comfort zone

So I've always wanted to learn how to salsa. No, I’m not kidding. Stop laughing. I know, you keep picturing what Miss Hathaway from the Beverly Hillbillies would look like on the dance floor. But after passing the real estate exam, I feel empowered to do anything, including salsa . . . with another person. The truth is, I’ve been trying to teach myself from the computer. It doesn’t work. So I found a Groupon and signed up for a few classes at Fred Astaire. Let me just say I’ve walked up on water moccasins and felt less trepidation than I had stepping into that dance studio. But I’ve got my cross, my wedding band, and Frozen sisters-pendant around my neck, so I took a deep breath and jumped off the cliff with complete, unadulterated trust. Not until the teacher, a very handsome, professional young man took me by the hand did I realize just how far I was outside my comfort zone; it wasn’t just unsettling on every level, I had the sensation that someone shut the door behind me and locked it. For a sold half an hour I danced . . .with a man. Now I’m picturing Miss Hathaway. And if holding hands with a man wasn’t weird enough, I let him lead and (this is unprecedented) tell me what to do. I’m not just outside my comfort zone now; I’m on an alien planet. But I kept telling myself, be open and find the joy in the exploration of something new. And then it happened! After a mighty effort to teach me how to turn, my teacher finally succeeded. The thrill of success was overwhelming; I stopped dead, and lifted my arms for a double, overhead high five. He laughed as our hands met in victory then calmly said, “You know you can’t do that in the middle of a dance.” The moral of the story is this - even though I found myself so far outside my comfort zone, I still managed to bring the essentials, humor and a willingness to test the edges.