My whole life I’ve been told I wasn’t good enough, I didn’t have the right body type, I was too muscular in some areas and not muscular enough in others. Well, if you could talk to anyone who knew me personally, you would know that telling me I can’t do something only makes me try harder.
So at the age of seven I set out on a journey to find something I was good at. I was great at volleyball-but my heart wasn’t in it. I was OK at softball-but I didn’t like playing it as much as I liked watching it. Obviously I must be a pretty good writer but that’s not where I’m going with this. Somehow, around the age of 12, I stumbled upon Cheerleading. You lot are probably thinking, ‘oh, wonderful. Another self-absorbed, over empowered preppy little Cheerleader.’ No. Not me at all. I wasn’t popular in school, I was nerdy, awkward and bullied, but I still cheered until my feet felt like they were going to fall off, because I loved it. Until recently, I never once was told I couldn’t, and I never once doubted my skills to the point where I stopped believing in myself. Now, being forced unwillingly into adult hood, cheering came to a rather abrupt stop because I don’t live on campus.
I know, a seriously ridiculous reason, but this reason CHANGED MY LIFE.
After reading the email fifteen thousand times to make EXTRA sure my name wasn’t on the list, I was heartbroken. Cheering was the only thing in my life that I actually felt like I was doing right! My writing hadn’t gotten me much of anywhere, so what was I supposed to do now? Then opportunity struck—my boss put me up for an internship in Scottsdale, my home town. It didn’t have anything to do with my degree, but it was too good to pass up. 40 hours a week at nine bucks an hour is a pretty sweet deal for a college kid. So I packed my bags and went home to grandmas for the summer.
While there, I came into contact with a group of some of the most AH-mazing people I have ever met in my life. A group of people so diverse it blew my mind. One of these people made me realize something that literally changed the way I saw the world. He was the dance instructor of this ‘group’ and he showed me that in dance, no matter the discipline or form, it was about feeling the moves, controlling the body and trusting your body to perform. It wasn’t about how I looked, what my body type was or what color my skin was, it was about confidence. At first, I was like, “Alright dude, whatever you say,” but that wasn’t enough for him.
My instructor encouraged me to try different forms of dance, to get outside my comfort zone, so I did. And somehow, in the middle of all those contemporary, hip hop and jazz classes I took for fun, to meet people, I finally got the confidence to dance the way I wanted to dance. I realized that it was what was inside that counted. It didn’t matter if anyone else thought I was ‘good’ at dancing, what mattered was if I thought I was good enough. If I was confident in myself then there was NOTHING I couldn’t do. I felt more beautiful dancing in sweats and a ratty t-shirt in the middle of El Dorado Park in 118 degree weather than I did at my senior prom.
This realization seeped into other aspects of my life (including my writing) and people started noticing. They begged me to tell them what my secret was, but it wasn’t a secret. I shouted it out to the world, put it on social media—even tattooed it on my rib cage. The secret is to ‘take joy in who you are’. This is actually a quote from my favorite song, but it’s the only way I can describe what I’m trying to say.
This blog isn’t about boasting about my dancing skills, telling you random facts about my boring life, or whatever else people blog about. It’s about proving to everyone who reads this that they can do anything! I want to spread love—self-love. You are the most important person in the world, you. Yes you, the soon to be college graduate who feels like they have no direction, the middle child who thinks they haven’t a friend in the world, the businessman who’s life is falling apart. YOU ARE IMPORTANT, and don’t let anyone tell you any different.
For me, dancing feels like flying, and if I can fly, I’m one step closer to Heaven.
Now fly my little WildeKat’s.