Andshelaughs · Fearless Living · Girls Stuff · Grief · Lean In · Life · Living · Loss · Meaning of Life · Psychology · Women's Issues

Not Afraid to Boogie: Living a Meaningful Life

dancing old women
“Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” ~Frederick Nietzche~

Are you doing everything you ‘should’? Should. It’s worse than the F-word, and more lethal than methamphetamine.

I live in a suburb of commuters. Each day people herd themselves into train cars bound for the city corral, and then herd themselves back on to be let loose in the pasture of traffic-congested suburbia.

Commuting on the train was a soul-smothering experience. Everyone was dressed the same, barely made eye-contact, and wished they were anywhere else but being jostled along like Mike & Ikes in a speeding box while they lived a meaningless life.

I hated it.

So I quit.

That’s right, I quit.

I didn’t lose my mind and scream like an Edvard Munch painting character. I didn’t march through the office beating a drum and telling the man to fuck off. No, I simply persisted in the direction of the type of life I wanted to build. This train is a metaphor for life;

We make ourselves small in an effort to protect ourselves. We stop dancing. We try to fit in so no one challenges us. We turn inward when reaching out has garnered painful feedback. Turning inward and shutting down when you’ve been hurt is a mechanism to protect yourself, but one that is dangerous if you don’t eventually open your heart up again to all of the wonderful love that’s out there.

Trust, is not black or white. It merely exists on a fluid continuum of trustworthiness. All relationships whether personal or professional fall along this continuum somewhere. You just can’t let the untrustworthy outweigh the trustworthy in the grand scheme of life. It is a delicate balance, but if you’re out there reading this, I know you can handle it.

This post is not a tragic story of loss and lessons learned, although I do have those stories too. Unless you’re open to sharing a bottle of bourbon on a humid night, you’re not going to hear those tales. You know why? Because they’re in the past, and from this perspective, those experiences are an integral part of the firm foundation upon which I’ve created a good life, cultivated deep friendships and learned that belly laughing, sharing a smile with a passing stranger and  hugs are the best therapy. To lock yourself away is to deny yourself all of the beauty of life.

Although, in truth, nothing was the same.

She forgot about the stars… and stopped taking notice of the sea.

She was no longer filled with all the curiosities of the world and didn’t take much notice of anything…

from The Heart & The Bottle by Oliver Jeffers

If you live in fear, and crave change, the only choice you have is to take a leap of faith and step in the direction of your dreams, regardless of how many painful lessons you may have been taught.

You either dance, or wish you were dancing. My experience has taught me to dance whenever you can, with other people who choose to hear the music.

One thought on “Not Afraid to Boogie: Living a Meaningful Life

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