Monday, June 25

Day 177: To Be Happy When I Grow Up

"When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life." 
- John Lennon

What perfect words to start the week. I read this quote for the first time last week and it really resonated with me. I can't say that I felt that way when I was five years old, however. Back then I wanted to be a professional dancer when I grew up. I took ballet, tap and acrobatics and I thought dance was the coolest thing ever. I pretty much danced all the time, even before I started dance lessons. My mom used to take us with her when she went to the grocery store. The grocery aisles were individually monitored by video cameras, with a TV monitor sitting at the front of the store that showed each aisle for thirty seconds or so. The monitor would cycle through each aisle like that over and over. There was one aisle that I could stand in and see the monitor at the same time. I would stand there waiting for my aisle to be on screen and as soon as it was I would start dancing. I loved to see myself on "TV." 

Shortly after my dance fever started my mom enrolled me in classes, which thus began my long love affair with dance. In many ways I feel that dance is synonymous with happy. Dance made me happy when I was doing it and it still makes me happy, when think back on my dancing days as well as when I watch others dance now. 

There is a program on TV now that I really, really love called, "So You Think You Can Dance." It is a dance competition that allows dancers from all over the United States to compete to be America's favorite dancer. There are even dancers from other countries around the world who come just to audition for the show. I have been watching it now for four years and I have to say it gets better and better each year. The dancers are stronger, the competition is more fierce each season and I sit glued in front of the TV watching the dancers with a mixture of awe and envy. Sometimes I even rewind and watch certain pieces several times over. Ah... to be a young dancer again. 

Every now and then I toy with the idea of picking back up my dance shoes. I don't yet feel that I am completely done with dance, but I no longer want to be a professional dancer when I grow up. Now I just want to be happy when I grow up, like John Lennon. I think he and his mother understood life quite well.

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