Though I wish I didn’t sometimes, I do care what other’s think of me. I try not to, but there it is.
I’m particularly self conscious about dancing. The honest truth of it, is that I really struggle to keep a beat. I mean, I can…
Just not for very long.
When trying to secretly dance behind closed blinds in my own home, I will lose the beat several times over the course of one song.
I’m super embarrassed by this, and NEVER dance in public because of it.
What really kills me about it though, is that my wife LOVES to dance, and is pretty dang good at it. I could watch her dance all day!
But it’s just not the same as being out there with her. And still, I can’t rally the courage to join her.
Oh, we danced. The once. At our wedding. And I couldn’t hang for one solid song. Which, you know, was just mortifying.
Annnywhooo… Enough history, on with the story.
My wife and I attended our first music festival together this past weekend, in the beautiful wilds of Mendocino county, California. The Enchanted Forest Gathering, to be specific.
Now, there were several groups we were excited to see, but one in particular really makes me want to move my body. So I think, “THIS is it. There is no better opportunity to dance with my wife. When they come on, it’s going down…”
Saturday night rolls around, and there is magic in the air. Welcoming smiles, and happy faces everywhere. Not a hint of hostility or judgement to be found. When our group finally hit the stage, I had butterflies in my stomach, but was ready.
They dropped the bass…
…and I lost my mind.
I danced with my wife.
We held down the back of the open air venue for a song or two before deciding we need more. We pressed through the surging, dusty crowd, and swinging dreadlocks to the front of the stage and danced like we never have before together. Swaying and bouncing to the beat, hearts bursting with love and joy for their entire set.
Afterwards, we mill around for while, taking in the sights before heading back to our camp to retire.
I’m on fire inside! I got the spirits! This is a totally new and exciting! I must explore this further!
I explain my burning need to my wife, she is ready for bed, but doesn’t mind if I go back out by myself. So we agree on a “curfew”, I tuck her in, gear up, and head toward music.
The first stage I find is pumping out some deliciously funky tunes, so without giving myself time to think about it and chicken out, I rushed to the front, stake an empty claim by the speakers, put my back to the crowd, and set about leaving it ALL on the floor.
As time went on, I knew people were watching me, but found myself able to sort of block it out.
Oh shoot! I forgot an important part of the history. I recently developed PTSD after an accident, and am still learning to live with it. I have panic attacks, extreme anxiety, and the occasional full blown flashback. Startles are dangerous, ya feel me? This is also important, because inner peace is now more vital to me than ever. Hold onto that thought.
Now, where were we?
Wrestling demons by the speaker.
I think people tried to engage me, but I was dancing for me, and me alone, so I paid no mind. I lost the beat countless times. I even stumbled a few times, but didn’t care.
I’m baring my soul through movement, and it feels good.
It’s spiritual. At times primal. A little scary, but exciting.
People are totally watching me now, and I don’t give a shit anymore.
This is for me.
After about an hour of non stop dancing, I am absolutely exhausted, and covered in sweat, but I feel utterly victorious.
Just then, someone rushes past me on my right, startles me, and I feel a panic attack just on the horizon. So I scramble to gather my stuff, and bolt for a secluded place to catch my breath.
When I calm back down, I head back to camp and immediately pass out.
Completely and utterly…
The next morning, I woke on top of the world, and have been dancing ever since.