A band was playing at a bar that was easily accessible via public transit. I love to dance to their music, so i tried to find others who were going. Nobody was. So, i decided to do what i had never done before (yeah, i know embarrassing for a singles activist but, hey, i, too, have things to learn!): Go by myself. I’ve done plenty of things by myself, including long hikes. But not much going to restaurants or bars, let alone travel by myself. If i hadn’t been working on the good-girl-habit, though, i probably would’ve just gotten a book out and stayed at home. Friday evening the thought of doing that was just unbearable, so i decided to go!
As i was waiting for the metro train, which was late as usual, i watched how my mind whispered that this was a perfect time to give up “you’ve proven you can do this by just going out, just go back home!” I decided to stay another 5 minutes. Fortunately, the train came within that time, so i got on. The bar was lightly populated and i didn’t recognize anybody from the folk dance community. The opening band played some very danceable tunes – and i didn’t feel comfortable being the only one to get up dancing.
The main band came on about an hour into my adventure. Again, hardly anybody was dancing. Right in front of me was a tempting open space and i could sense the resistance in me, the fear, the threatening shame (maybe fear of shame?). Then it hit me: Baby steps! I didn’t have to go up and dance. I had already taken a major step for myself toward inner freedom by just showing up.
Without dancing, especially without being able to follow other folk dancers who actually know the steps, i had enough of the music at the break and decided to leave. I think i was floating :-). I had broken through a major inner barrier – and had also realized that this, too, was a process. What had gotten me stuck was my expectation that i could just switch something inside and be a radical grrl (that’s the all-or-nothing attitude i referred to above… i hadn’t noticed that i was holding it until Friday’s experience!). Well, it doesn’t work this way – no amount of self-judgment will change me. Starting to take baby steps will. And the next time i go to a dance event by myself, i plan to dance even when i don’t know the steps and there’s no one there i could follow.