As a resolution to myself (even though I said I wouldn't be making resolutions this year), I took a pledge, along with my coworkers, to be healthier. I joined a gym at the end of January and have been taking several zumba classes a week along with walking/jogging on the treadmill. As a step out of my comfort zone, I have taken a weight lifting class as well, but it is zumba that has become my savior. I was taking zumba before I moved here, but had stopped as I knew no one in the area and was not committed to joining a gym at the time. In the past two months, I feel better than I have in the past year.
I am taking these classes because dancing is something that makes me happy. I don't claim to be good at it, but I would say I'm decent, and I enjoy it. I also enjoy the companionship and camaraderie that goes along with it. A whole bunch of strangers are thrown into a room together with great music, and we just dance for an hour. Everyone is silly and individual personalities are encouraged to shine.
While our classes are mostly filled with females, every once in a while we get a male who decides to take the class and the instructors literally rejoice. I've seen three different men attend a class since I have been going, but one is by far my favorite. He is an elderly gentleman, and while I do not know his name, I do know that he has a great time. While the rest of us are booty shaking to "Sexy and I Know It," I watch him swaying back and forth, light on his feet, dancing to the music in his head. At one point during Katy Perry's "California Gurls," he catches my eye as he spins around in a circle opposite from the rest of us. He grins from ear to ear, shakes his head back and forth, and continues to dance towards the front.
Another woman I have taken quite a liking to is an elderly woman who always dances near me in the back. One Saturday morning, my coworker and I were forced to stand near the front due to the sheer number of people attending class. Afterwards, the woman comes up to me and asks, "Where were you?" I shook my head confused and she explained, "You're always in the back near me. I always follow you because you know all the steps." I had never spoken to her before that. This morning she came up to me and said, "Good, you're back where you belong," as I purposely headed for the back of the classroom near her. It is instances like that which make me smile and dance with passion despite how I may look compared to others.
My point is not to write a thousand words as a zumba advocate, but to advise all you readers to find something about which you are passionate. For me it has begun dancing, along with writing. You have to take the time to honor that which makes you happy, those activities that make you different. Emphasize the qualities that make you unique, that make you you in spite of what you look like or how you might do compared to others. Never compare yourself to others and never doubt yourself. If it makes you happy then do it. If others say you are foolish, just let them talk. At least you know you are nurturing your creativity. At least you can say you are thriving.