I have a job that requires me to be “on” all the time. Owning a dance studio and teaching kids means teaching appreciation for a timeless art, passing on traditions, and offering instruction in technique and terminology accurately and deliberately in order to perpetuate the craft. It also means being the best part of everyone’s day. I entertain children, greet families warmly, and work to put forth an optimistic, hopeful, joyous vibe within the studio and outside it in the community.
It is hard work. Sometimes, although I pride myself on being as genuine as they come, it feels contrived. Truly, it can be. My bad day can’t matter. How bad I’m feeling can’t matter. What I’m going through personally can’t matter. My need for personal space and time can’t matter. I smile and laugh and love and teach and move anyway. I hug people who “love” me. The job requires it.
So I often find myself searching for substance. Real stuff. Meaningful stuff. Deep stuff. Beautiful stuff. Stuff that matters to me. Stuff that feeds me.
I want to drink wine at night under the stars. I want to sip my coffee in the morning while I sit quietly and read. I want sharp, brilliant conversations with interesting people who challenge my thoughts. I want to travel and see marvelous things, eat spicy foods, and hear foreign accents. I want to touch fabrics, feel breezes, and smell campfires. I want to listen to my favorite music, music I’ve never heard, melodious music, music across all genres. I want to be cold and warm and hike and sit and drive and walk.
I want to be in love and actually have time to be in love. Deeply, not hurriedly. I want a break from text messages and occasional, obligatory holidays that command flowers. I want to snuggle and laugh and be awake and present for it, not fall asleep in 12 seconds out of pure exhaustion. I want to enjoy the security of my man, his strength, his smell. I want to appreciate his knowledge yet roll my eyes at his dumb jokes and inappropriate humor. I want to see his clothes hanging in the closet and have memories from where and when he wore that one coat.
Truly, I have all that. I just want more time to savor it. And you know, I am working right now to create that, too. Time continues to pass, quickly actually, but I’m trying. I make efforts each day and have the forethought to be grateful for all I am creating (and have created). I even celebrate my own accomplishments in my own head from time to time, for just a second before running to tackle the next task at hand.
Read this. I found it yesterday. What if we could live three lives? I would probably still choose to live two of this one. And although I like the idea of considering some other lifestyle I would likely settle into, I believe I would still find myself searching for Keith. My time would be filled with lovely, gratifying things, but I would still search for him, for substance.
What a lovely but poignant thought, romantic but real, tender but thought-provoking. Beautifully written.
If I had three lives…