I remember once seeing a tv show or movie in which a character, I think it was a woman, had a life that wasn't going well. She was dating the wrong people, doing and saying all the wrong things at work, just generally screwing up her life. Then one day she decided to do the opposite of what her first instinct was. If a guy asked her out who she would normally say no to, she said yes. If she would normally agree to take a project from her boss, she told him no. Suddenly her life was going incredibly well.
Lately I feel a bit like that character. My life wasn't going so bad, it just hasn't been very interesting. Not that there's anything wrong with working, coming home, hanging out in my cool apartment, writing occasionally, and going to bed. Weekends with my friends and family. It's not a bad life by any means. But there's always room for improvement.
I've been doing the things I always said I was going to do then didn't ever get around to doing. I've been taking singing classes for about 6 months now. I always loved to sing but was always petrified of doing it in front of people. Now every week I get up in front of 10 to 15 people and sing my little heart out. Last week I actually got up in front of them and my knees didn't shake. I even had fun. I told myself I wasn't afraid, when normally I would have given into my fear, and suddenly I wasn't afraid.
I've started taking salsa classes. I've had two so far. I was afraid to go the first time, and probably wouldn't have if my sister hadn't gone with me. I don't consider myself athletic. I think I dance ok, have good rhythm, but I'm usually too self-conscious to dance well until I've had at least a beer or two. So here I was, as a beginner brought the front of the class with 5 or 6 other people, as we started to learn the steps. I was afraid I wouldn't get it. I was afraid no one would want to dance with me. I did it anyway. And I'm doing pretty well. A guy even asked me to practice with him after the last class. Someone wanted to dance with me. I didn't think I could do it and I did it anyway. I even went alone to the second class.
I've decided to go to Europe. I haven't been since 1995. When I went then it was a huge adventure. I went through all kinds of changes and had epiphanies and became a stronger person when I was there for two months travelling. Up until now I haven't really wanted to go back enough to go through the saving process to be able to do it. Suddenly I want to go more than anything. I want to go more than I want to shop. So I'm starting to save. I sort of thought I was done with Europe. Instead I'm running to it.
I'm going to take Spanish classes. I always wished I'd tried harder in Spanish class in high school. And I listen to the spanish-speaking people I work with and wish I could understand what they were saying. Wish I could chatter along with them. Even listening to my brother-in-law and family speak French to each other makes me want to learn Spanish. Not to spite them, but just so I can do that too. French never interested me much, but Spanish is a useful thing to know in SF. When I took my last Spanish class in high school I swore I'd never look back. Now I want to leap in again.
I'm not doing everything differently. I'm not doing the opposite of everything for the sake of doing the opposite. But I am trying to do the things I know I should be doing but might not normally do. I'm trying to follow my heart and do what will make me happy, what will make me a better person, what will give my life some oomph.
I'm still not saying yes to the guys I would normally say no to. You'd understand if you saw them. *shudder*
note: Does anyone know what tv show/movie I was talking about in the beginning of this?