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There is this part of me that desires change.  That desires an immediate change which would potentially alter my long-term plans.  And that part of me doesn’t care one whit for those long-term plans.

I don’t believe there is just one right choice in regard to life.  What I mean is that I don’t believe God has mapped out our options and that we don’t have any choice.  I think several choices can be just as good as others, although there is also a part of me that thinks there might be a choice that could potentially be superior to others.  That is the part that stops me from making the changes I want to make.

So I have these two parts of who I am, one that says “hang long-term plans, the option will always be there” and the other that says “you’ll miss out big time if you miss out on this!”  They don’t like each other much and it fills me with a lot of confusion and indecision.

And because I’m an “all or nothing” type of person, that’s where I’ve been hanging out, thought-wise.  I look at moving to the city (I mean, I am even primarily job hunting in the city), but I fear that a move would prohibit grad school.  I know I can go to school, even without savings, but I wonder if I would or if I would content myself with an okay job but a fun social life.  Moving to the city would be an adventure in independence. 

If I stay at home, I can save up for grad school and go without hesitation next Fall.  I would embark on an adventure that speaks to my love of academics and would ensure that I could obtain a job that would fill me with great satisfaction in life.  However, I would give up other things, such as living in an area that I love, where my family and many friends are, not to mention many of the life opportunities that are open to me here.

I also consider if I truly want to get married or not.  It is not impossible to meet someone here, but it seems unlikely.  I feel as if I have better chances (small though they are) of meeting someone who speaks my language at grad school, or at least through contacts and networking I will make once in grad school.

Although life experiences have taught me otherwise, I still fear that I will make decisions that are permanent and cannot be changed.  There is little that cannot be changed, however.

So in the meantime, I am hoping that life will make decisions for me so that I don’t have to make them myself.  It could happen, you never know.

I had my first private dance lesson the other day.  I spent the lesson learning foundational exercises for dancing.  And I can feel muscles I didn’t know I could use.  My dance instructor (we shall call him KB) also told me that as a follow, I have the right to only dance with leads who will make me look good on the floor.  But I am afraid of being a jerk.  However, I understand the purpose of KB’s words: if a guy cannot lead and/or has no rhythm, my dancing with him will only serve to make me feel like I’ve wasted a dance, and goodness knows I have no chance of looking good if I can’t follow him.

My practicality has often prevented me from doing these type of things in life.  I look at the time involved, at the money involved and I tell myself that if it is not what I intend to do with my life, it would be a waste of my resources.  But I look so much to the future that I forget to live in the present.  And I believe that God intends for us to live in the present.  To live there and to enjoy it and to use what He has given us.  Not that our purpose on life is to be happy, but that God intends for us to enjoy His good gifts.

So dancing has become my outlet.  In a way, I am reclaiming the previous 6-7 years that I very much wanted to take music lessons of one sort or another, but never did because of the associated cost.  I am reclaiming all the years that I said no to fun activities because I had obligations to fulfil.  There will always be work to do, there will always be obligations to fulfil, there will always be a future to consider.  But in the meantime, I want to enjoy today.

I’ve noticed an interesting trend in my life lately.

Ever since I decided that I do not currently want a relationship (and certainly don’t need one), I have been inundated with meeting attractive men.  They are everywhere.  And in my current state, I have become bolder, being willing to talk or flirt or whatnot without half as much care as before.  I find that I don’t really mind if they blow me off or ignore me.  I don’t worry because I’m not interested.  So I can give my number to a fellow and not mind if he never calls.  And it is so very liberating.

You really should try it out.

You know that feeling you get when you think you’ve forgotten something important or like you’re just waiting for the other shoe to drop?  You know, that kind of anxious sort of feeling in your core?  I’ve been feeling that way all afternoon and evening, yet I can’t think of a reason why.  Maybe it’s just general anxiety over not knowing what will happen after August 6.  (Did I mention?  Only 9 more work days to go!)

I tried out a new recipe today: Tiramisu.  I’ve never made it before, and apparently it tastes best if given around 48 hours for the flavors to meld and settle.  So now I’ve made it from scratch (even the lady fingers), and I have to wait two days to know if it’s any good.  I have fears that something terrible will happen… like, I don’t know, maybe the whipped cream part will separate into liquid awfulness.  But the recipe was highly rated, so here’s hoping!

Swing dancing is still going well.  I am getting better at relaxing when I dance and letting my lead actually lead me.  So instead of wasting energy trying to anticipate their moves or figure out what on earth they wanted me to do, I’m spending my energy on not doing that. 

One of the reasons I think dancing will be good for me this year is that it is just for me.  It doesn’t benefit anyone else.  There are no obligations, it’s not an act of service, it is purely and selfishly for me.  It’s good to have those type of things in your life.  It makes me feel saner about the rest of my life, especially when the rest of my life isn’t going how I wish it were.

Positive thought for the day: Sooner or later (and hopefully sooner), someone will hire me.  I am hire-able.  I have good things to offer future employers.  I hope! :)

I really liked the Daily Bread from July 17, by Dave Branon, so I decided to share it.

“One of our grandchildren is allergic to several kinds of foods.  Milk, cheese, eggs, and ice cream are among the items she has to avoid.  Even a small amount of these things is detrimental to her health.

She’s not alone is being required to avoid certain things in life.  While her allergies are related to her physical well-being, each of us as believers in Jesus has dangers we need to stay away from to maintain spiritual health.  Scripture gives us a clear indication of what we are ‘allergic’ to spiritually.

Every kind of evil (1 Thess. 5:22).  This should cause us to think about the choices we make, because taking part in what is clearly evil is not good for our spiritual vitality.

Foolish disputes and arguments (2 Tim. 2:23; Titus 3:9).  This takes discernment, for some arguments have merit in defending the faith.  But those for which there is no answer or which have no bearing on truth only cause dissension.

Sexual immorality (1 Thess. 4:3).  The Bible says that any sexual activity outside the boundaries of a marriage between a man and a woman is immoral (Gen. 2:24; Ex. 20:14; 1 Cor. 7:2; Heb. 13:4).

Are we willing to make the effort to steer clear of things we are spiritually ‘allergic to’?”

Nearly every morning when I look in the mirror for a final check before I walk out the door, I utter the words, “good enough.”  It might be my shoes, my hair or my lack of make-up (among many other possibilities) that prohibit my final appraisal of being “good,” but it is always something.

I tend to be content with “good enough” when I suspect better is attainable.  It was how I survived high school.  I could have been a 4.0 student if I cared to be.  Instead, I contented myself with “good enough”: mostly A’s with a few B’s thrown in.  I felt no need to push myself that extra bit that would have been required for a better grade point average.  I didn’t mind then, and looking back, I don’t mind now.

I have always worked the jobs that would give me what I needed for the time, such as money and the right hours, but have rarely worked a job that would give me satisfaction.  I have settled for “good enough” in this arena, also.

I am currently looking at LASIK because after wanting it for 16 years, I have finally been given the approval to see if I am a candidate, but am wondering if the risks outweigh the probable benefits.  I can see, even if I depend on my glasses.  What if I am one of the statistics who end up with worse vision?  Aren’t my eyes good enough?

But I am now asking myself if whether I have short-changed my life by accepting “good enough” when “good” is available.  Am I fully living with what I have been given or am I settling?  I’m really not sure.

I had really stressful dreams last night.  Sometimes that happens, and I never like it.  I always wake up feeling stressed and frustrated instead of rested and ready to start the day.

Last night’s dream as well as I can remember:   There was a lot of sitting in hot tubs, actually, talking things over with a group of people.  The hot tubs tended to be in the house where I lived.  Speaking of the house, early in the dream, one side of it broke and dropped a good 2 inches.  So now there was one house, with a distinct ledge in the carpet/floor (on both levels).  I think the explanation was that the foundation was no good. 

On top of that, I was set to teach a dance class (apparently in my dream I was significantly better than I am in reality!), but with a fellow that I used to know in highschool and had never met since.  I had never danced with him, but the class we were teaching was that night.  However, we were going to another dance before hand, so I asked if we could get in at least one dance in order to acquaint each other with our respective styles.  The first three times I asked, he didn’t hear me, so when he finally did, it felt like he was almost exasperated that he should have to say yes to such an obvious request. 

Somehow we skipped the pre-dance (at least in my dream) so when we got to where we were going to teach, we had to go up at least 6 or 7 floors, with no elevator.  When I got to the top, not only was the space inconceivably small and stuffy, but I’d forgotten my dancing shorts, and I was wearing a dress.  So I had to run all the way down to the car to get my pair.  Meanwhile, I had to use the washroom in the worst way.  Then on the way back to the building, nebulous dancing partner by my side this time, it started to rain.

And then I woke up.  But tell me, is that not a stressful dream?  And complicated.  I insert a lot of details into my actual dreams.  I even have some places that I’ve made up in my dreams and will return to several times over the course of years.  The nice part with a dream place I’ve been to before is that it is familiar and I know more of what to expect.

How about you guys?  How do you dream?

It seems to me that less discerning people will note that someone is a good dancer without considering everything that makes a person a good dancer. 

For the lead.  For a man, if he can only dance well, but not lead well, he will never be good.  Leading is not just knowing how to dance, and is not even just knowing how to tell your follow what to do.  A really good lead will know how to dance and will know how to read his follow so that he can adjust his dance to mesh with hers.  He will still give the signals, still control the dance, but his choices are influenced by her.  He is not making blind decisions based solely on his own desires, but is considering her style, her ability, her level of comfort.

For the follow.  The follow’s main job is to listen to the lead and learn his communication style.  Every lead tends to lead in a different way.  A lot of this will come from learning to relax and feel the dance instead of trying to anticipate the next move.  It becomes very important to allow yourself to trust your lead and to naturally follow what it feels like your lead is telling you to do.  Even if you misread, a good lead will go with it and make a mistake into an intentional move.  But the follow also needs to keep the momentum going, not pausing if she is unsure, but confidently moving forward, knowing her lead will take care of her.

For both.  If dancing is a conversation, then meeting a new dancer can be like engaging in small talk as both of you test the water to see where the best fit can be.  Sometimes you meet a new dancer and are able to jump straight into deep water.  It all depends on your style and how you click.  Can you read each other?  Are you paying attention?  Are both of you aware of yourselves and your partner?

I am still learning to be a good follow.  My tendency is to anticipate and to worry and not to relax.  I have a hard time going with the flow, simply listening to what my lead’s body is telling me. 

And sometimes I find that I simply cannot have a good conversation with a certain lead.  I think that may come in time, as my own abilities improve.  But I’d like to add the caveat that if you have a lead who cannot keep time with the music, I cannot see how you will ever be able to follow with any integrity.

These are, of course, just my own personal thoughts on the matter.

It’s been hot.  In the 90’s, I think, which for where I live, is unusual at best.  No one knows how to handle the heat, and no one has AC.  I might melt.

In happier news, I got a pedicure today.  I decided my feet were in dire disrepair, and I didn’t have the energy to fix them myself.  So I paid someone else and got a lovely neon green colour of polish.

In a week, I start my group lindy lessons.  I’m pretty stoked.

Life isn’t too bad.

Considering the deep connection I feel with music, it is surprising that I’ve never let it have a bigger role in my life.  It’s like I take this thing that thrills me, that speaks to me, that makes sense, and I squash it down.  I tell music it can take the unused corner of my room and the leftover space under my bed.  It will collect dust, but it is there when I decide I want to entertain the idea again.

There are so many times when a song can express a feeling I could never express, and even more so for instrumental music, when there are no words to muddy the meaning.  Or the times when I just need to pull out one of my instruments and play in order to sort out my emotions.

What is it about music that speaks to our souls in such a way?  Does everyone feel that way or only some of us?  I cannot imagine living without music.

I remember this, and I wonder why my guitar sits largely un-played and why  my flute sits out of sight, out of use.  I used to dream of being in a symphony someday, but somewhere along the line I decided that it was not a practical life goal, so I gave up.

Dancing is another expression where music speaks to me.  I do not want it to go by the wayside.