Last night I went to my first milonga (social dance in Buenos Aires where you dance tango). I’have been dancing tango for 3 years but this was my first milonga in the capital of tango. I was scared to get on the floor! I was glued to the chair taking videos, pictures, chatting but all I had in my mind was desire to dance. But I couldn’t. I was afraid that my skill level is not adequate. I was imagining people looking at me and thinking: This guy is ridiculous, he can’t move. And I’ve been dancing this dance for 3 years!
A new place and very good tango dancers, or maybe it was my mind, or combination of two. I don’t know.
Finally a girl asked me to dance and I went. It turned out fine. Not perfect, but OK as far as I’m concerned. I danced 2 songs and went back and sat for the rest of the night.
And that situation has got me thinking. Is it, what happened to me at the milonga a metafor for how I run my life in general? Why was I so afraid to dance? Why do I act well in familiar setting and why am I totally frightened in a new territory?
We live in our cozy world of familiarity and steadiness. It is so comfortable in our little zones, that we have long forgotten the Amazing Art of Adventure. I want to say loud, so everybody can hear me: We are afraid.
We are afraid of our own imaginations. We are afraid of “what will people think”. We are afraid of being criticized and judged.
But what is the price we pay?
The price is our life.
We need to say goodbye to our comfort zones, to our self-esteem levels etc. We need to say hi to ADVENTURE!
We need to do what we fear. We need to do unfamiliar. We need to take risks.
It’s not easy. It is the most difficult thing to do. But it is possible.
And I will do everything I can to expand my world. I promise that to myself.
PS: At my next milonga in Buenos Aires I will ask a girl to dance;)
(Tango photo from zabara_tango of Flickr with Attribution License)