Step 5: But, I’m going backwards!?!
Talk about a prescription for my control issues. In order to do this tango thing, I had to do it blind! Or at least, be okay with not knowing where I was going. Perfect. f$%#!
Melissa Pierce is one of my sources of inspiration. She is a stay-at-home mom turned documentary filmmaker/speaker and the question she poses in her project, Life In Perpetual Beta is this: “Is the unplanned life still worth living?”
This question resonates with me because as it turns out, the life I had planned was not (worth living, that is). And yet, it’s still incredibly challenging for me to let go of making plans. Our Culture places insane amounts of value on knowing what your goals are, where you think you are headed, and where you intend to go. Heaven forbid you just wing it! That’s for those woo-hoo types. Foolhardy, maybe even insane.
Believe me, I’ve spent many, many hours reflecting on the path my life has taken. The road has been anything but straight. It turns out that even when I thought I was making plans, those plans didn’t really lead me to where I thought I was going. My “plans” just led me to the next step.
Let’s take my “job” as an example. I was an art major in college. I got a job in media when I graduated. I decided to “abandon” that and become a graphic designer. Then, I apparently “threw away” a perfectly good design career. Now I publish this website. With every pivot and turn, I’ve ended up in a different place. But now I see that I needed all the preceding steps to get to my next position. There was no way here but by the path I came, but I really didn’t plan to come this way. So who know where I’m going to end up! Why not just take the next step?
In this left-brain dominated world, I think intuition doesn’t get enough airtime. In retrospect, I like to think that there has always been an unconscious part of me that knew to make those turns. If I look back at my major career choices, I’m certain I made them because they felt right. Or, that the alternative felt wrong.
So back to tango class. Here was my opportunity to consciously exercise Trust. If I wasn’t willing to give up the driver’s seat, I wasn’t going anywhere (at least on the dance floor). My partner was in charge of where we were going because of the simple fact that he was the only one who could see where we were going.