April was an odd month for me. I hardly posted here and it wasn’t just because I was busy with work. I couldn’t tell what it was, just something was off.
I felt like I was walking around in a mental fog. I kept asking myself all the questions my friends were asking:
Was it all the new client projects I was working on?
Was it the stress from the legal stuff?
Was it all these changes in my life? OR crap, was it just hormones?
No, this was different. It felt like that scene in the movie Because of Winn Dixie, where Opal talks about missing her mom:
Thinking about her was the same as the hole you keep feeling with your tongue after you lose a tooth. Time after time, my mind kept going to that empty spot. The spot where I felt like she should be.
I wasn’t even excited about the new project that I’ve been working on. I felt like I was just wandering around without any direction. I was just going through the motions, like my tongue going to that space in my mouth where a missing tooth should be.
Getting my spark back
So after a couple of weeks of wondering what the heck was going on, I started doing some research. I typed up how I was feeling and tons of articles popped up. The reading began: OK, that’s not me…. that one, maybe a little bit … and oh, wait a minute, what’s this? This one, this is me.
I was stuck in a rut.
Once I figured out what it was, the quest began to discover how one unruts their stuckness. Let me tell you, there are loads of people out there who want to tell you how to get unstuck. But the one piece of advice that struck me was this: Move outside your comfort zone and do something you’ve always wanted to do.
It didn’t take me long to come with my answer. I knew what I wanted to do. It was something I’ve thought about for a long time. So I stepped outside my comfort box and I decided to sign up for …. dance lessons. Yep, you read that right. I mean like Dancing with Stars dance lessons.
Time to shake things up
Once I decided what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go, I drove over to the studio to get more information about the lessons. I was feeling a little anxious when I got there. Or maybe it was nerves to be doing something so far out of my comfort zone. I sat in my car in the parking lot for a few minutes, took a deep breath and walked in the door.
Immediately, I met Stephen, the studio’s owner. He invited me to sit down and talk to him about why I was here. Is there an event coming? A wedding or reunion? No, I answered and uh, no.
OK, so why are you here? I gave him the standard replies: I’m looking for something different to do. I thought this would be a fun way to lose some weight and meet new people.
He smiled at me, nodded as if to say, yeah I’ve heard those before, but why are you really here? I gave him the ‘single mom, own my own business, spend too much time with my son or alone working’ speech. Stephen smiled and nodded again.
“So,” he says slowly, looking me in the eye, “Has anything changed in your life lately?”
Wait … what, huh? What did you just ask me? That one took me back a bit.
I wasn’t sure how to answer so I stumbled over my words and said, “Well, yeah, I did break off a long term relationship but that was last year.” I think I muttered a few more words about meeting new people and then quickly changed the subject about the people who were on the floor dancing.
Stephen proceeded to do his Julie the Cruise Director imitation and described to me about everyone on the dance floor. “See that couple? Their kids are getting older and they wanted to do something just for themselves. And that guy over there. His girlfriend is a fabulous dancer so he’s going to surprise her by taking dance lessons. And those two in the corner … they’re getting ready for their wedding day.”
He looked me in the eye again and said, “It’s part of my job to know everyone’s reason for taking lessons. How can we help you if we don’t know why you’re here?” He seemed so warm and understanding that I shared with him about my research and the rut stucker syndrome I was in.
We talked a bit more and I was sold. I signed up for my first lesson. By the time I got back to my car, my fog had lifted. And that space in my mouth, it didn’t feel so empty when I stuck my tongue there.