Since We Are At The Dance, Let’s Dance
by Tracy López
Our first school dance – How our already fast beating hearts beat faster once there! Colored lights swam in the darkness, paper streamers decorated the walls of the gym in swooping scallops, limp balloons drooped from basketball hoops. The heavy scent of too much cologne, mostly Drakkar Noir, hung in the air and the music already thumped for an empty dance floor.
The boys shoved their hands deep in their pockets, tried to look casual, checked their slicked back hair with careful fingers and stood against the wall. The girls, squealing the way girls do, admired each other’s dresses and elaborate up-do’s at the opposite side of the gym.
We cast nervous glances in each other’s direction, afraid of being rejected, afraid of being laughed at, afraid of what might happen. It took a few songs, but eventually, slowly, most of us decided we had made it this far, we might as well dance. This familiar feeling will come back to us many times through life – in relationships, in our work, even in the things we do for pleasure. We start things, and then hesitate, unsure of whether we should continue. Sometimes this indecision is valuable and saves us from making big mistakes – other times, it only serves to hold us back from reaching our full potential and from enjoying all of what life has to offer us.
I remember when my husband, Carlos, was only my boyfriend – early in our very short courtship, I had doubts. He had done nothing wrong but things had moved too quickly and his certainty about us being destined for each other made me uncomfortable. In a deserted parking lot one night I gave him the “maybe we should just be friends” speech. He begged me to reconsider, with tears no less. Lágrimas? Para mí? Pero… ¿qué es esto? No one had ever cried for me before!
Despite my doubts, I gave him another chance. More than 12 years later my heart hurts a little when I imagine what could have happened. What if Carlos had decided to be macho and let me go? Maybe I wouldn’t have known what I had lost, but I do now.
It isn’t always easy to make decisions, and though some may see it as a little reckless, I think that sometimes the right answer is ¿por qué no? Go for it, seize the day, see what happens. We’re at the dance, so dance, pues! You’ll never know what could have been if you don’t give it a chance.