DANCING WHEN NO ONE’S LOOKING
Leaving my family, moving across the country, balancing classes and coping with a back injury have all combined to make my first few months at college a trying, yet rewarding experience. Despite the obstacles, I have found moments of pure joy. I have learned to use the things that I am passionate about to get through the tough times. With my passion for such things as music, food and, most of all other people, I have learned to take the good with the bad. I am making a choice. I am choosing to experience life by embracing the good and the bad, instead of standing like a wallflower on the side lines and watching as it goes by. I believe that passion is the key ingredient in the recipe for happiness.
After a long day of classes, I head home, and lock the door to my dorm room I turn up my music as loud as it will go, and sing and dance as if no one is looking. In that moment, when all I can hear is myself and the music, when I am spinning in circles, the stress of a long day lifts off of my shoulders and just floats away. I can be a kid again for a few short moments and it gives me the strength to walk right back out of my dorm room with a smile on my face.
When my week starts to wind down, one of the best stress relievers for me is cooking. Working in the kitchen and having free creative reign has always had a calming effect on me. Its more than just cooking, though. When all is said and done, and my friends are all gathered around the table and they take those first few bites and smiles grace their faces, the past week just melts away like butter in a sauce pan.
I have also discovered that sometimes the smallest gesture can change the outcome of an entire day. It is as simple as stopping to talk to the homeless man on the corner that I pass by everyday. Instead of giving him change that I have in my pocket, I’ll go and buy him a meal and sit down and talk for a few minutes. Each and every time, I am amazed by how infectious his love for life is. When I say goodbye, I cannot help but walk away with a smile on my face. Moments like these, put things in perspective. The problems that I face are like little cracks in the road, that I can easily over come with a little perseverance.
As my first semester in college comes to an end, I know now that when things begin to get rough, all I need is a little music, some butter, and someone willing to lend a smile.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.