The older I get, the more conscious I’m becoming about why I avoid certain situations or am attracted to them. For instance, several months ago I started using Peapod, which is grocery delivery service, so that I no longer had to go to the grocery store, because I found myself getting unnecessarily anxious while I was grocery shopping. Between navigating carts through a crowded store and waiting in the deli line where everyone around me is eternally pissed off that the line isn't moving fast enough, I was leaving the checkout a nervous mess. I also hate crowded places. Why? Because there’s usually enough people in crowded places who also hate them, and unfortunately I very easily absorb the energy of others. Absorb the energy of others, you ask? That’s hippie speak! I thoughts so too, until I realized the energy projected by others seriously affects me in a real and tangible way. Think about it: you walk into a room where people have just heard really bad news, and you instantly ask “what’s wrong?”, or you’re in a meeting at work where there’s strong tension between two or more people. “You could cut the tension with a knife” is a saying for a reason. When emotions are intense and amplified, we all can feel them – some more than others. But feeling strong energy isn’t always a bad thing.
Last week I decided I needed to go dancing. At that moment in time I couldn’t have told you why my desire to go dancing was so strong. Regardless, I knew I needed it, so I hooked up with some (mostly retired) derby friends who I knew also like to shake it, and we met up on Saturday. At the beginning of the night we were literally the first people on the dance floor, and I’ll be honest, while I love to dance, I don’t love to dance when I’m the only one dancing. “Don’t worry,” my friend kept saying, “People will show up. It’s still early.” And they did. Next thing I know the dance floor is packed, the music – while I can’t place the song – is audible building, and every single person in the room is preparing for that beat to drop, and when it does we explode, dancing faster, harder, and as one collective body. For that moment in time, there is no “I” – we’re one elated pulsating mass driven by the beat, and that environment is one of pure excitement and bliss. I now know why I needed to go dancing. I needed that immersion of positive energy. I needed to take it in and give it back out, and I did, and it was fucking wonderful!
It wasn’t until the next morning when I was having coffee with the hubs that I could fully articulate why I love going out dancing so much, and he totally got it. He has the same experience when he goes to a hardcore show. When you get down to it, it’s about recognizing a need you have and then meeting it through whatever means, and most of the time we don’t even realize we have a need – we just decide we need to go shoot hoops, go for a run, take a long bath, or go dancing. Sometimes being human is so truly amazing to me.