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The Double Meaning behind the blog title 'Dream Follower:'
First, for 14 years I was a ballroom & social dance instructor, and have studied both leading and following. I feel that learning to follow is full of nuance and is often misunderstood. I made it one of my personal goals to become a really excellent follow on the dance floor, and will probably talk a lot about the art of following - both in and out of the context of dance.

Second, I am a huge fan of author Michael Ende, probably best known for The Neverending Story. The book is incredible, and the first film captured some of the essence. (Please don't watch the other two films...I urge you to read the book though!) Anyway, at least twice in my life I have been caught in a storm of my own indecision, and my inner Moon Princess yelled to my inner Bastian...'Why don't you do what you dream?' I tear up even now as I write this little blurb. The tension between being practical, keeping my feet on the ground and my head out of the clouds (at the risk of compromising my inner vibrancy, true self, and who knows what else)...and reaching for my true dreams (at the risk of losing everything) is still a very real struggle. In fact, one of those struggles lead to my 14 years of teaching dance, so we can see which voice won the battle that fateful day when I was staring at the want-ad...

And so I strive to be two kinds of Dream Followers in my life. One has to do with connecting with others, and the other has to do with connecting with my inner Moon Princess and the world of possibility that opens when I do...

Monday, March 31, 2014

April Fool's Baby

It's almost here. April 1st. My birthday. I have conflicting opinions and emotions about having such a birthday. On the one hand, most people remember that it's my birthday, which can be a plus. On the other hand all my life I wonder whether people will try to prank me. Or people don't believe me on the day. Which is funny, actually.

I like to say I'm a practical joke, not a Fool.

But sometimes it seems like it might be nice to just enjoy (in its own right) the holiday without the birthday.

too much pressure to be clever, too much pressure to act surprised or play along.


Nothing deep, just rambling...

A Bit of Background

There is a dual reason for my title, Dream Follower.

The first reason is that there have been at least three significant turning points in my life during which I wrestled with whether to follow my heart or choose a path more driven by rational thinking. (Side note, I'm a fan of Christina Perri and her tour is titled Head or Heart...perhaps I will be able to go to a concert of hers one day.) In the film of The Neverending Story, Bastian throws open the window and shouts "I will do what I dream" and that scene has brought me to tears more times than I can count. The voice of the head is so powerful, armed with logic and reason and like a lawyer badgering a witness in a court room scene the head often overpowers the heart. The head means well. Usually head is operating from a standpoint of protecting us from getting hurt. Heart sometimes has no words, but it has passion and images and obsession. Heart can lead us into wild scary territory. Heart can also justify crazy choices. Scratch that. Heart has no regard for silly constructs like logic, and doesn't need to justify anything, it simply wants what it wants.

So one major turning point in my life was choosing a college. I was a prospective student at three campuses, and applied to possibly six or eight, funny how memory fades certain details...I'm sure as a senior in highschool those details mattered to me a great deal. In any case, I was an avid reader and once I had my weekend visit at SJC the decision was made. I should say that my heart was made up, but my head still needed convincing.

Another major turning point was the decision to move across the country from Upstate New York to California, but even more important was a day once I got here nearly 14 years ago. I was a year and change out of college looking through the classifieds. The job question. Thinking back, maybe my heart knew as soon as the ad caught my eye, but again my head still needed a good deal of convincing. I had been intending to look for something practical, maybe something office or editing related. The ad said "Dance instructors needed, no experience necessary."

In both cases I followed my heart. Neither journey was always smooth sailing, but I do not regret those choices. Also now that I have stated my connection with dance (ballroom and social dancing to be exact) I can out the second meaning for my blog title. I have plenty to say on the subjects of both leading and following on the dance floor so I'm sure you will read more on both from me in due course of time, but for now suffice to say that I particularly pride myself on my skills as a follower. I try not to toot my own horn too much, but I've received many compliments and studied my craft for over thirteen years so I think it is fair to also say I am a dream follower. :-)

There you have it. My first pun. (I'm afraid it will be the first of many...)

For those of you keeping track, yes those were only two major turning points. The third is starting this blog, so it's too raw and fresh to discuss yet. I promise to share more when the time is right.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

A First Step

Dear Cherished Reader,

You are my validation. Thank you for taking a moment to follow along on my journey.

My first step into this world feels exciting which is a good sign. There have been a few times in my life when I knew that a beginning was different than other beginnings. Perhaps one day soon I will share some of those moments with some of you who choose to spare the time. This is a promising feeling every time it happens, and a part of me feels that it might be too soon (I don't want to jinx it) to say if this is another Significant Beginning.

Someone famous and very smart said "You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great."

So here it is. A start.

My heart feels glad.

I may invent, or just vent.
I might entertain or offend.
I might play, overshare, titillate...

It feels like being let out of school on the last day with a summer of options stretching in front of me. And like the sickly sweet vanilla smell of old books in the library and my arms overfilled with so many books I won't know which one to start reading first when I get home. It feels like running with total abandon toward the playground at recess not knowing which thing to climb first.

Welcome, dear reader. And thank you for making one of my dreams come true.