Perhaps because I find myself tongue-tied and shy at times but bursting with exuberance at other times I appreciated the opportunities that attending a large high school afforded me socially. There were clubs, and after school rehearsals. Weekend trips with Speech and Debate, a ski trip, a trip to Boston, a few trips to NYC for a Broadway musical, a trip to DC, practice for Mock Trial and then the actual Mock Trial events...many of which involved bus rides and card games and a handful of hotel stays where kids gathered in each others rooms and talked or played spin the bottle or truth or dare. I never felt like I was in the center of the social thing, but I loved the laughter and being close to a large group like that. I think I had a crush on almost every guy at some point with varying degrees of intensity and a *very* rich fantasy life. My first real kiss was in tenth grade, and I was having fun. I like being able to join a club or go on a trip and know that it will force me to interact with people close to my age. I suppose that is what 'meet-up' and all kinds of other online groups or dating websites are attempting to organise. Perhaps I will look into that (meet-ups, not the dating websites) too, in my renewed efforts to be social. (nothing against dating websites, and maybe I'll change my mind...but I tried it a couple times and I would rather meet irl doing something I guess) In any case as awkward as it might have been, it was an external construct that helped me push out of myself...and since graduating I have struggled a bit finding peer groups, since I don't attend any religious services or other 'group'. Ironic, isn't it? My work is by definition social, but we have policies in place (for good reason) about not dating or even socialising with our clients. And I'm way too old to date anyone on staff...in fact almost double the age of our newest teacher...wait...not almost...exactly!
right. organised (forced) peer interaction is one of the primary things I miss about school.
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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...