Is This Really Adulting?

Posted by Lisa Stevens on

We were at an outdoor evening market some weeks ago, there was live music, it was a great atmosphere. (Outdoor evening markets are my favourite ones to attend, as a vendor and as a shopper.) It was small, but the crowd was wonderful. Everyone was kind and enjoyable to chat with. 

During the live music, there was two ladies who began dancing (it actually started with one, but then another joined in....I have no idea if they were friends or it was the music that took them away), right at the front of the crowd. It was beautiful, they were graceful and had no inhibitions, they did what felt good and you could tell by the smile on their faces they were enjoying themselves. 

I thought to myself...Wow, I could never do that. And then I wondered if it was lack of confidence or just that doing something like that is not who I am. As I pondered this over the next day (actually that night I had a dream that I did join them, it was not awkward nor strange, they welcomed me and we all enjoyed ourselves) I remembered several times when I was a teenager that I was exactly like that. 

I can remember two very clear instances where someone else might have shied away from "letting loose" and enjoying the moment. First instance: My friends and I one evening, got up on a billboard on Main Street and no music. We didn't care that cars were driving by....we didn't care that maybe no one was even paying attention, we did it for us. We danced, we laughed, we had a great time. I remember that time fondly. Second Instance: It was raining, a good friend and I (my memory is a little fuzzy about whether someone else was there or not....I just clearly remember the two of us, but could have been more of us. lol) went to the coliseum parking lot, we turned the music up got out of the car and danced in the rain. One of my favourite songs has always been Mr. Jones by the Counting Crows, and I am positive one of the reasons is because of this memory. I will ever associate this song with being free spirited and just enjoying the moment. I was neither ashamed or embarrassed about either activity. And that makes me wonder when something within me changed....when did I start to get embarrassed by enjoying the moments and doing something out of the blue, or different than those around me. 

I have to wonder if this lack of spontaneity was inevitable. Is that part of growing up and becoming an adult? Is it part of being a mother and a wife? Of doing life in a quiet and reserved way? Is this true adulting? 

I am now 44 years old....and I am trying to take back that side of me. Whatever reason I lost it....I know it is still in there somewhere, maybe deep down, but I know it is there. I know not everyone even wishes to be so present in the moments....but I do, I knew I used to and I would love to find that side of me again. 

Is this really adulting? We tell our kids they can be whatever they want to be when they grow up....but with being an adult comes stress and issues that we never foresaw as a child....that the "fun" parts have often been pushed aside for the necessary. If I am an adult, then I should get to choose, for myself, to engage in activities I enjoy, especially if they will help take those stresses and lessen the negative effects they can have on me. 

So, all that to say, if you see some crazy lady dancing in the rain in a parking lot late at night....or dancing at the beach to no music (I doubt I could physically get up on a billboard these days....AND I wonder now if it actually is illegal hahaha) then it might just be me, so watch if you want to watch (I will do it with or without an audience) or just keep going and maybe think of something that excites you, something that you wished you could do but are worried about being embarrassed....and maybe my example will help push you in the right direction....the direction of enjoying life because YOU want to, not in spite of being an adult, but because you are one and have the freedom to choose to be free. 

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