NO MATTER HOW 'ABSURD' THEY SEEM,
FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS!
FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS!
By ANTOINETTE RAINONE
It was my Mom who suggested: "You should take tango lessons. Remember you always wanted to dance the tango?"
Dance the tango? Seriously?
I was 36 and recently divorced -- with no partner! I should dance the most romantic dance on earth -- NOW?
Or was it? Mom was suggesting I tap into my true passions. She was encouraging me to do something I had always yearned to do, yet had never done.
Although it seemed absurd to take tango lessons at the very moment in time that I had no partner, maybe ... just maybe ... this was the perfect time.
I invite you to read my story ("Perfect Partners," GUIDEPOSTS, July 2014), and find out what happened when I took that leap of faith into the 'absurd.'
Then, come back here.
* Is there something you've always dreamed of doing, yet haven't done?
* Have you made various excuses as to why you couldn't possibly follow your dreams?
* Have you ever thought of taking a leap of faith?
I love Nike's trademark -- "just do it."
We have a limited time on this earth. JUST DO IT, ALREADY!
There are so many reasons we don't just do it. Here are a few.
* Fear of the unknown. (What if I look like a fool trying to tango?)
* Intimidation. (So-and-so would be so much better dancing the tango than me!)
* No time. (Sorry, I just don't have one hour a week to try something new and exciting that could possibly change my life forever!)
When it came closer to the date of publication of my GUIDEPOSTS story, the art director contacted me about wearing a red dress for the photoshoot.
I was hoping I could have given them photos of my dancing the tango 14 years ago -- minus the extra pounds!
But GUIDEPOSTS' style is to take photographs of people as they look when writing their stories.
And so the worries ensued.
* Fear of the unknown. (What if my hips can't squeeze into a tango dress?)
* Intimidation. (So-and-so would look so much better than me in a tango dress!)
* Feeling absurd. (Can a plus-size woman even dance the tango?)
How could I prepare for this photoshoot? Scenes from "I Love Lucy" popped into my head.
Remember the episode when Lucy crazily attempts to shed 12 pounds in two days so she can fit into the size-12 dress to dance the Cuban-Pete number with Ricky?
Maybe if I stopped eating bread, pasta and Doritos, I, too, could fit into the tango dress! Chick-chicka-BOOM!
Then I realized I was missing the whole point of my very own story. My story was about how I followed my dreams.
Fourteen years and many pounds later, I was still following my dreams. I didn't have to be skinny. I didn't have to be perfect.
I had to be me.
I had to show that I am who I am today because I took that leap of faith and just did it.
And so I went to the photoshoot with a renewed state of mind.
Upon arriving at the studio...what did I see on the building across the street?
"Follow Your Dreams," written in graffiti. I laid the roses I brought along for the shoot on the ground and snapped the photo you see at the top of this page.
Then I stepped into the studio, beaming, ready to tango.
Find your wings ... at any age.