Coulda' Woulda' Shoulda'
Our days are made up of decisions. One at a time. Many of them last about as long as the cookie we eat or the TV show we watch. Others are cumulative and reach their tentacles out to touch our future. We often don’t realize it at the time, because we’re all near-sighted when it comes to our vision of the future. There are no magic glasses for us to wear as we choose each day.
For the most part, I don’t look back on my life with regret. I hate when someone is asked, “If you could do it all again, what would you change.” Because, well, you can’t. And if you could, you’d make the same choices and mistakes as the first time around, because, you’re you. My major decisions, who I married, my children (even the unexpected ones), where we live, I’m happy with them all. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Well, one thing.
Friday night we went to Odyssey Dance Theater’s production, “Thriller”. (If you live in Utah and ever have the chance to go- GO!) As I sat during the opening number, chills ran down my back and the goosebumps on my arms did a dance of their own. I. Love. Dance.
I was a dancer once. I never had the opportunity for classes as a child, but, in high school I was on the drill team. That was my introduction. Then, at Ricks College, I took a modern dance class. I didn’t even know what modern dance was. I fell in love with it. So, second semester, I tried out for the modern dance team. To my shock, I made it. That five months was magical. I discovered I had a talent and a connection to dance. I loved the way it felt to learn the moves and perform in sync with the other dancers. I got so nervous before a performance, but as soon as the music started, the nerves melted away.
That was 20-some years ago and I haven’t danced since. This I regret. When I go to a performance like the one on Friday, those regrets are magnified. I watch those dancer’s bodies as they move with such control and grace. I see their faces and know they are joyful as they make their muscles one with the music. My soul longs to join them, to feel again the magic of movement. But, sadly, my body isn’t a dancer’s body. It’s a mother’s body. With stretch marks and too much skin. My muscles are used to lifting children and cleaning house. The music I listen to is only for my ears.
I don’t regret being a mother. That choice I would make a million times over. But I feel I could’ve done both. So, when I find those longing emotions pulling me to dance, I tell myself I still can. Someday, when children are older and time is less constrained, I'll take classes again. I may never perform, but there is still a chance that I can have that grace and strength. I’ll be the old lady in class, but that’s ok. My soul will be satisfied and I’ll be the old lady without regret.