There's a story that's been going around lately about how I've become the office tramp. Now, it's not what you might think. A few weeks ago I was allowed to go down to D.C. to represent our company at a conference. I decided I needed a nice professional outfit to make a good impression, so Catherine helped me shop for one. I got a two piece skirt and bustier matching set with a nicely fitted black suit jacket. It looks pretty sharp, if I do say so myself. And the bustier is very high and doesn't even look much like a bustier. Anyway, I told my mother excitedly about my new clothes and how great it was all going to be, to which she replied from her end of the phone, "that sounds completely inappropriate for a business function." The disgust in her voice (probably from hearing the word "bustier") was apparent and my self-esteem took a bit of a blow. However, when I told Catherine about it, she burst out laughing that my mother thought I was a tramp for wearing what was by all means a conservative outfit.
Now I'm not one to flaunt what I've got or even wear anything remotely suggestive. At least, I wasn't until a few months ago when I started getting more confident about how I look and act. Wearing better fitting (and sometimes even a bit sexy!) clothes does wonders for how you feel about your body. When you feel good about how you look, it shows. I've had some issues with body image, but nothing too major. Anyway, I feel like learning to dance has helped me find a lot of confidence. I find I'm taking chances and by going out to salsa clubs, I'm meeting people and putting myself out there.
Which brings me to a completed goal (finally!) - goal number 22: Put Myself Out There. Something about social dancing used to make me very anxious and uncomfortable. If you've ever seen the film Marty, I was definitely Clara - all alone on the sidelines of the dance hall getting passed over by guys and not having enough guts to take the initiative. I never even went to my senior prom. But this new challenge to try a dance class helped me to get over that shyness. Imagine my surprise when all the guys in my class were also nervous and couldn't dance! I'm still a bit shy when I go to the salsa club, but even that's starting to change. And there's a lot to be said about pretending to be confident - about two months ago I met a guy there I really liked and with a lot of encouragement from my wing woman (Catherine), I got up the nerve to give him my email address. We have since started to hang out with other salsa folks and very recently have been on a few dates. I'm not about to spill my whole story here on a public forum, but what I really want to say is that at long last I feel good about myself. I have no idea if anything serious will happen or not, but that's not the point. The point is that I'm taking a chance again.
Another plausible title for this blog post would be "I Wish I Were in Love Again." I've always chuckled at the lyrics to that song, which talk about all the awful aspects of being in love, yet the singer nevertheless wishes to be in that place again. Here are some of the best lines: "The broken dates, the endless waits /The lovely loving and the hateful hates/The conversations with the flying plates - I Wish I Were in Love Again." During a phone call with a college friend of mine who is now in San Francisco, I told her about this conundrum. Taking a chance on love (ha! another Sinatra song title!) is really just opening up your heart to a whirl of emotions, like going from a merry-go-round to a roller coaster. But when it comes right down to it, I'd rather be on the roller coaster, plummeting blows and all. Because even when you go through all those endless waits and broken dates, it's the experience that makes it all worthwhile. I don't know now if it's been the salsa or the new clothes or even just meeting the right people at the right time, but that confidence I've been faking since January is finally starting to feel more genuine. I promise to keep getting out there taking all kinds of chances on life and on love, and for you, dear readers, I promise to report back. :-)