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When I hear the word dance I immediately think of two things: my sister awkwardly dancing in the car on road trips with unexplainable confidence and Lee Ann Womack’s country song from the early 2000s.
Have you heard it?
I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
Get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean.
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens.
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance.
I hope you dance.
It’s such a pretty song and it meant so much to me the year I graduated high school that I actually wanted to sing it at my graduation. I didn’t tell anyone that, I was just waiting for someone to recognize my amazing musical talent and put me on the stage. I guess the meaning of all the words didn’t really sink in back then. When I look at the lyrics, I think every other line seemed important.
Not losing my sense of wonder, feeling small in this great big world, loving people? Those all made sense to my 18 year old brain. I had the whole world in front of me! How could anyone lose their wonder?
I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances but they’re worth takin’,
Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin’,
Don’t let some hell bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider,
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
I hope you dance. . . I hope you dance.
Every now and then, I still belt this song out with my best country accent. But the words that hold meaning have changed. I’ve looked back and I’ve seen myself “sitting it out” more than dancing, fearing those looming mountains and backing out more than I’d like to admit.
Why do we do that? How can we feel the excitement and pull of our most precious dreams and then bury it? Are we so afraid of failure that we don’t see the possibility of all our dreams coming true right before our eyes? Or are we, even now, afraid that once that dream has been achieved or, heaven forbid, failed that there is nothing else for us, that the world holds no more wonder? That there is a limit on dreaming?
It’s time to stop living like that. It’s time to embrace that skipping heart beat and thrill of excitement, time to push fears aside and go after our biggest dreams. To reconsider selling out on ourselves. Time to embrace those mountains and valleys. Love wildly, live confidently. It’s time to dance.
And my dancing will be different from yours and yours will be different from that girl and that other girl. Maybe you can bust out a moonwalk or pop-n-lock or a twerk and look freaking fantastic doing it. That’s awesome! Dance away, love! Or maybe you’re more like me and your best move is a step-tap. Maybe you get a little crazy and raise the roof every now and then. Or maybe you’re a line-dancer or ballerina.
It doesn’t matter how you do it, the point is this: you do your dance and I’ll do mine. We live our lives and chase our dreams, embracing the risks we are taking. Knowing life won’t end at the end of our dreams. We just get new dreams.
And a new dance.