a mantra for this year

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Some mornings I look up and groan, wondering why I would put such an obnoxious little note where I could see it immediately upon waking.

I have post-it notes all over my room. Usually they’re reminding me to wear such and such outfit or to do a chore before leaving the house. There is one stuck to my headboard that reads:

A life lived in fear is a life half-lived.

It comes from my favorite movie, Strictly Ballroom. In the movie, Tara Morice plays a beginning ballroom dancer of Spanish heritage. The star of the studio, Scott, (played by Paul Mercurio)  loses his dance partner because he wants to do his own steps. Morice’s character (Fran) starts to win him over and they gradually fall in love and go on to compete at a national Latin Dance competition.

During their first rehearsal together, Fran calls Scott a “gutless wonder” because even though he wants to do his own steps, he’s too afraid to follow through because there are too many people expecting him to be strictly ballroom. She tells him how hard it is for her, with everyone looking through her, not expecting her to be any good. She wants to dance with him his way not because she thinks they have a chance at winning, but because she wants to be more. She wants to be as good of a dancer in everyone’s eyes as she knows she is.

¡Vivir con miedo, es como vivir a medias! She shouts in his face.

Plus, who knows? It might land me a handsome dance/life partner someday.

Plus, who knows? It might land me a handsome dance/life partner someday.

Taken aback, he realizes that she’s right.

This of course goes with my theme of the year so far. I don’t want to regret anything. I don’t want to miss out on something that could have made me happy because I’m afraid of being judged for it. It’s like carpe diem and YOLO and hey, why the hell not?

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