When you dance on a two inch square of space, balanced on the tips of your toes. It’s like living life on the edge, you never quite know if or when you will fall. Your balance is precarious at best. If you must fall, fall forward. Forward is purposeful, much more so than backwards, both in dance and in life. Even when unintentional falling forwards does not appear to another to be a mistake if you move through the fall. It’s momentum that takes you forward and fear that takes you backward. If you meet a challenge with confidence and energy you will stay up at best, at worst you will continue to move forward.
When I moved back to the states from Europe I wondered if I was falling backwards, not taking a challenge head on. I wasn’t exactly sure that I moved out fear of failure or as a calculated decision as the best way to keep up momentum. In hindsight I realize it was a bit of both. At the time I just kept moving. I knew if I let the momentum of my decision carry me forward I had a chance at making my choice work for me and not against. I chose to fall forward. And yes I fell. Moving back was not easy. I had to admit a failure of sorts as I did not do what I set out to do.
My mis-step, as it seemed at the time, carried me on to wonderful opportunities precisely because as I fell I made sure to fall forward. I’m lucky to say three very wonderful things about my life, regardless of my age I’ll always consider these things wonderful, but because of it, they seem especially so:
- I get to use my degree in my work. Every day I use the things I learned in school, both of my degrees. Not many people, at any level can say that, especially with their first “real” job.
- I earn enough money. period. I pay my bills, student loans and all, and I still have enough to do the things I love the most: dance & travel.
- I have family and friends that love me for who I am, however strange I get. And they’re willing to help me out when I mis-step.
I think I get to say these things because I do not let mistakes though me off balance. I’m used to balancing precariously and I know how to a) regain my balance and b) use my momentum to move through a fall. I let the momentum of my movement, intentional or not, carry me forward.
So if you must fall, fall forwards, the rest will never know because you will appear to be moving with confidence.