Caution: naughty language below!
I danced, freely, for the first time since I was about seven-years-old.
My yoga instructor had done something slightly unconventional—Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off—and told us to just move.
Dance. Dance like hell. Get off our mats.
Really, truly, shake it off.
At first, I was completely horror-stricken. My mind set off on a panic-stricken spiral:
What if I looked like a total idiot? I am a terrible dancer, I know it (how, if I’ve never danced, do I know?). I really like these fellow yoga students—what would they think of me once they’d seen me leaping about the room?
As an introvert whose idea of a fabulous evening is not having to speak to anyone for a few hours, I had suddenly plunged into my own personal hell.
I looked at my instructor and several of the students who had already recklessly abandoned themselves to the music.
Eyes closed, bodies moving, they looked not foolish at all but completely full of joy. Moving, happily, and without fear. They sure as hell didn’t care what I was doing, and they weren’t wasting a second of their lives considering what I thought.
For a moment, I was jealous.
And then I, too, dived in.
I shut my eyes. And I danced.
It was a revelation.
In another recent conversation with the same fabulous yoga teacher, we chatted about those self-same insecurities, the things we hold ourselves back from doing because of our fears of what others may think. Simply, and accurately, my teacher pointed out—“who the fuck cares?” If we aren’t doing something that is harmful to others, if we are simply enjoying and expressing our own personalities, why on earth do we care what others think?
Really, who the fuck cares?
I thought about a bizarre internal (albeit shallow) struggle I have had with myself in the last year over my own attire, after a previous roommate had harassed me about wearing too many colorful, hippie-ish things. Every time in the past year that I have gone to wear something bright, flowery, reflecting my true self, I have questioned it. Ridiculous, you might say, but our insecurities lie deep. Our clothes are an outward expression of our personality, and I had been hiding mine because of some ridiculous comments a person not worth my concern had made to me.
Dancing wildly around a yoga studio might not have entirely changed my life, but the unabashed joy it brought up in me certainly made me question what else I was holding myself back from doing out of fear of what others might say or think.
The next time I stop myself from speaking to someone out of shyness, or jumping into an activity I might have held back from because people might look—I’m going to ask myself, truly, “who the fuck cares?” and dive in anyway.
In a few days I’m attending a long awaited Mumford and Sons concert with my mom.
You can guarantee I’ll be dancing my unashamed heart out, in my perfectly, folksy-boho Keeley-style favourite dress.
Author: Keeley Milne
Editor: Renée Picard