I’ve never been one to flinch from situations that were out of my comfort zone or to decide against doing something because it didn’t fit a social norm or because of what others thought about it.  Which, it’s brought to my attention repeatedly, is not how the majority of people live.  To which I always respond “Why?”.  Why don’t they live that way?  Why not follow your curiosity, your bliss, your desires?  Life is short and alla that.

Now I’m not saying I’m an adrenaline junky or that I’m even truly adventurous.  There are plenty of people who do much more than me, go further, dig deeper, and live amazing lives that are rich with experience and incredibly fulfilling.  Sometimes that makes me feel like I’m slacking, sometimes it encourages me to do the next thing I’m contemplating, and other times it makes me say “Thank you for doing that so I don’t have to.”  🙂

But in my limited urban realm of existence where I forget that people live in their self-imposed boxes seeking out people and experiences that reflect their perspectives and world views, it surprises me to meet these people.  Especially when they are in shock at meeting an entire world that is living outside their box that they have never seen before.   I went to a terrific bellydance performance last night. It was Tribal Fusion and the performers were great and anywhere from seasoned professional performers and teachers, internationally known stars in the bellydance world, and students just beginning their performing career.  The styles were various, which was fun, and there was a mix of just about everything that is out there in the community right now.  However, for the couple sitting next to me, the real show was the crowd.

Bellydance culture brings people from all walks of life.  Musicians, dancers, punk, bohemian, middle-class suburbia and every other variable imaginable, most of whom were there last night.  The couple beside me were there to see a friend of hers who was just starting her performing career and so were new to the culture.  They spent quite a bit of time commenting on the crowd and the culture like they were tourists visiting a different county.  Which in some aspects they were.  They were seeing outside their own cultivated box in a way they had never done before.  And they were a bit amazed by it all.  Bellydancing (Bellydance Superstars being the exception) is not big venue, rock concert fare.  It’s small, intimate, mixing middle-eastern and western cultures with DIY crafting, techno-pop and live Lute music.

I was impressed that they didn’t go into shock and overload before the night was through and that we could actually hold conversations before the show and during intermission.  But through it all I just keep looking at them and seeing the boxes they had built around them from their need to perceive the world a certain way.  From a need to have some kind of control and mastery over their environment.  How much richer and more fulfilling would their lives be if they redefined the box?  Or just cut some more holes in it so they could see through to other possibilities? I guess it’s good they got a taste last night. Now, what new adventure can I get myself mixed up in….