Mediocre Galliards

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.  – George Bernard Shaw

In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing. – Anonymous

No matter what a man’s past may have been, his future is spotless. – John R. Rice

When I was a freshman dance major in college, I had to choreograph a Galliard for my Pre-Classic Dance Forms class.  If you don’t know much about Galliards, you should know this:  They are hard!!!  It’s done in 3/4 time and on every fifth note the dancer has to take a big or a little jump and land on every sixth note.  I worked on and I struggled and I worried about this dance until the day I had to perform it, when I embarrassingly announced to my professor that I couldn’t do it.  I actually had choreographed a piece, but I thought it sucked and I thought I sucked dancing it.  At that moment, I would rather have taken a zero and endured the criticism of my peers than to get up and show something that I didn’t think was good.  My dance teacher gave me until the next class to come up with something or I would take that zero and risk failing the class.  So I went back into the studio to work on it after my humiliating experience, knowing I had to do something, even if it was ugly and horrible and wrong.  That’s when things started to come out of me and I came up with a dance.  I was so glad I did it.  It wasn’t the greatest piece of all times, but it was my piece and I was proud of it.

I found a little stillness this week and understood two things.  First, there have been times in my life when I forced things to happen.  Second, I’d rather force out a mediocre Galliard than have a bunch of hollow zeros to look back on.

The best part about getting older is that you get to look back at your life in chapters.  This review helps you understand yourself and your decisions so much more clearly than you did when you were living it.  Phases of life are songs and plays and dances and books.  You can only get the whole picture when it’s over.  You can critique the performance and make a judgment of it, or you can be thankful for it and find something positive about it to take with you.

I’m looking back at my chapters and saying to myself that I have loved a lot of them and some of them could surely have been better.  I’ve made some awesome mistakes that have brought me some of the most beautiful parts of my life.  I’m sure I’ll continue to screw up, but with the awareness that beauty will come with it and there’s nothing to regret.


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