Essay 4 of 52: Letting Go

I don't know if I want to teach Zumba anymore.

I've been playing around with the idea in my head for quite some time now. But I know myself well enough now to realize that if I am toying with letting go or quitting something - it's that I really want to, but am afraid.

Becoming Zumba certified is one of my best and favorite decisions. It wasn't something that fell in my lap, or an opportunity I said "Yes!" to. It was a conscious choice. I even had to chase it down a bit. Wait for it.

I'm proud of teaching Zumba because it is one of the most vulnerable things I have ever done. It's still hard - to stand up in front of a group and dance. Not just dance, but lead them in dancing. Just the other day, (mind you, I've been teaching for two years) three new girls came to class. It was their first time, and I think they were embarassed to be new. They kept laughing and I had to keep reminding myself that the laughing wasn't triggered at me. But that's awfully hard to remember in the thick of the moment.

But all the vulnerablity, the hard work, the practice, the long hours - it payed off. I chased something I wanted to do and thrived in the doing.

But now, I don't really enjoy the doing anymore. Instead of getting ready for new songs each week - I dread class. I don't want to prepare new material. I wait till the last minute to prep a set list. My class size wasn't as successful this semester. And instead of working to make my classes better and recruit more students, I just .... gave in.

When the weekend would roll around and all those glorious hours of free time presented themselves, I didn't work on Zumba. Instead, I got really into quilting. I cleaned my house. I went on walks. I spent time with my sister. I shopped for home decor. I watched a movie with my husband.

Anything but Zumba.

I think I'm afraid to give it up, because it has come to define me. I've let it define me. I like what people think about me when they know I am a Zumba instructor. I love having on my resume. I like being known on campus as "The Zumba Lady."

And I don't want to give that up. But truthfully, I already have in my heart and in my actions.

In reality - Zumba doesn't define me. What really defines me is my relationships with others. How I treat my coworkers in the office. What my attitude is each day. How I treat my husband. Not my pastimes. Not my jobs.

In this upcoming year, I don't want that type of fear to control my decisions. In 2015, I want to keep working on how I define myself - the stream of self-talk I start each morning. I want to give myself more grace and less pressure. To realize the difference between hard work and working too hard. To set goals, but let real life get in the way. And be okay with it.

And also, I just want more time to quilt.

Here's to you 2015!


  1. I read this week that "we make choices and those choices make us." Sounds like your in the midst of a makeover. I can't wait to read how this deletion opens the door for some impacting and molding new additions.... Love to see your writing again! D..

  2. I like that! I'm already enjoying having that night free.