Life is a dance.

We step in varied rhythms. We swing, we glide, we dip, we fall.

We move from one dark corner of a crowded dance floor to the next. At times we lead. At times we are led.

Occasionally, we grow bold, and we waltz with a partner or tango with a muse. We elbow our way to the center of that dance floor. We shine beneath a chandelier. We bask in the light’s sparkling brilliance, moving in harmony, together as one, choosing a path, a future, a next step.

But the light is fleeting. The dance floor is full. Our momentum fades. Our feet tangle. Each new step leads only to shadow. Each new step, however perfect, however flawed, returns us to darkness, and we separate.

In our minds, alone, we forever replay the steps. We assess. We analyze. Our heartbeat quickens each time we relive the rare moments when our execution was perfect. Our fists clench and lips tighten at the memory of every failure. We curse each misstep and long for another chance to get it right.

In the shadows, we find a chair tucked away from the maelstrom, sheltered from the chaos of dance floor movement. We watch others elbow their way to the center. Some of them bask in the light of the chandelier forever, rarely missing a step, recovering easily when they do. Others snag new dance partners with every song. They can’t always dance well, but they don’t care.

Some of us sit quietly and listen to the music. We wonder why we haven’t quite learned to dance. We wonder why we can’t find the right partner. We’ve become wallflowers.

We wonder if perhaps we’ve danced our last dance. We smile with freedom and confidence at the idea that dancing doesn’t matter. But that smile, like the light, is fleeting.

All the while, the music haunts us, the sun sets, the shadows lengthen, and the wallflowers wilt in the shade.

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Also published on Medium.


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