Boundaries

I think I'm a very amicable person and I like having fun with friends.  I'll sometimes do things that I don't personally enjoy just because I'm with friends who enjoy it.  For example, when I went to gay pride for the first time back in 2011, I met some friends there and they wanted to go to the bar for the after party.  I didn't want to go, but I wanted to be with them, so I went.  I think that it's important to have some degree of acquiescence when socializing with others.  If you're overly rigid with the types of activities that you will or won't do, it may be hard to find friends to hang out with.

But, I've come to realize that sometimes I am too acquiescent and do things that I simply don't enjoy, or that even feel completely disingenuous to me, just because I want to spend time with certain people who enjoy doing those things.

So, now I'll stop being vague and get to what I'm talking about.  Last night I went to two different clubs with some friends.  The first club was a small one, with country dancing.  They do line dances, waltzes, and two-step, probably among other things as well.  While we were there, one gentleman (who I found out is an instructor for the dance lessons they do regularly at the club) came up and asked me to dance.  I admitted I hadn't learned the two-step, but I was familiar with a little bit of dance theory.  He taught me the step and then we danced a couple times.  It was fun.

They taught a line dance while I was there, so I got on the floor and learned it too.  I was just feeling like I got the hang of the dance when they turned on the music and did it.  The tempo was much too fast for me to keep up.  I found myself getting winded rather easily, but also unable to remember all of the steps when performing at that speed.  From that experience, and from watching all of the couples dance while I was at the side of the dance floor, I remembered just how much I love dancing.

A waltz came on, and I felt an insatiable need to dance to it.  The feeling of form and elegance, of beauty and wonder that the waltz elicits in me was overwhelming.  I wished that Conrad was there with me, so that I could share the moment with him.  I wished that he knew the dance, so that he could dance with me in beauty and grace.  I realized that I want to be physically fit.  I want to be active enough that I can dance without being winded.  I felt alive and happy.  I felt in love.

We went to the second club.  This is more typical of what one might picture a night club being.  The interior was dimly lit, with flashy lights bouncing all over the dance floor and loud music playing.  The dancing here consists of people randomly moving their bodies in strange ways to the monotonous beat of the music.  As I sat there and watched (although, admittedly, there were very few people on the dance floor), I realized just how much distaste I have for that kind of dancing.  I have danced that way many times when going clubbing with them over the past 2 years.  I thought it would be worth a try.  And I can't say I never had fun, but seeing the contrast tonight between ballroom dance and club dance, I know which one I prefer.

The entire time we were at the second club, I was pensive.  I was philosophical.  I observed people and tried to psychoanalyze them.  I attempted to extrapolate their feelings from their behavior.  I wondered about what motivated them to do what they were doing.  I noticed people trying to fit in, trying to get validation and recognition from other people.  I wanted so badly to just grab someone and ask them deep, probing questions.  "Why are you here?  What do you enjoy about this club?  Why are you wearing that?  How are you feeling?  How does being here make you feel?  Why do you come?  What enjoyable experiences have you had here?  What do you hope to get out of this environment?"  Not judging, just attempting to understand more fully.  I was purely fascinated, as I always have been every time I've gone to one of those types of clubs.

So, boundaries.  I think I'm going to have boundaries.  It's good to do things because the group is doing them, or because other people want to.  But it's also good to know what you are and are not willing to do.  You should not do just anything that your friends want.  You should have limits.  So I want to set some.  I don't want to go to the wild kind of night club anymore.  Maybe once in a long while, but not on a regular basis.  I much prefer going to the ballroom dance club, so I'll go there.  But I won't be going to the other ones anymore.  It's just not for me.