Being in your 20s, you evolve in a such an odd way; everyone evolves differently, but essentially all the same. You become many different things along the way, as for me, I changed quite a bit. Going from an emo punk teenager, to a moderate (jeans & t-shirt) styled young adult, to the fashion forward vogue-wannabe I am now at 25. I never found that the memories I had back then match the ones I do now. Why? Well simply because my height of awareness and cognition has increased much more. I find myself often asking "Who the hell was I?" when I see things I've said or done in the past. Truth is, I didn't know who the hell I was and almost still don't. But this evolved version of me is much more prepared to find out. Those memories that I'm making now will be the ones that mold who I am tomorrow, arguably some of the most important building years of your life. There's a certain memory that sticks out to me in my life, something that was so spontaneous and edgy that for a moment, I felt like the person I want to be.
Another Saturday night, everyone scrambling to make plans; desperate to make a connection. Me on the other hand, reclusively wanted to stay inside and hardcore watch some Netflix. One of my friends didn't have the same idea, and convinced me to meet up at a local pool hall and bar. Of course, the peer pressure was on, so I put my face on and came out like a champ. We get into the bar and it was PACKED. When I say packed, I mean no pool tables left and almost 0 seats, most people were standing anyways. There was a live band playing and tons of people dancing. It was a genuine Saturday Celebration. I'm a people watcher by all means and I couldn't help but to watch these "weekend warriors" just have the time of their life. No care in the world, authentic fun that you can't help but to feel and want to enjoy with them. I'm dancing at this point, by my friend who isn't dancing at all, so I'm moving to the beat and just feeling myself in that moment. The singer of the band finishes his song and over the mic announces a dancing contest. He tells everyone to get their partners and hit the dance floor, that they will pick the winner. I of course, am not entering this, despite me dancing by myself. Hey, maybe I like dancing by myself. However, that doesn't stop the Stranger of this whole story from coming up and talking to me. He was about 6'1" and had a full head of blonde hair. He was wearing jeans and a collared shirt. He had an accent that only I can identify as northern. He tells me that he isn't from around here, and was only here for a few nights. He very quickly asks me if I want to dance in the competition. I look over at my friend and he nods my way "Do it!". At this point, I'm blushing so hard it probably looked like an allergic reaction. So I nod and smile back at this mysterious guy and he grabs me and we run into the crowd. The singer announces it's starting and starts his song. From there, something incredibly memorable and magical happened...
He took me and lost me. I don't mean he tossed me or separated, I mean the way this man moved put me into another form of awareness. He took the lead and I lost control, I was water and he was wind. It was like my body was remembering a memory and life I never lived and danced alongside him. I'm thinking "How am I dancing like this", but my body didn't need to think at all. I was swept away in his ability to guide me in a way that made us both look utterly elegant. The entire dance was a damn blur; It was him my eyes were on. I'm spinning with this magical man. Then just like that...the music fades and the dance ends.
Everyone is clapping and looking over at us, I look over at my friend and ask "Who won?" and he mouths "Ya'll did!". The stranger grabs me and hugs me and we go to the bar to claim our shot, that's right: the prize was a mega shot of fireball. He hands me mine and we do our shot together. He doesn't talk much and smiles then he says "Well, it was nice dancing with you. Thanks for winning with me." and he disappeared. Just like that he walked off and left. He came into my life and gave me more joy then some people have in years. He made me feel free and brazen, he made me see what life is like when you do let go. When you stop having control and understand life isn't about control. When you don't over analyze or have fear, when you stop judging or caring about judgments. Without this mysterious stranger, I may not have felt that awakening euphoria. I may not have went on to realize a new stage of my evolution.
So raise your shots, glasses, or beers to that stranger tonight. The man who came in and gave me a memory that was pivotal in my self growth as not only a person, but woman also. He will probably never read this, but I hope if anyone does they leave with the message: Take risks and Dance with a Stranger.