London, Dancing, Colored Hair and your Birthday

In 2005 I visited London for 10 days doing poetry performances/readings. My fourth day, I performed at an “Exhibition” with other visual artist, dancers, and actors. It was held at a factory turned art gallery full of about 90 people of all shapes, colors, and sizes. The performances were so diverse – I could easily spend another 10 days writing about them. During a break in the action I noticed a tall woman, early 40s, green, pink, red streaks running through her blond hair dancing and smiling as if no one was watching. I tried not to stare, but she was obviously the most jovial and energetic person there.

She walked towards me, shook my hand, asked was I the poet from Detroit, introduced me to her husband, brother, and a few other artists. She then asked,
“Why aren’t you dancing?” (Now mind you she was the only one dancing-lol.)
“I’m not really the dancing type,” I said jokingly. “I usually just dance on my birthday.”
“Well Mr. Poet from Detroit; how come every day can’t be your birthday?”

There was a pause. She went on to talk about how she changed her hair color every week, she never had bad days, and makes it a point to discover something or someone new an interesting every day. She said her attitude was sprouted in a childhood full of depression. The performances started back up and the conversation ended, but her words lingered my head for the rest of the trip.

“How come every day can’t be your birthday?”

Her point was simple really. I’m sure she lives every day as if it’s her last and never, ever avoids an opportunity to have fun. I think a lot of us do the opposite. We make “fun” wait for the weekends, holidays, or vacations. We want to feel as though we’ve “earned” the fun when there is joy to be found on a daily basis. We goal seekers and setters are guiltiest! At times we feel that if we’re not using our mental capacity to obtain our goals or further our ambitions: than we are wasting time. Other get so caught up in schedules, depressing jobs and bills – we may even thing life is not supposed to be enjoyable!

“How come every day can’t be your birthday?”

While I haven’t started coloring my hair nor dancing randomly at random music; I do try to leave enough parts of myself open to “get” the joke, read the funny email, or laugh at the prank. I try to smile as much as possible and give my mind a break from all things considered “serious.”

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