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In the 6th grade we had a square dancing unit. I loved it. 

Even when I got paired up with the stinky boys (which was always), I couldn’t wait for the next time we lined up to do-si-do. 

Every so often now I travel through cities and see flyers in coffee shops of cool girls in cowgirl dresses. Hipsters in straw hats. It’s the thing to do again. 

I see one of those advertisements and I get SO excited. 

Let’s go! I think. That would be fun. 

Then I talk myself down. 

I never go. 

Today I saw another such advertisement online.

It just happens to be the one day of the month when the square dancers get together. It just happens to be a quick 20 minute bus ride from where I’m staying. 

I get excited. Let’s go. 

But then the thoughts start spinning – 

It will be after dark.

I won’t know anyone.

I might feel super awkward.

There’s no one to watch my purse.

Terrible things might happen. 

Let’s just watch TV instead.

I watch my brain steer me away from my excitement and back into my comfort zone.

Ah, that’s why I never go. I’m afraid of the unknown. It makes sense now. 

This is why we dare ourselves to do the things that scare us. So that we can grow. 

Today I dare myself to go dancing. 

She was never quite ready. But she was brave. And the universe listens to brave.

– Rebecca Ray

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