I love Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project. I love the book, I love the blog, I keep trying to emulate her but failing in discipline... and according to her, that's OK! Accepting who you are and how you do things is part of the path to increased happiness.
One of her Secrets of Adulthood is,“You can choose what you do, but you can’t choose what you like to do.”
I like to dance. I took lessons as a kid, which was fun, but I stopped when it got too competitive. I took lessons for my wedding, which was fun, but the performance was a bit stressful.
I think that's why I hate clubs. Here's the thing: I don't own any clothes appropriate for clubbing, I look stupid in most clothes appropriate for clubbing, and I sure as heck don't want to put down a significant amount of money for an outfit on the off chance I might, someday, go clubbing. As if, in that circumstance, the outfit would still be appropriate. Dated and ill-fitting is more like it.
Then I get there, and every woman is better looking than me. I'm incredibly self-conscious. I could have a drink to relax, but drinks cost how much?! Maybe just one. Why aren't any guys checking me out? I must be hideous. Why are the creepers checking me out? Why do the creepers always go for me?! My husband says it's because he's standing right here -- only creepers would hit on a girl who is clearly with a guy -- but it's not like he's reacting either. He's given me steamier looks when I've been wearing the least flattering pajamas I own. You know what? It's all because I'm so self-conscious. Well, of course I'm self-conscious! I'm the most disgusting thing in here, and I say that having seen the bathroom!
I feel anxious and kind of ugly just typing all that. I have no desire to experience it.
Problem is, I like to dance.
I like to dress pretty, have a glass of wine, belt out the lyrics to a cheesy, upbeat song, and move. Proms were pretty good for this, believe it or not -- I went with guy friends to most of my formal-ish dances, so that worked. College formals had their ups and downs, but none of the downs had anything to do with the super-anxious rant above. And my husband's law school formals were great once I got to know his friends.
But since then, it's pretty much been weddings or nothing. And I do like weddings, but short of throwing a stupid cheesy fake prom myself (I don't even want to think of the expenses), I don't have any other opportunity to throw on a dress, stand in a clump of friends, and jump up and down yelling the lyrics to "I Gotta Feeling."
I can't choose to like clubs. But I didn't choose to like dancing, either. What's the solution?
Have you ever been in a situation like this? How did you solve it?
Updated 10/22/13 to correct formatting.