Nancy Slotnick: Okay, Smartie…

“There’s only one thing that he’s got that you haven’t got—courage.”—The Wizard of Oz to the lion.

A brain, a heart—to most of us, those aren’t that hard to muster.  Or I should revise- for the people that interest me the most, brains and heart aren’t hard to muster.  By the time of our grown-up life, we probably have honed our brains to be smart (is that possible?  Sounds painful.)  And either we have heart by now or we don’t.  And in my opinion you gotta have heart.   And if you don’t, well then, you won’t be going to see the musical Damn Yankees.  And that’s ok because it hasn’t been on Broadway since circa 1997.  But I digress.

Courage is hard for all of us.  At least for me, courage is the hardest of the wizardly gifts.  Perhaps because it’s unsteady.  I have had a lot of courage at various moments in my life, but I still find it hard each time.  The challenges that used to require courage get easier, but the sinking feeling in my stomach when I face a new challenge hasn’t gone away.  Somehow I’m still able to put cheese fries in my stomach.  But that may be a form of denial.

Nancy SlotnickCase in point– Barbra Streisand gets stage fright to this day.  So what to do when we have to face fears anyway?  I dare myself.  Then I set my dare to music.  This week my theme song is Bust a Move.  “If you want it.  You got it.”  I took a look at the lyrics.  Seems like it’s talking to a kid who probably looks like a fat Urkel from Family Matters but apparently he can dance when it all comes down to it.

We all feel like Urkel on the inside.  Especially when it comes to dating.  I know I did.  And still do, just I’m not in the dating pool anymore, thankfully.  In ’96, I named my dating-café “Drip” because everyone feels like a drip when they’re dating.  Even the café itself would have felt like a drip if I had named it the “Lonely Hearts Café” or something like that. 

But we all also have a reservoir of courage.  The part of ourselves that wants to run away screaming down the fancy hallway of life, just like the Lion in the Wizard of Oz, is always there.  But we can overpower him.  You can.

You have a special something about you that you don’t show others too often.  Maybe you can dance.  Maybe you could dance, if you take a lesson or two and have the right music that inspires you.  Bust a move. Maybe you’re really funny, but you don’t ever tell jokes.  Bust a move.  Maybe you have an awesome apartment.  Bust a move.  Maybe you know how to make a rose out of a bevnap.  Nah, that one’s been done. Maybe you have a beautiful smile.  Okay, smartie, go to a party and use it.

Besides referring to dancing, what “bust a move” means is get off your butt and go do something.  So that’s what I’m going to go do.  I’m jumping in the pool with my 8 year old.  Not quite a high class luncheon, but it’s my version.  I’m daring myself to jump in.


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