My daughter was interviewing me for a writing assignment the other day and one of her questions was “What is your greatest aspiration?” I immediately answered – ‘To be the greatest hip hop dancer in the world in the over age 45 white-woman category.’ She thought this was hilarious.
Sadly, its true. My desire can be traced directly back to the Fly Girls on In Living Color. They even had a white girl. In 2012 those 1990’s routines (by Rosie Perez and J Lo no less) look a bit like hip hop aerobics, but I still have a deep affection. And the show was often funny too. Its always hit or miss with sketch comedy. I can remember many nights sitting through an entire Saturday Night Live waiting for something to be funny.
So my aspiration will likely remain just that unless I could find an instructor who, with infinite patience for the rhythmically undeveloped, would agree to private lessons, in a locked room without windows, mirrors or witnesses. And it would have to be old hip hop (isn’t that hilarious in its own right?) so as to be slow enough for my old bones to keep up.
Dancing has always made me happy even as it never evolved into a particular skill. But perhaps I simply missed my calling. Its not to late to toss my 9 – 5 and embark on a new career is it? Maybe I could get a job as one of those girls who passes out free 5-packs of Camel lights at dance clubs on the weekend. While I would passionately enjoy dancing and saying “WOO” for a living, it is less likely than my being recruited to the Romney campaign.
Motivational speakers are always on about “following your passion” which sounds to me like a load of management school bull. If you translate it to – determine a line of work that provides satisfaction as well as money – its slightly less upper-middle class entitlement, but not much. What really makes it sound like bull is when it is said to either unemployed people to encourage them to see their job loss as a “new opportunity to discover who they really are”, or college grads, staring at a boat-load of student loans.
How do you determine if your passion is worth following? Why couldn’t it be a really great hobby after you get home from your boring, paycheck job? Who ever said work would make you happy? Where did that rumor get started? I think at this point many people would be grateful to have any kind of white collar job that did not include sales.
After the umpteenth story about how Obama is screwing the middle class by promoting legislation that increases taxes on income after the first $250K, I looked up what people might mean when they say “middle class”. According to the census in 2010 only 4% of US households made more than $250K (thats 2,484 households), 10% made greater than $135K. So the middle class, using the median from the government charts, makes between $50,000 – $85,000 a year.
I guess what I am getting at is that following your passion, whatever that means to you, is a high risk proposition for 75% of the American public. Voting for Romney will be a similar high risk proposition for everyone but that top 4% but some folks dont seem to know it yet.
Perhaps the message would reach them better through hip hop interpretive dance. However, it might not be everyones cup of Tea.