The Invader




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Special thanks to ‘L’ The Human for indulging in my randomness.

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Daily Prompt: Beyond the Pale

When was the last time you did something completely new and out of your element? How was it? Will you do it again?

I usually don’t have the time or the opportunity to do something new and out of my element, because I work two jobs and work six days a week. As much as I would love to be able to be out trying new things, I simply don’t have that luxury. The closest I would get is more along the lines of trying a brand new type of processed food, like a new flavour of chocolate, or packet of chips, or smoothie combination… Pointless and insignificant crap.

I’m one of those people who has foolishly subscribed to those coupon newsletters, the ones that usually advertise a 90min massage for $30 at some dodgy massage place in somewhere obscure that nobody has heard of…

There’s a reason that nobody has heard of these places… And there’s a reason why these coupon deals are so cheap.

In saying that though I have actually been fortunate enough to bag a bargain with a couple of coupons, but I’ve also had more than my fair share of disappointment. But other times, I see certain offers come across my inbox from time to time that make me think ‘oh, if only I could take x-amount of time off work to do such-and-such a course, then I’d do something different’ but then I do a bit of research into the course and the provider and the location and it all ends up in the ‘too hard basket’.

I’d love to go and do a cake decorating course. I’d love to do a massage course. I’d love to go and do a creative writing short course. All creative stuff that will allow me to switch off from everything else and allow me to focus purely on myself for a little bit.

But like I said, it ends up in the ‘too hard basket’. I just don’t have the luxury to be able to do something like that.

The last time I truly stepped out of my comfort zone was July / August 2013 when I was in New Zealand. I went to a freestyle house-dance class. I had recognised a few faces who were also in NZ for the same week that I was there but for years I’d always talked about how much I would love to go and do a freestyle class, rather than the dance classes I do at the gym, and this was a moment that I truly saw as a perfect opportunity to take advantage of.

I remember walking down Queen Street in Auckland city to this address and realised that I had walked past this dance studio almost every single day and had never actually noticed where it was. I climbed the twisting wooden staircase up to this narrow set of hallways and was shuffled into a tiny room to pay for a casual class, then ushered to another even smaller corridor and followed some others into a studio, is was small and narrow and full of people. I remember walking in and instantly sweating profusely – a combination of my brisk walk there from the gym in the cold Auckland night air, and the lack of air conditioning in the studio. My top was half drenched before the class had even started.

The class started off with a warmup and then straight into the beginnings of an intricate and complex house dance routine. Having an extensive dance background, I managed to pick up the choreography a lot quicker than some of the others, but at the same time, there were a number of others, ‘the regulars’ who already knew the routine from previous classes. It was so challenging and frustrating and exhausting and complicated, and as annoyed as I was getting, I was loving every single moment and didn’t want the class to end. I had missed this feeling so very much.

One time we’d run through the routine, and I’d totally nail all the choreography, but then we’d do it again, and I’d make so many mistakes because I’d get distracted.

I miss being able to do that. I wish I could do it on a more regular basis.