Raise your hand if you told yourself you would be better at life this semester. Keep your hand up if you didn’t school one iota last week.
Thought so, go you.
Don’t feel too bad because I’m pretty positive 90% of us are in the same boat (good news though, it’s Monday and I hereby cleanse you from the week long chain of less than great decisions and spending waaaay too much money on food that doesn’t align with your #SpringBreakBod).That being said, three cheers to me for surviving my last syllabus week. Gulp.
When I finally figured out that I was able to finish my graduation requirements after one heavy semester and a few summer courses, I was like yes plz sign me up. I intentionally gave myself absolutely zero time to think about the never ending list of “lasts” that I’m about to encounter. This is mostly because I made a vow to myself to never repeat the last day of eighth grade again (me crying nostalgically to the office ladies about how I didn’t want to grow up and be a high school ‘adult’). You’ll be happy to know that I have help up my end of the bargain since that day. So today when I sat down to plan out my next few weeks, I was a little surprised to feel a familiar rush of nostalgia. As I was flipping through my planner, I saw that Dance Marathon is only two short weeks away. Whoa. This is my last Dance Marathon. Ever. Welcome, feels. And also extreme panic for being under my fundraising goal.
I’ve been participating in DM since my freshman year. To be completely honest with you, I had absolutely NO idea what I was getting myself in to (and if this is your first one, neither do you). I signed up because it had the word dance in it. I’m like “Sweet, a bunch of people who like do dance and stuff!!!” I knew it donated to some sort of cause. So cool, I get to do what I love and put something on my resume that makes me look like a good person. Even better.
I hate asking people to do things for me, so if I was going to commit to plastering my online giving link everywhere, I wanted to be sure that it was for a good cause. I scoured the internet for stories and testimonials about all the good Dance Marathon does in the terrible world of pediatric cancer. By this point I’m thinking that this whole deal is pretty cool and definitely worth pestering all of my friends and family to donate “even just one dollar!!!!”- how many times have you seen that this past week?
After I hit my goal, all that was left was the actual event. I packed my bag and set off for 24 hours of non stop dancing, but I couldn’t have prepared myself for the experience as a whole.
Standing in a room full of people who are genuinely dedicated to one cause is nothing short of an indescribable experience. It’s rare to come across a crew of college kids doing something that can truly change your entire outlook on life in just 24 short (or excutiatingly long and sleep-deprived) hours. Listening to family after family speak on their encounters with cancer took me through a whirlwind of emotions. I found myself teeter tottering between feeling insanely grateful for my life, and extremely devastated about the turmoil these families face. For sure makes everything else feel so small.
At this stage in life, I think it’s hard to find things that make you feel like your presence is significant, or that you’re capable of making any sort of a dent in the world. We’re all just sort of aimlessly wandering around trying to figure out where we fit into the big scheme of things. In that process, there’s always someone ahead of you or doing something you wish you could do. Always some sort of sense of discontentment. It’s so easy to get caught up in what you’re not doing, that you miss out on what you can do.
Thank God for this organization because, for me, Dance Marathon has allowed me that sense of fulfillment. It makes me feel like I can do something productive in my three short years here by contributing to something so much bigger than myself. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that there are very few people whose lives haven’t been touched by cancer in some way. It flat out sucks. So do something about it. Obviously, we don’t all have the means to find the cure to this awful disease. But what we can do is take part in organizations such as Dance Marathon.
So. As I try to scrounge up the last portion of my $500 fundraising goal, I encourage you to do something with your Monday to make yourself feel even just a little productive or fulfilled. If that means crossing a few things off your to-do list, get up and go do it. If that means throwing “even just a dollar” my way, check out this link. If that means getting out of bed for the first time today, well then it may be too late for your Monday ‘start-over’ that I mentioned earlier. But hey, better late than never.
And for my fellow Dance marathon-ers: you rock.