In the movie “Shall We Dance”, Richard Gere plays a man who has spent most of his adult life doing what many of us do. Every day he gets on the train, rides to work where he puts in his 8-10 hours, then rides the train home to his family. On one train ride home he catches a glimpse of a woman (Jennifer Lopez) standing in the window of a dance studio. A place he has probably passed a thousand times but never really noticed until now. The woman seems to be looking right at him but in reality is lost in her own thoughts and sadness and doesn’t see him at all. The rest of the movie is about he seeks out a relationship with this woman but instead finds what he was really looking for, passion.
His own personal life is good. He has a beautiful wife who loves him and a daughter that any parent would be proud of and a lovely home in the suburbs. It’s picture perfect but the spotting of this woman in the window has somehow revealed a longing for more. For those who maybe have not seen it, spoiler alert, you think he’s after the woman and for a while so does he, but he soon realizes he isn’t interested in an affair. He wants something far more fulfilling. He isn’t interested in what could bring him short-term pleasure and eventually destroy what he knows is a great life. What he really wants is something that makes him feel vital and can bring him a happiness that he doesn’t have to regret or feel bad about. He discovers a love for ballroom dance and as he pursues his passion you begin to see how it doesn’t necessarily change his life, it improves it.
I love this movie but I only just recently realized why and how much I relate to it. It wasn’t a person that captivated me or led me to the realization that I felt something was missing from my life. It was a hobby, scrapbooking to be exact. A creative soul at heart, it would become a perfect outlet, not to mention a great way to spend time with my best friend. Over time, as I began to take more and more pictures I found myself not only taking photos of the people in my life but my surroundings. Barns would become what I can only describe as an obsession. While I’m still working on incorporating this passion into my daily life, I am grateful for the joy that it brings me in my spare time and know that in many ways it has improved my life and given me a sense of identity and purpose that I have longed for.