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are we having fun yet…

Can I Have Fun if I Don’t Know How to Play?

That is not a rhetorical question. I’m serious. I’m serious in my asking the question. And, yes, I’m serious by nature.

Play is one of those words in the English language that has several meanings. It can be a dramatic presentation where those participating pretend, if you will, to be someone other than who they are. Theatrical plays have a purpose of entertaining or enlightening their audiences. Play is also something that children do to learn how to do tasks that will help them in later life. Play is a fun way of learning. Children try out different forms of play and through them, learn where their gifts and talents lie. They find out about perseverance and commitment, and they discover a sense of fair play. Some people play a musical instrument; they play sports; they play games. All of these types of play involve learning how to do an activity, practicing the skills needed to do it, and, then, after working hard at it, having fun with it.

Play can be a lot of work. The reward of that work is fun – if you’re good at it. But what if it never reaches the level of becoming fun, because the player lacks the talent to excel enough to enjoy it?

Whenever I picture people at play, I think of them as freely, unselfconsciously having fun. They aren’t thinking about how they look. They’re not thinking about whether or not they’re playing correctly. They aren’t thinking at all, they’re just enjoying themselves. Maybe, that’s an accurate picture. Maybe it’s not.

If I were given one talent that I definitely was not given, it would be the ability to dance. I’m in absolute awe of anyone who can leap across a stage, seemingly unfettered by the gravity which holds down the rest of us mere mortals. To be able to leave one’s self behind and just let the body move what it feels, to express physically what one feels inside, seems to me, utter bliss. Yes, it takes immense talent to do it well. Yes, it takes hours and hours of practice. Yes, it takes commitment and dedication. But, the reward!

The reward looks like fun! Maybe I’m just not good enough at anything to have fun with it. Maybe I’m too concerned with how others will perceive me if I let go. Maybe it requires me to pretend to be someone who I am not.

I don’t know the answer.

That’s why I’m asking the question.


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