It's true. I wouldn't lie to you. I suck at lying.
There's a higher power in that spin, that flow. My sins are forgiven with every push and pull of my hips, my chest, my arms, even my legs. When I'm in a crowd of other hoopers - that is my church. When I'm alone with my iPod and my rhythm - that is how I pray.
I know what you're thinking. "Wait, isn't the hula hoop a kid's toy?" "Didn't that fad go out in the 50's?" "Did you say legs?"
It's okay. You're not the only one. I've heard it all before. Usually when I tell people that I want to spend the rest of my life making a living off of hula hooping, they look at me as though I had temporarily trans-mutated into an emu with a 70's fro. Most people don't realize you can do more with a hula hoop than just spin it endlessly around your waist.
You also might not know that there exists an entire hooping community, with professionals and celebrities, big names and big brands. People spin with more than one hoop at a time. People dance with their hoops. People hoop with glowing lights. People hoop with fire.
I've done all of the above, and then some.
I know it sounds silly to say that it changed my life, but it has. Everyone's got something that speaks to them; that touches them like nothing else before. For me, well, there's something about that plastic circle whirling around my body...it sings to me. Sometimes I sing back.
The hoop made its way into my life a little over a year ago. In that time, I've developed a true sense of direction for my life, something that's pretty new to me. I've never before known (and I mean truly and to my core known) what I wanted to spend my life doing. I'd jump from one thing to the next, feeling pulls and tugs in many directions (or no direction), but never feeling that peace that comes with finding your bliss. I always felt that nagging feeling that my career choice that month didn’t quite fit.
Now I know. I see my path laid out before me, and it shines from the light of a thousandy-thousand glowing LED hoops.
Here's the crazy part: Looking at the past year in my life, you'd see a lot of loss. I lost my job in March. I lost my steady income. I’ve very nearly lost my apartment. I lost more than one close friend.
Losing friends is the weirdest part. You'd think that people who love you, people who have seen you through bad time after even worse time would see, more clearly than anyone, the light that shines in you when you finally discover your true passion. I found out (the obnoxious, painful, and hard way, of course) that for some, it's the opposite. For some, your joy becomes nothing but a reflection of what they lack, and they try to take it from you. Sometimes, the people you thought would stand next to you until your dying day end up crushing you the hardest in their attempt to stop you from rising up.
Finding your bliss is easy. Following it - staying true to it - proves tougher than one might imagine. You have to be ready to struggle. You have to be ready to fight. And you have to be ready to lose.
Is it worth it?
I'll tell you this much. I've only just begun to fight. As long as I have a hula hoop, I know I'll make it through.
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