So, there I was. Standing in line on a Chipotle and some teenagers start talking about how they are going to a movie this Friday night. They way they conversed with each other about the movie hinted to the fact that they were not too enthusiastic about it. Then I started thinking…. when was the last time I actually went to a movie theater?
It used to be that Fridays and Saturday nights were movie night in my life until salsa came along. Now, salsa is almost every night. That lead me to think – what else have I stopped doing because of salsa? I reduced my drinking (not that I drank that much anyways). I stopped eating as much, since I have to fit into my 1MX shirts. I stopped working longer hours (note the 'er' – now I just work long hours 🙂 ). I stopped going to theme parks. I reduced the number of books I read. I cook less often. I stopped playing other sports (not even Magic The Gathering if you call that a sport). I stopped listening to almost all non-salsa music. Funny – I used to be a huge fan of OASIS, Gipsy Kings, and Eros Ramazzotti (and other alternative music). While I might listen to a song here and there – it is not as it used to be. I think the biggest change was the fact that I decided not to pursue another 4 years of PhD work. I realized I was not passionate about what I was doing. Life is too short not to do what you love.
So what have I started doing? Well, this is a much longer list which I will not get into here – but it includes addicted2salsa.com . Who would have thought I'd still be doing this website even after I left Iowa. It is amazing how things change. Fate has it – that I am now an interface designer for the company I work for. However, I would not have thought about this profession if it wasn't for my desire to create a good salsa website for the community. I was not hired because of addicted2salsa, but because of the skills that I acquired because of it. I had so much passion for salsa and this website, that I forced myself to learn how to do things (countless hours on the monitor) to make my idea come true. If you saw the original version of the salsa website – you'd probably laugh. If it wasn't for salsa, I would have not built the website, I would not have learned that I had a passion for design, and would have been stuck being a network security (cyber forensics) engineer. Therefore I can definitely say that salsa has changed my career path implicitly.
Now, do not get me wrong, I do not regret not doing such things that I mentioned above. It is just interesting to see how one's own lifestyle changes because of an 'addiction' to something called 'salsa'. After waking up from my mental diversion and ordering my carnitas burrito, I started to wonder – how has salsa changed other people lives. The people we date. The people we associate with. The way we dress. Our confidence. Our communication skills. Our health. Our families. Salsa, in some cases, seems like both a gift and a curse.
It is amazing how something so simple as salsa affects the outcome of our lives and binds us to a totally different destiny that we might not have otherwise looked at. And if life is about the journey, and not the destination then how do you think salsa has affected your ride ?