I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one

You guys. I’ve been watching videos about ballet all night and it’s been ah-mazing. The beauty, the passion, the incredible wonder that IS Balanchine choreography. It makes me homesick for a place that doesn’t exist. I want to be a ballerina.

Well, in the technical sense I suppose I AM a ballerina. I mean, I teach ballet. I have leotards and tights and pointe shoes scattered about my house. But I want the REAL thing. I want to be in NYC taking class with ABC. Totally logical of me. Just as logical as my deep, burning desire to be a Rockette even though I don’t meet the height requirements. I keep eating my veggies, but I haven’t grown at all.

This divorce has screwed up my brain.

You see, now that I am divorced I feel a sense of freedom that I’ve never had before. I can go anywhere I want and do anything I want with anyone I want. And there is no one to stop me. But I still can’t do the things I truly want (move to NYC and dance my days away or to pursue fashion merchandising) because I am a mother. And I don’t pity myself for that because I made the choice to become one (women’s rights, friends). He may have been an “oopsie” but I made the choice to be a mother. But do you know why I am really not in NYC dancing? It has nothing to do with the fact that I’m a mother. It’s because I never believed in myself enough to make it happen.

When I was in the 4th grade, I remember all of my fellow dance classmates going on about how they dreamed of professional dancing. I, for some reason, just knew it wasn’t in the cards for me.  I thought it was silly for them to even think such things. I was taught that you grow up and get a “real” job. But  what my parents (and many others) fail to realize is that ART is a REAL JOB. Without dancers there would be no Nutcracker performances (or Swan Lake or Coppelia). Without actors we would have Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I mean, seriously guys). Without painters we would have no Mona Lisa or museums to visit on a rainy day. And you know what? Many of those fellow classmates are, in fact, dancers in NYC RIGHT NOW. Because they believed they could be and they worked for it. I gave up early on because I was told that art wasn’t a real job. If only I had aspired to be an accountant…they probably would have sent me to the best damn accounting school on the planet.

I say all of this to remind fellow parents to nurture and support your child’s creativity. My child has always loved to dance, so he dances. I don’t care that he’s a boy and it’s considered “wrong” by society’s (and his father’s) standards. He loves to sing, and when he is old enough he will have voice lessons. He tells me he wants to be a singer when he grows up and I will never EVER tell him he won’t be. Because he CAN. Are you going to tell John Lennon that his job isn’t real?

I also say all of this to remind myself that I CAN. I can have whatever life I want and be whomever I want to be, as long as I believe I can. The people I admire in my life are the ones who take risks and follow their passion. I don’t want to be 80 and have a lifetime of regrets. So I won’t. I will not marry again for anything less than soul stirring, passionate love. The kind I can’t live without. I don’t want to be with someone just for the sake of having a partner. I will tell myself-everyday-that I can be whatever and whomever I want to be when I grow up.

Today (and everyday) I will believe in myself. I will believe in that little ballerina who never got to study at the Joffrey Summer Camp she was invited to. I will believe in that little diva who knew she could have rocked it on American Idol, even though she was never allowed to audition. I will believe in the girl who just wants the world to be beautiful and wants to spend her days making it that way. Because after all this time, she deserves it.

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2 responses to “I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one

  1. This is a pretty incredible post. Yesterday I put this exact same idea on Facebook. Like you I didn’t believe enough in myself growing up to do what I really wanted, and instead, got a job I was “supposed” to get.

    I’ll spare the rest of my insights, but I can relate with everything in here. (Your divorce, you committing to believing in yourself but I don’t have a little person of my own).

    Great job, this was a really awesome blog post to read first thing on a Friday morning. :)

  2. Thank you! It’s a wonderful feeling to know that I’m not alone.

    I was literally floored by some of the personal responses I received on Facebook after writing this. Different ages groups, different types of friends, all the same feelings. I’m just hoping that I can help to raise the next generation differently. I never want my son to feel like there is something he “can’t” do because it isn’t “real”.

    Thank you so much for your comment. Just so you know, you DO have pretty awesome hair, but the words you write are quite literally amazing. Even though writing is considered an art, it’s a totally legitimate job that you happen to be really good at!

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