484 words. 5 minutes to read.
When I was tiny, all I wanted to be was a ballerina. My parents humoured me, and somehow rustled up enough money to send me to dance classes.
Dad found a record in his collection of The Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky. I played it endlessly, listening to the beautiful Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy over and over again until the LP was scratched and unplayable.
I pranced around the rumpus room at home, spinning in what I imagined were stately ballerina-like moves.
My dancing dreams came to an end when I was six. I clearly remember my dance teacher taking my parents aside, and saying, “She’s never going to be a ballerina. She has no co-ordination, and she’s going to be six feet tall. Look at her shoulders! I need petite girls. Graceful girls. Perhaps…perhaps basketball instead.”
I was devastated.
Even now, a tiny part of me deep inside wishes she could have been a ballerina. I still adore the ballet. But my dance teacher was right to break my fantasy early before it took hold too strongly.
She pruned her roses well, and I was a stem that need to be cut away.
Letting go of dreams is something all of us must do to grow up and become adults. We need to let go of old dreams that don’t work to make space for new ones that do.
I had to let go of the dream of being a bad ballerina so I could make room to become a good writer, a good teacher, a good mother to my kids and partner to the man I love.
Life rarely works out the way we imagine. Sometimes it works out way better, sometimes it doesn’t.
Sometimes we work out way better, and sometimes we don’t. Growing pains hurt, and having our dreams crash down always hurts.
Today I am a different person to that little girl who wanted to dance.
You are a different person to the child you once were too. You probably had dreams you had to let go of, just like me. That’s absolutely okay. You’re meant to be an adult now. That’s what growing up is for.
Find contentment in who you are, here are now. Be happy with your choices – the good, and the bad. We’ve all stuffed up, and we’ve all done things we wish we could change. But now it’s time to move on. Throw away the clutter, and be free of the past. Let old dreams go.
So who are you today? I’m Lee. I try to write, and I try to parent, and I try to be a decent person. Sometimes I fail at all three. That doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying.
Don’t stop trying. Trying is what life is all about. Figure out who you are, and run with it.
Prune your dead wood, and let your roses bloom.