“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” -C.S. Lewis
In a recent article, I read about a woman’s journey leaving the world of performing to a new found passion. It was entitled “I gave up on my dream, And I’d do it again.” Although I agreed with most of what she had to say, it got me thinking…”did I give up on MY dream?” When we are little we have huge imaginations and aspirations. Our parents tell us we can be anything we want to be, do anything we want to do; even if the odds are against us. We dream of becoming a doctor, an astronaut, even a Rockette (which was me until I realized I wasn’t going to get any taller than 5’4″).
After giving it much thought I realized that the author had just one thing wrong…it’s not about giving up on your dream, it is accepting that dreams change as we grown older.
As a child I loved to perform. Put me on a stage and I was living. The warmth of the lights, the sound of the music, the roar of the applause, it was all like a dream. I lived to dance and sing in the spotlight. I decided to pursue a college degree in performing arts as a dance major in one of the best programs in the U.S. at Oklahoma City University (alumni boasts of people like Kristin Chenoweth, Kelly O’Hara and Susan Powell). Graduates go on to perform on Broadway, National & International Tours, Cruise Lines, major theme parks around the world, the list goes on. I knew this was the place I had to be.
Upon graduation I had been offered a contract with Tokyo Disneyland and the goal was to move to New York right after my 9 months abroad. Well, dreams quickly changed when I met my now husband while in Japan. He lived in Southern California and I knew I could not be without him (which was also when I realized he was the one). So I moved to SoCal and resumed working for Disney. I figured I could still perform & audition even if I wasn’t near the Great White Way.
Well, if you know LA you know its SO different than NY. Auditions for B’Way shows on the West Coast are few and far between, so you find yourself getting an agent and trading in your character shoes for a pair of hooker boots to compete for a spot in some random music video, which is paying close to nothing, but don’t worry they will offer you a copy of your work and some SAG credit. Not to mention you called in sick to work to get to the audition, got stuck in so much traffic taking the 5 to the 405 to the 101 to the 134, you didn’t think you would even make it there. To top it off you got stuck in the last group of girls while the director never looked up from his paper. As my aunt would say “its a dog eat dog world.”
My love and I got married and 3 years into our marriage my clock began to tick. I looked around at the audition rooms and was exhausted. I was no longer the young, doe eyed, 20 year old girl with hopes of making it to Broadway. I was tired of competing with the other 200 beautiful girls that wanted the one coveted spot that they were casting for that day. I was finally ready to hang up my number and pick up a new one…one that read a little different…I wanted the title of Mom.
We are now on year seven of our marriage and have two beautiful children. My dreams now consist of a full nights sleep, a hot shower and eating three meals in a day. I also dream of a living room with no toys to pick up, laundry that does itself and a personal chef (I mean, a girl can dream, right?)!
So this message is to all those that struggle with letting go of one dream and finding a new one. It’s ok if you never became a doctor, or never landed on the moon, your new dream might be more simple, but you can still find joy in it. I now get to pass on my love of dancing and music to my kids and I adore watching them enjoy it! My sweet Colton is only three but is already quite the performer and our little Rosie is not far behind with her bouncy moves.
“I don’t need my name in lights, I’m famous in my fathers eyes, make no mistakes, He knows my name.” -Francesca Battistelli
(Last 2 photo’s taken by Eyelet Images)