Looking back, I'm not really sure how those things have changed. As a child, I was obsessed with watching gymnastics on tv or in movies, and the same was true for figure skating. Some of that had to do with very little money to go toward a coach and gear for those things, and some of it came from being the youngest and having very protective parents.
When I was a preteen, I got loads of pageant offers and applications in the mail from modeling agents. I wanted to do it so badly, that I put post-it notes all over the house. The computer screen read, "Please put me in a pageant!", inside the toilet seat read, "I'll never ask for anything ever again if you let me be in a pageant!" I would even put post-it notes with similar messages on my dad's forehead while he was napping.
One year I watched Dante's Peak and shortly after, Volcano. I became obsessed with volcanoes. I read all about the rocks, how one would go inside and read the activity levels. Then I read about what was needed as far as degrees and college courses for that profession, and then you're still unlikely to ever be put in the position of travelling to all of the world's most active volcanoes. That dream was debunked in one afternoon.
I decided after meeting a foreign exchange student at a 4-H event that I should learn several languages. Then I began researching what I would need to for those professions. Once again, debunked.
I loved giving massages, and I was told quite frequently how good I was and that I should be a massage therapist. I could actually see myself doing that! I practiced on everyone. I applied to a few massage schools.
And then came the negative. My mother became very cynical toward this line of work and told me on a regular basis how much she disapproved of me "rubbing" strange men all day. That was soon echoed by my aunt, and then my boyfriend. I gave it up.
I was a competitive swing dancer for 4 years and really thought that's where my life was going. I had an awesome partner and we choreographed all of our routines together. I was the most disciplined I have ever been in my whole life. I breathed swing. I took on average 6-8 hours of yoga classes a week and rehearsed on average 20 hours a week on top of having a job. This all came to an abrupt halt when I started having difficulties with my knees and back. I had also broken and sprained many bones. My partner was having some major personal challenges, and called it quits. I looked all over for a new partner. My mom even ran an ad in the newspaper. I still wish I could dance.
My dreams and goals look so different now. I wish I could go back and tell my 17 year old self to be strong. That not everyone is going to like you or what you're doing. That if you push through and do it anyway, it would be worth it. So many people give up on something that was meaningful to them and could have changed their life.
Tread carefully when a person confides in you with their dreams and goals. So many times you hear, "Don't get your hopes up" Why not? Don't we want people to have hope? There are a lot of easily influenced and sensitive people out there. I used to be one, and nothing hurts more than having someone tell you that what you want out of life can't happen or shouldn't.
Although I am a believer in "all things happen for a reason" and am currently ecstatic about where my life is headed, I know that I am going to run across people who will say I can't. Fight for what you believe and for what you want. I have made the mistake of letting someone's opinion break me. You will always face opposition. If you don't, then you're not doing much.
Please enjoy this silly video of me doing what I want.