I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself.

February 13, 2013 — 3 Comments

For the first time in my life, I’m starting to feel like an adult. I know I have three kids and I’ve been married and divorced. Through all of it I never really felt like an adult.

That’s not to say that I didn’t feel grown because, obviously, I’m responsible and living an independent life. I’m even responsible for the lives and well-being of others. For whatever reason that I can’t quite explain, I never really felt like an adult though.

Me, Halloween, Age 3

Or maybe it’s just that my perception of time was different. I saw the future as being infinite. I can do that tomorrow… or next week… or eventually…. or one day. Someday.

Me with my grandma. Age 2 or 3

And then one day I woke up and realized that, no lovely woman, some things have a finite period of time in which they can be done. If you don’t do them within that time period they’ll never be done. Too bad, so sad.

For example, I’ll never be a ballerina. It seems like such a random thing to pick as an example, but growing up I always wanted to be a ballerina.

I begged my parents for ballet lessons literally for years one end. I waited for the day that my parents would tell me that I could take ballet lessons. And I did briefly and then never again because ballet lessons are expensive. We couldn’t afford them and my parents didn’t really like ballet anyway thinking I should do African dance or jazz. Pushing their ideas on me about what would fit me best, like parents sometimes do.

Still, I never gave up the dream of me leaping effortlessly in the air and stopping on pointed toe. I wanted to take ballet lessons more than I ever wanted to take any type of lesson ever.

Macaroni, Age 3

It was something that was deep inside me and yet I never pushed towards it enough. I suppose that there was more that I could have done to show my parents how much it meant to me aside from crying for lessons. And I mean literally crying, but really I’m getting off track because it’s not about the why’s of my never becoming a ballerina.

What this rambling is about is that I never thought I would be too old to become a ballerina.

Macaroni, Age 3

See, when you’re young it seems like time is forever. It’s this inexplicable thing that you know exists but you’re not bound by it that much. It’s a marker of how long you’ve been on this swirling thing we can Earth, but it’s kind of arbitrary and abstract.

It doesn’t have the same level of importance because when you are young time seems endless. Time is endless. You have all the time in the world. Time is the end of the rainbow which you know must be there but you never see it because it’s just so far away.

Then one morning you wake up and realize that you’ll never be a ballerina. That is when you become an adult. Or that is the morning that I woke up as an adult, anyway.

And maybe I never would have been a professional ballerina, but without a doubt I know that I could have done really well had I been given the opportunity. Had I taken the opportunity when I was old enough to plead my case a little louder with a voice a little more self-assured.

When I was 18 I took a ballet class. I enrolled myself in a ballet class and went but didn’t throw myself into it. I had self-doubts and still felt like I had time – not much time but time nonetheless.

This year I have a birthday that is a major milestone. Although I don’t approach it in the “oh my god, what happened to my youth” frame of mind, I do approach it with feelings of urgency. Or maybe purpose?

Only now do I understand the true meaning of time. Only now do I understand that some opportunities really do only come once in a lifetime.

I understand that I can’t put things off for the future, or tomorrow, or one day.

If I don’t do it today I may never do anything I’ve wanted to do. I will only be able to look backwards at the path behind me wondering what type of ballerina I would have been – what my life would have looked like in satin slippers in the palest shade of pink.

That’s not to say that I have regrets. I don’t know if I would have been happy as a ballerina. Maybe I would have become a perfectly miserable professional ballerina. I surely wouldn’t have my three beautiful children or many of the great memories that I have. I would have had a different life. I would be a different me.

My point is really that going forward, I am moving with intention. I am going after what I want. I am asking for what I want. I am stepping forward so that I don’t stay in the same place. And when I can, I will dance.

{P.S. the titles for my post are always famous quotes. This one is from the famous ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov and in the prior post it was Marilyn Monroe.}


Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. See the way my writing is set up… | Mommy's Fit Life - March 13, 2013

    […] though I’m an adult now and have given up childhood fantasies of things like being a ballerina, it doesn’t mean that I always have focus. Maybe it’s not that I lack focus, but rather […]

  2. Ballet is a dance executed by the human soul. | Mommy's Fit Life - June 17, 2013

    […] I’ve already posted about my love for ballet and the realization that I would never be a ballerina. […]

  3. I lie to myself all the time. But I never believe me. – S.E. Hinton, The Outsiders « Mommy's Fit Life - December 22, 2013

    […] I may be too old to be a professional ballerina, but there are tons of other things that I’m not too old to do. If you’re telling […]

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