Am I Too Old to Live My Dreams?
On Christmas Day we took our family to see “The Greatest Showman”. I’d only seen one preview and didn’t really have any expectations. The musical score was beautiful, the story was inspiring, and there were a lot of great messages contained therein.
During the movie, when Jenny Lind sings her solo (below), I was literally moved to tears. Every once in awhile a piece of art moves me profoundly, as this piece and performance did. As a singer-songwriter I know what it feels like to have a piece of music move through you with such powerful feeling that you can’t separate yourself from it. This was one of those rare moments. Naturally, I went home and purchased the soundtrack to the movie. As I put my earbuds in to listen to this song, suddenly every person in my household needed me for something, one after the other, so that I couldn’t get through the song uninterrupted. I had to set it aside.
Several hours later, I finally sat on the couch and listened to the song–and something magical happened. A part of me awoke. . . a part of me that’s been dead for over 25 years. As I closed my eyes and listened to the song, I very clearly saw myself dancing to this song with incredible emotion, as if the song was crying out to move through me and every cell of my body in the beauty that dance alone can express. Most of the time, when I’m moved by a piece of music, I want to sing it. But this time, voice alone felt inadequate to express the depth of emotion I was feeling. I was consumed; I knew I needed to dance.
I don’t really have a dance background.
In high school I did cheerleading and drill team. I also made up dances in the front yard with my friends. That’s the extent of my dance experience. I always wanted to take dance lessons, but my family could never afford formal training for me. So I decided that college would finally be my time to pursue dance, but I ended up getting married two months out of high school, taking one semester of beginning dance at the city college, and then getting pregnant. I had to set the dream aside. Eventually that dream died. I became engrossed in other responsibilities and creative forms of expression. Dance just wasn’t meant to be for me.
I’m in my 40’s (and just had another birthday a few days ago), AND I’m in the worst shape of my life. I stopped exercising a number of years ago, lost my muscle tone, and acquired some health problems (that I’m still working to heal). Don’t even get me started on flexibility. I’m not sure I even know what that means anymore!!
I’m not interested in taking dance classes with a bunch of 13-year-olds that I can’t keep up with. Nor do I have the funds right now to hire a private dance teacher.
So, what’s a girl to do when her soul compels her to breathe life into a dead dream? How should she respond when new life suddenly awakens within her and yet the reality of it seems not only improbable but impractical?
I believe the proper response is GRATITUDE.
How often does a dream come knocking twice in a lifetime? Maybe that dream won’t look the same as it did if pursued in youth, but maybe it was never meant to look like that. Maybe it’s meant to look exactly as it does right now. Maybe the timing will be more inspiring, more transformational, and more educational than if it had been pursued earlier in life. Maybe the dream will require more courage to purse now, more maturity and humility. And maybe those things will shape you and fulfill you in a way you could never comprehend as a youth caught up the game of achievement and success. Maybe this dream is meant just for you, to bring you joy, to move you closer to the spirit of beauty and expression of self and soul that you have always wanted to experience. Maybe this dream will bring out the divine in you.
So yes, I have a few obstacles standing between me and the reality of dance. But somehow I don’t feel discouraged or defeated by them. I don’t have delusions of becoming a professional dancer. I know I first need to get my strength and flexibility back before I even try dancing, so I’ve got a little time to figure out the rest. And I know inside that my soul will not be satisfied until I choreograph and experience the vision I saw in my head. I must give life to that which my soul knows must live.
It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” ~George Eliot~
I believe that. Do you?