The picture to the left is me at my first ballet recital. I was 6 years old, and if you can believe it, a mere 7 to 10 years from making some life changing decisions. It ties into the story I've been dying to tell you all because honestly, I've never told it full out, in its entirety.
Recently I was talking with one of my co-workers about light-weight regretting my decision to enter the world of business. He asked what I meant and I explained that I had the opportunity to be a professional ballerina. I went on to say that because I'm still dancing, it would've been so much better to have been in that world while being paid to be there.
But it goes so much deeper than that.
When I was 13, I was offered a scholarship by Dance Theater of Harlem to go to New York and study ballet at their school. From there, I would've moved into their professional company. At the tender age of 13, I was standing at my career's metaphorical fork in the road. My mom made the decision that I should go left because I was too young to go to New York by myself. And you know what?? Although there are times I wish I had gone into dance as a profession, I don't blame her for making that decision for me; I was way too young to make career decisions.
At 16, I came to another fork in the road, this one of my own making. I was preparing to enter the "Release" level at my ballet academy. This literally means my school was preparing me for release into the professional dance world by doing things like teaching me famous choreography. I was also enrolled in a college preparatory high school. So again I felt the need to make a career decision - continue dancing or focus on the steps necessary to pursue an academic-based profession. Again I went left.
I didn't do ballet for at least five years after that.
And now here I am, taking ballet classes three times a week, rediscovering pointe and laughing at how truly young I was when trying to make life decisions. People always say you can't have your cake and eat it to, but at 16, something about that just doesn't ring true. Thirty-two year old me knows I could have had a dance career, retired and had plenty of time left over for the cube farm. It definitely would've made for some much more interesting stories. But I couldn't see that then, at a time when 23 seemed old and 32 unfathomable. I guess that's just the nature of life - racing the clock so you don't miss out on something only to look back and realize you had all the time in the world.
~ With ♥ from Halima
Looking back, can you think of a time when you were in no place to make a decision? What was the outcome and are you okay with it?