When I grow up…

Last night, I was lying in bed blogging and catching up on reading my favorite blogs and I found myself totally engrossed in this post from Sometimes Sweet’s Dani Hampton.  I love Dani’s blog so much, but I found this post to be especially thoughtful and relevant to where I am in my life right now.  So here is my response/inspired post about what I’ve grown up to be….just a warning, this is a long wordy, sentimental, personal and mushy one.
I’m the little one on the far left…such a little snot!
I never wanted to be anything other than a ballerina.  It’s all I can remember ever really wanting to be when I grew up.  And I treated it not so much as a dream, but as a calling of sorts, something I was meant to do no matter the obstacles.  I suppose that perhaps there are things like that for everyone, and luckily I did actually have some talent for dance and was a natural performer. 
The funny thing is, when I was young, training so hard to become a professional ballerina, I never once thought of anything else.  I never thought about marriage, or kids or life after dance…you can’t do it forever you know.  I was so focused that I think I was really surprised by how I felt when I actually grew up and became a ballerina.  It wasn’t the be-all, end-all, life-affirming result I had been expecting for 18 years.  In fact, it was so much less than I wanted it to be.  Life actually felt empty and I know now that I just wasn’t living  a well-balanced lifestyle.  I put too much emphasis on ballet and I let it define who I was and it ended up letting me down.  After dancing in two companies and less than 3 years into my career as a ballet dancer, I left it, heartbroken and with no idea what to do with my life.
Now I am 28, and 28 sounds grown up to me.  But looking at how I got here, and everything I’ve accomplished in 28 years, I have to say, I am really quite happy.  I went to college, got an English degree, met the boy, traveled to Europe, found dance again, worked in Hollywood… I’ve lead a pretty charmed life, and while I never expected to be married and working the administrative side of education, I have to say it’s right where I want to be in my life.  I’ve also found a way to keep a hand in ballet, doing just enough of it so that it remains a fun part of my life, without being all of my life (though I have had moments when I fell back into old unhappy crazy dancer habits.  Eh, it happens.)  
I’m really excited about the future and it’s funny how the things I want to be now have changed so much.  Now I finally feel like I want to have a family, I want to have a home, I want to make things and live a simple life filled with love.  I guess when you “grow up” you realize that those are the things you really want in life–it’s not what you’ll be as much as who you’ll be.  And I am happy I grew up to be me!  

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