Every morning when I wake up and every night before I fall asleep I lay eyes on my first ballet dress. This dress has a special place in my bedroom. My mother made it for me when I was 4 years old. She made it out of the wedding dress she married my father in. You can see that this dress was made with love. It has this delicacy around it. This grace. And although it is is 32 years old, and calmly hanging in this special place in my bedroom for numerous years, it still radiates movement. It still shines. When I look at it, it heels me back to the night I wore it. My first ballet show in a small theater in my home town. My parents were already divorced by then, but both my mother and father came to see the show. The most special thing I remember about that night was the dressing room. It had these big mirrors with yellow light bulbs around them that gave everything this golden glow. There were make-up girls who powdered my face and knotted my hair. I was a true ballerina. And I was ready to dance. To let myself be seen. To earn applause. And, from then on my biggest dream was to become a ballerina. I filled my days fantasizing about it. The dramatic classical music. The stunning dresses I would wear. The incredible things I would do with my body. My partner’s strong arms that caught me after I took a flight. How I would fill every motion with clarity and feed the audience with this breathtaking human expression called ballet. That dream didn’t come true. Is it a bad thing when our dreams stay dreams? When our fantasies stay fantasies? I see so many books, lectures offered, courses presented on: “how to make your dreams come true”, “how to live your dream”, “how to own the dream, don’t let it own you”, “how to live out our wildest fantasies”. To me, those ads always make me feel a bit hollow, empty. Depthless. Superficial. If a dream or a fantasy comes to life, mostly it isn’t what we expected it to be. It might still be good, but just different. It might also just work out badly. And then, the dream dies. The fantasy dies. Imagination dies. Creativity dies. I am not saying that you should not follow your heart. Or that you should repress any fantasy. I am an absolute heart follower. And, this isn’t always the easy or the obvious or the painless path. In fact, it never is. But having dreams and fantasies are also an intimate expression of life. They stir up your creativity, your originality, your resourcefulness. Nothing can divide you from your dreams. Not even life. As Matt Haig in his book, The Humans , so beautifully puts it: “There is a power and a beauty in unkissed lips and unpicked flowers.” As for me, still I am treasuring my dream. Embracing it. Not with disappointment or dissatisfaction. But with pleasure and delight. This dream still lives in me. Inspires me, triggers me and touches me.
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