Thursday, April 25, 2013

Follow Your Damn Dreams

Hey, check it out guys, I made my own cheezy inspiration poster. I wanted something about following your dreams but without too much shmaltz, and without pointing to someone else's website, because hey, what if I don't agree with the rest of the content on their website? So I made my own. I know, my graphic design skills are AMAZING.

So anyway, I've been seeing a lot of stuff lately about following your dreams. Whether it's pithy posts on Facebook or friends writing into my Politely Worded blog with advice on how to politely tell their family that they're going to follow their dreams, so there, or blog posts full of tips on how to tackle a big project... it's just been out there.

I've been thinking about the importance of not procrastinating when it comes to dreams and goals. Shira on Twitter asked about everyone's first exposure to bellydance and whether they loved it right away, and I had to say that I saw it at 17, loved it, but waited YEARS to pursue classes. And you know what? That is my number one regret as a dancer. I'm going to turn 31 in six days. If I had 14 years of dance experience under my belt, I would be an amazing dancer. I mean, I'm a pretty good dancer right now (I feel OK saying that because lots of people have said good things to me about my dance and I'm trying to practice building myself up instead of tearing myself down), so how much better would I be if I had started when I was younger and more flexible? What other things would I have accomplished, fueled by the self-esteem boost that dance has given me? Who knows.

My advice to you is that if you want to try bellydance, or rockclimbing, or skydiving, or whatever it is, make it happen now. Don't miss out on years of fun and growth because you've somehow convinced yourself that you're not good enough. You are good enough. Go out there and do it!


  1. As usual, a spot on and inspiring post. Finally braving making a comment and, hopefully,can keep working at being more bold and following my damn dreams too!

    I think most everyone who's honest has some feelings/ thoughts of "if only I'd done x, instead of y". I have varied dance regrets but you're right in that people can either feel nasty about it and do nothing, or acknowledge it then get up and go for it NOW. The good news is that you know exactly what you want and are willing to do the work to get there. People dance for many reasons and don't want to imply one reason is better than another, but your approach will be very different with professional goals than someone who is not headed down that path. I've met dancers with 2 years experience who were technically as advanced and more knowledgeable about their dance form than others who'd danced 10 + years. One way isn't "better" but their goals/levels of interest were different and so was the type of effort they put into their dance. Me saying that doesn't turn the clock back so you could start at 17, but the quality of effort you put in absolutely counts and does matter. I hope you give yourself some pats on the back for working your butt off and going for your dreams. It's an amazing example !

    1. Yes, be bold and follow your dreams!

      I kind of want to start doing a series of interviews with people who have followed their dreams now. I think it would be really inspiring.

      In general I feel pretty good about the amount of work I put into my goals. Who knows if I even would have been this dedicated at 17, I had a lot of other things going on in my life. I'm in a better emotional place at 30-31, that's for sure!

  2. I'm totally late responding but the interview series would be amazing !

    Dedication is such a big factor and am happy to hear you are emotionally at a better place now. :) I had a lot going on in my teens as well and it certainly had impact on my dancing in good and bad ways. I like to believe each person's experience adds something unique to their dance. It's so hard to what might have been different but am super inspired reading about your journey towards your goals and am glad you are going for it! For what it's worth, there was a beautiful, innovative dancer named Kazuo Ohno who continued to perform incredibly unsual, moving pieces even after losing his ability to walk. He gave his final performance at age 100 , I believe. (He died at 103 years old) It seems there are creative ways around obstacles with persistence and stubborn refusal to give up. :)

    1. He sounds really inspiring, I am going to have to look him up! I've decided not to let my age stop me... I mean, I don't LOOK 31, and I don't FEEL 31, so why should I have to ACT 31? The main differences between 20-something AJ and 30-something AJ is that the latter has red hair, a tattoo, and more money, so I'd say she's actually in a good place to be a dancer.

      I'm glad you like the idea of the interviews, because they're coming up!


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