My dance teacher sat behind the desk and looked up from the print out of my yearly results. I had asked him if I could dance. I had meant did I have the results that would allow me to take dance as a major. I was holding on tightly to the wooden chair I sat on. My fingers were crossed. My legs were crossed as well. I’m fairly sure that I held my breath as I waited for his answer.
Until I had enrolled in the college I hadn’t had much formal dance training. My sisters were ballet dancers and I had taken the odd jazz class here and there. But I loved dancing. It was the thing I was most passionate about. I had picked up a dance minor as part of my teaching degree, and had worked hard to ‘catch’ up. I was fascinated by contemporary dance history and spent hours in the campus library immersing myself in the lives of inspirational dancers like Martha Graham, the mother of contemporary dance.
I spent weekends studying dance theory and every chance I could I stole time in the studios practicing my technique and rehearsing for practicals. If I would have slept in the dance wing of the college if they had let me.
But in spite of my passion and desire to be a dancer, here I was sitting across from one of the heads of the dance school waiting for him to decide my fate.
I was waiting for this man to give me permission to dance. I was waiting for him to give me permission to follow my dream.
Sometimes the person we lie to the most is ourselves.
We become very clever at blaming the world and those around us for whatever has stopped us from chasing our own dreams. The world and the ‘others’ are the architects of our own failings. If only someone had believed in me. If only someone had believed in me enough.
Somehow we convince ourselves that we have no responsibility for our lives and ourselves. It’s easier to live with ourselves if we have no control over what happens to us. We abdicate responsibility and wait for someone, anyone, to take control and give us the green light.
Perhaps you are telling yourself that you can’t achieve your dream because the world is against you and you never seem to get a break. You always seem surrounded by drama. Your family is a daytime soap opera. Your friends are always having a hard time. The dog needs an operation…and you are tired. Way to tired to follow your own heart.
We talk of ‘someday’, of ‘tomorrow’. We think of our dreams being reliant on something unattainable. If I just had more money or if I just had a better job with a better salary, if I went to a better school, or if I was with someone else. If I just won the lottery then I could follow my dream.
So the truth is that if you are waiting for ‘someday’ then it will never happen. If you are waiting for someone else to give you the resources , or hoping to win the lottery to make your dream a reality, then you roughly have a 2,521,090 to one chance in Australia. I’m guessing that it’s higher in Western countries with much larger populations.
If you are waiting for something grand to arrive on your doorstep tomorrow, then don’t hold your breath.
Because it’s already arrived.
You arrived a while a go.
You are in essence the ‘lottery’.
You have within you all of the resources to create an extraordinary life. Within you is the ability and the strength to make your dream a reality.
You are all you need at first. And further down the track, as your life unfolds, you are still the essential ingredient to your story.
Who you are, what you believe about yourself and the world, and how you choose to be every day is critical.
You don’t need someone else to give you permission to follow your dream or to make your dream a reality, because you already have permission.
That day my dance teacher looked up at me when I asked him if I could dance. He smiled slightly as if he was confused.
“Do you want to dance?”
“Then you don’t need my permission to dance.”
No I didn’t. I don’t need someone else’s permission to be who I want to be in this world. Neither do you. Stop waiting for the package to arrive. The one that you think will make everything you have been waiting for magically appear.
Open the one that you already have.
Start changing your world.
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
― George Bernard Shaw