Finding Your Way
When I was growing up, I thought I wanted to be a professional dancer on broadway. Thanks to my mom, I started taking lessons when I was about 3 years old. As a teen, I loved the pressure of learning several new dances at the same time. I put a lot of time into it. I entered some competitions, performed in recitals, and then all of a sudden — my interest came to a halt.
Thankfully my mom encouraged me to try out for cheerleading when I was in middle school. I remember being nervous as heck, but I did it. I remember being so surprised that I made the squad. It quickly became a new love — even though I didn’t know anything about sports at the time.
After trying out for the high school freshman squad, I learned at a middle school dance that I didn’t make it. I ran into the bathroom, locked myself in a stall, and cried like I had just lost my best friend. It wasn’t because I was humiliated, although it was a bit embarrassing. It was more like a loss. I loved being a part of something. I loved being a cheerleader.
Even though my freshman year was a good one, I desperately needed something else. I was in marching band, but… umm…I wasn’t very good at playing the clarinet — and I knew it! Heck, everyone knew it. Ha.
Every time I practiced at home I became more and more frustrated because I never improved. It just wasn’t my gift. SOooooo…..At the end of my freshman year, I knew I wanted to try out for cheerleading again.
It’s funny how you realize how much you want something when it’s taken away from you.
I ended up making the reserve squad for my sophomore year, and then varsity the next two years. For me, it truly was the best thing that ever happened. Why? Because I was struggling with major family issues. Struggles that …. at one time made me want to end my life.
I know that in the grand scheme of things, this may seem ridiculous or a bit extreme to anyone reading this. Keep in mind, I was young. You haven’t walked in my shoes.
I never knew what the atmosphere was going to be like when I got home. It was a scary time, and cheerleading gave me a purpose and a hope that life could be good.
Don’t ever give up on your dreams. If one thing doesn’t work out, allow it to make you more determined or at the very least – let it send you into another direction.
Never. Give. Up.
Life is good.