Monday, January 08, 2007

Dreams

Have you ever had the realization that you are too old to follow one of your dreams? I kind of feel that way right now. Too old and too tired to do what I've always wanted to do. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with my life and with what I do, and I'm following other dreams, goals, and ambitions. But the one thing I've always wanted to do, I think I'm beyond being able to do it. That thought makes me sad. I feel I've lost an opportunity, and with it, I lost a little of myself. Maybe that's one reason I've thrown myself into my writing so much in the past two years. It is one dream I can still follow, an ambition that has been with me as long as the other one has, but that isn't limited by age.

I'm kind of at a point in my life where I'm looking back over the choices I've made and wondering what would be different if I had made different choices. I recently heard from an old friend. When we were in high school, we planned to move to New York when we graduated. I was going to study voice at Julliard (yeah, big ambition!) and he was going to take art at NYU. We were going to get a tiny loft apartment and live like the artists we were. I was going to have a wonderful career on Broadway and he was eventually going to open his own art gallery. Of course, those dreams are very difficult to achieve, even if you have the talent and drive to achieve them. But I still regret not trying. I regret not having that moment in my life. I can see us so clearly, living from day to day, not having much money, but happy because we were doing exactly what we wanted to do. But that never happened, because I decided to play it safe. I decided to follow a guy instead of my dream, and we all know how that ended. Married at 19, divorced at 22; I was completely crushed, a shell of the person I had been. At 23 I had to start all over again, a college freshman with no idea what to do with myself.

The last 7 years have been incredible for me. I found myself again, discovered the pieces of me that had been taken away by my ex, and put them back together to become a stronger person than I had been. But, because I immediately went back to school, and was in school for 5 years, I still feel as if I haven't lived much. I still feel unsettled, I still feel like a child in many ways.

I have a wonderful job that I absolutely love, but I still find myself wanting more. I will never forget how incredible it felt to be on stage, to hear the applause, to play a role totally unlike myself. I feel more at home in that environment than anywhere else. (I know, I'm such a diva!) But seriously, it's one thing I've always been able to do and it's the thing I enjoy more than anything. (although writing is a very close second, but I think the instant gratification of being on stage and hearing the applause is what makes it more enjoyable to me than the writing, if that makes sense)

The other day, someone told me I should try out for American Idol. I got a little jolt when I realized that, even with the higher age limit, I'm still too old. Taylor Hicks is a month older than me, but he was smart and got in before he hit the age limit. I should have done that, but at the time, I felt that I wouldn't get very far because of my physical apperance. I thought they only wanted thin, beautiful girls, so I let my insecurity get the better of me and didn't do it. Now I wish I had, because I know I could have been a contender. (pardon the reference)

Anyway, that's where I am right now, feeling as if a large chunk of my life has passed me by and I have very little to show for it. I'm not sure where to go from here, except to continue my personal quest to live more fully, to experience everything I can experience before I truly am too old to experience anything new.

4 comments:

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  2. I've always been amazed and envious at how many of life's opportunities you seize. I, too, have played it safe in life but am quite happy. Sure, we've all taken our risks in life (how many states have I lived in now?), but you seem to pick the adventures - be it learning to stitch and bitch, write the great American novel, or get up in front of a church crowd and belt out a hymn. It's the little(r) things. We can't all be rock stars and stage divas, but I AM damn good at the follow spot. ;-)

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  3. Yes, you are good at the follow spot, lol! Thanks for the comment. I know it's silly for me to feel this way because I do tend to seek out new experiences and I do have little adventures quite regularly. It's just that I've never really had a big adventure. And I've always wanted that. I've always wanted to shine, and I currently feel about a shiny as an old penny, and about as valuable as one, lol. It's my restless nature, I guess.

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  4. You are never to old to do ANYTHING. I say go for your dream. Or at least some aspect of it. Start slow and build. Do you want to sing? Why can't you start singing? Sometimes I think the things that make us pause and feel tired are that we feel like if we don't do it ALL or get the BIG THING (like American Idol) than the rest doesn't count. I'm sure you have community theater where you live - do that! My grandmother, who's 85 years old - has been singing and dancing forever because that's what she loves. Whether it's been chorus or shows or whatever. What's the worst thing that can happen - you try and it doesn't work out? You'll always regret not trying way more than you'll regret failing.

    Good luck to you!

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