To those who taught me to dream.

2 Jul

When I was little, I wanted nothing more than to be a ballerina. Around Christmastime, my grandmother would take me to see The Nutcracker at the Koger Center. As I sat up in the balcony in my checkered dress and patent leather shoes, I stared with admiration at the character of Clara. I imagined myself twirling around in my own leotard with a toy nutcracker in my hands, lost in the music and a dance that was all my own. When I got home from seeing The Nutcracker, I’d put on my leotard and tutu, grab a favorite stuffed animal at the time, and twirl in circles to the music only I could hear.

It was in those moments, in the safety of my childhood bedroom, that I began to dream, imagining doing things I knew I wouldn’t be able to do in reality due to my disability. I imagined dancing with a grace I had seen only in ballerinas. I put on my ballet shoes and twirled until my unstable balance got the best of me and I fell to the floor in frustration. I even remember asking my parents if I could take ballet lessons, determined to learn how to create the beauty I had seen in the character of Clara. The opportunity never arose though, simply because I didn’t have the balance to be a ballerina. Despite walking on my tiptoes, twirling around in circles on those same tiptoes was out of the question.

As I got older and I filled my head with more realistic dreams, I never stopped imagining doing the things I’d never be able to fully experience. I thought of dancing to the music of my world. I imagined running down the street and feeling the wind on my face as I chased the orange and red sunset I saw in the distance. I pictured myself climbing the huge oak tree in my backyard, wanting nothing more than to find a sturdy limb I could sit on so I could rest my back against the tree’s broad trunk and escape into my favorite book. The creative imagination I possessed placed me right into the worlds I dreamed, though I knew I was so far away from actually experiencing them.

I am forever grateful to the people throughout my life who have encouraged my imagination and dreams. Though I was constantly reminded by other kids around me of the things I was unable to do, so many of the adult figures in my life understood the importance of believing in my creativity. Because of those individuals, I have learned what it means to still hope and strive for the things that still seem a bit out of reach. Through my ability to dream, I developed a determination that has propelled me through my life, despite stumbling again and again. While I may not have had the chance to be a ballerina who twirls endlessly with the grace of a perfect melody, I have sung my heart out at a voice recital, capturing an entire room with the simple sound of my voice. I have participated in theatre productions, achieving my moment in the spotlight by being Glinda the Good Witch in The Wizard of Oz. I have written of specific moments of pain during the months following intense operations, creating the same tears in the eyes of my readers that I possessed during my moments of defeat. Though I may not have had the chance to live the experiences I longed for, I have continued to move to the song of my own life, continuously grateful to those who taught me to dream and create my own destiny.

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12 Responses to “To those who taught me to dream.”

  1. RedheadCarol July 2, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    Beautiful post! Very inspiring!

  2. Julia Dean-Richards July 2, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

    Standing ovation for a beautiful piece of writing.

  3. Grace @ Cultural Life July 3, 2013 at 4:22 am #

    This is a wonderful post. You are a truly gifted writer. 🙂

  4. nedra July 3, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    You are an inspiration to everyone who knows you, dear Amelia! Beautifully written!

  5. Arianna Merritt, M. Ed. July 3, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this post Amelia. The last line made me say Wohoo. Never Stop Dreaming! You are such an inspiration to many by being your awesome self. Thanks for letting us in.

    • ameliaclaire92 July 5, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

      Arianna, thank you for your continued support in regards to my writing. I really appreciate it.

  6. ashokbhatia July 4, 2013 at 11:14 am #

    Very well articulated. Gratitude is a great sentiment and you have expressed it so well!

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