My mother told me that a few months after I had been born she had taken me to see a palm reader. He said that I would be a ballerina or an actress. Which only made sense because after all, I was named after a famous ballerina. It was 1982 and I was four years old, that December my parents surprised me with tickets to The Nutcracker! I still remember it as being one of the most magical moments I experienced as a child. From the costumes, to the music, and the way the dancers moved. They came to life, making their characters a reality through self-expression; it all seemed like a fairytale dream.
Shortly after seeing the ballet I declared that the palm reader was right, the stage was indeed where I belonged! So my mother registered me for tap dance classes and I tapped away all year long!
I also took it upon myself to start choreographing dance numbers to the entire length of a feature film in the basement of my house. My poor little brother was my only sidekick. His participation unfortunately, wasn’t an option; it was mandatory. Sometimes I allowed my best friend from across the street to join in, but it was best if I did it solo allowing my creative genius to fly!
It was the end of the year and the dance school I attended always had an end of the year performance. I was ready to make my stage debut! My hair was curled to perfection with a satin silver blue ribbon bow. My makeup included several hues of blue for my eyes, and pink blush, along with matching cherry pink lipstick! My costume was baby blue chiffon with the same satin silver blue ribbon as an accent! I was beautiful…!
The show had begun and it was almost my dance troupes’ turn to go on. They began lining all of us up, wishing us good luck, and before I knew it they were pushing us out on to the stage! Our music started and I shuffled my heart away! We were amazing! I told all of my friends how great I had been and my mom always shook her head smiling but never said anything, until a few years later.
She was laughing and said, ‘I’m sorry Jessie, but I have to tell you the truth. You didn’t perform the tap dance routine. You came out on to the stage and pushed some of the other girls around until you found the spotlight. You then stood there for the remainder of the performance picking your nose.’
I denied it. I told her she was lying even though I knew she wasn’t. My mom responded with, ‘ well darling, you were adorable, and you’ve always been one of those unique and wonderfully creative kids.’ I had to agree. I wasn’t actually upset about my mother’s reveal of the truth, I oddly felt proud of myself.
Years later, I still laugh my head off, trying to picture myself at four years old standing under the bright lights on stage all dolled up picking my nose.
I am in awe of how present I was. I didn’t edit my self, I simply was (Not that I condone public nose picking, but I think you get my point). Too often we are caught up in an idea of what is right. Whether it’s in regards to how we look or how we approach a situation, learn a new skill, or engage in an activity.
Children don’t edit. They are completely free, and not only do we admire them for it, we spend hours watching them do it. They are also a great reminder that there is no right, and there is no wrong. There is you, the bright beautiful authentic you. Instead of trying to get everything right all of the time; maybe it’s time to get some things wrong. Remember that your way, is the way.