My daughter wants to go to a performing arts high school. She has been taking ballet for many years and wants to be a choreographer. Her guidance counselor told me she wants to go to Julliard to study dance.
The mom in me wants to say “whoa, where’s your back-up plan, kid?” A dancer? They make like what? Next to nothing?
But my soul wants to yell “bravo, baby! You go for your dream. Don’t let anyone stop you and don’t let anyone make you second guess yourself. The nay-sayers of the
world will try to steal your dream, but don’t let them. Believe in yourself and you can do anything you put your mind to.”
And this is my mantra - it’s what I say to myself constantly. If I believe in myself, if I have that positive, energetic attitude, I can achieve anything. And it’s always worked for me. I
remember back in the 90s, I was working at the newspaper. An opportunity opened up and Investor’s Business Daily was opening their mid-Atlantic operation and would be printing newspapers at our production plant. They needed a production manager. The requirements weren’t outrageous - a bachelor’s degree was a must but that was about it. I had a
bachelor’s degree and I wanted to apply for the job.
I spoke to my then boss and told him I wanted to apply. He was supportive and agreed that I should. I had five separate interviews with various members of the management
team. Five! That’s a bit much. But I never gave up. I kept a positive attitude
throughout. And I got the job.
Wow, you’re probably saying. So what? Big deal! Well, it was a big deal.
Here’s why: I found out after I was hired that the company had received about a hundred resumes for the job. Most were from men. The team interviewed me only because I
was an employee of the paper. They did it out of a sense of obligation.
They had no intention of hiring me. That is until they met me. My attitude won them over and they hired me in spite of my boss’s recommendation (something else I found out
later.) They weren’t incredibly fond of him and so his recommendation meant little.
Fast forward several years. I was working at another company as a training designer and a position opened for a senior training designer. At the same time, another team wanted me
to work for them in a marketing role. I told the hiring manager that I had no marketing skills or knowledge. She told me “we can teach you marketing. We want you because you have a positive attitude”. I took the job, bypassing the senior training manager position (which I was also offered). I loved it and I learned a tremendous amount.
So positive thinking and believing in myself has proven over and over in my life that the outcome of any situation can be what I make of it. And now, I need to convey that to my daughter. I need to drown out the words of the practical (negative) mom and be supportive and believe in her dream. I need to give her all the reinforcements that I have given myself through the years and the ones I will continue to give myself until the day I leave this
So, Emily, my beautiful ballerina -you go out there and you nail the audition to the performing arts school. You apply to Julliard and I’ll work on finding the money. And it will
come. Because I know it is meant to be. I know it because it is your dream. And in this family, dreams come true.
Remember the words of Walt Disney: “if you can dream it, you can do it”. And he didn’t start with years of dance experience. He just started with a dream and with a mouse.