that time when you were six. your tiny feet were laced up with delicate pink ballet slippers.
the scene was new. moderately intimidating. the room smelled of stage dust and hard wood floors.
your stomach churned.
nervous emotions began to take over. suddenly, this dream of yours began to look impossible. you felt inadequate.
hell, you didn't know ballet. you could barely dance (and not much has changed since then)
you just had some childish fantasy created by some mild tuesday morning episode of sesame street that you had seen weeks before.
a dream of dancing in the ballet. tutu's. music. points. the whole she-bang.
what had you gotten yourself into?
before more fear could take over, you turned to raise the white flag. immediately ready to tell your mom to pack up her purse, grab the keys and get the hell out of there.
but she knew you too well.
she sat there. calm as always. smile spread across her loving face.
'you've got this.'
a tear slowly made its way down your cheek. she knew you were overwhelmed. she knew that you were feeling lost in a something unfamiliar and new.
her smile turned into one of her contagious grins.
'just smile. no matter what, smile. show them how bad they need you.'
'show them who kristen is.'
i forced a smile on my face and pivoted around to my sesame-street-inspired-audition.
it was go-time.
three months later.
curtains opened. that same smell of dust overtook me. the stage lights made it impossible to focus on anything beyond their glare.
it was all about me. my time. my time to make a dream come true.
the music began--my first performance of the nutcracker with the california ballet company.
and you better believe, i smiled.
eighteen years later.
it's go time.
a chance for dreaming. and though they may not be sesame-street-inspired. they are as real as ever.
and damnit. i'm gonna smile.
here we go.