When I was 4, all I wanted to do was twirl about in pretty dresses while dismembering my barbies. Aspiring doctors do that, you know…and apparently so do serial killers…eek! 😐 😉
By 8, my wardrobe consisted of t-shirts and soccer shorts, hair in a high pony with “whispies” (all those frizzy curls that gather around my face and still do to this day) and my sights were set on joining the all-boy wrestling team. That same year, I performed a solo dance to Paula Abdul’s Cold Hearted (as in, “he’s a cold hearted snake”) during the talent show, donning a neon orange and purple polk-a-dot crop top with matching leggings.
In 5th grade, I ran for school treasurer and won. The following year, I ran for school president and couldn’t tell you the outcome of that race, but I do know that my campaign posters were fucking fantastic. #puffypaintforthewin
In 7th grade, I tried out for vocal ensemble, but didn’t make it. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing my vocal stylings during a @teamridestudios class, then you’d know why…ha! I also tried out for the Tuffree Junior High songleading team (aka: dance team with pom poms), but didn’t make that either (I blame it on my partner…she was terrible!).
The next year, older, wiser, more seasoned in my singing and dancing, I tried out again. Vocal ensemble was another HARD NO from Mrs. Duralde (because, honestly, no amount of practicing or coaching from my sister was going to help). Undeterred, however, I was determined to crush the 8th grade songleading tryouts and fulfill my dream of being a dancer. One, because I’ve truly always loved to dance, but mostly because Dirty Dancing was (read: still is) my favorite movie and I was borderline convinced that one day I was going to meet Patrick Swayze and in that moment, we’d reenact the last scene in the movie—lift and all—so I had to be ready. With the help of my new dance partner (and childhood BFF) Michelle, we crushed those effing tryouts and made the team. #nobodyputsbabyinthecorner
Also in junior high (I was clearly an overachiever), I went out for the co-ed waterpolo team, lasting only about 2 minutes in the pool before realizing it was either my life (they should provide floaties, for Christ’s sake) or my pride…I chose the former and happily failed again. I wrote a whole blog post on this experience (here), which was rather mortifying at the time, but hilarious now…23 years (and lots of therapy) later. Side note: I also ran (and won) for 8th grade president, but that term was the end of my short-lived political career.
In high school, I ran track, played volleyball and was the only freshmen on the varsity soccer team. Waterpolo and swimming were obviously a no-go (refer to story above) and based on my lack of skill during many a game of HORSE, I decided basketball was probably off the table, too (my friend Sydney can attest to that).
I’ve always marched to the beat of my own drum and though at times building the road while on it feels daunting, traveling down someone else’s path has only ever led to dead ends.
Stop playing small and living your life according to a script you didn’t write. Burn that shit and use the ashes…to create a fabulous smokey eye, of course! (wink, wink)
And in case you need the reminder: NO ONE HAS IT ALL FIGURED OUT, EVERYBODY MAKES MISTAKES, and SUCCESS IS AS MUCH A POSSIBILITY AS FAILURE, but you can’t have one without the other.
New year, new decade, new opportunities to try and fail and try again. Which road will you choose?
S A D Y E