Aspire to Inspire
I feel like I am being pulled in different directions based off of my interests and skills. It’s not a torturous feeling where there is some sadistic man wearing a black mask in the corner tightening the leather straps around my wrists. Since a lot of my inspiration comes from Disney, I will use “Up” as an example…
The house takes flight because there are thousands of balloons carrying it through the sky. It is wonderful and amazing, but the old man’s goal of moving this house puts a lot of strain on something so sturdy. I am the house and currently I am lifting higher and higher by these balloons. Although this is an exciting and impressive feat, I can feel the weight of gravity (realism) bearing down upon me. I feel like my feet are no longer under me, but I still have some sense of control. I know that I am headed up and up with success and I live by pursuing dreams, but, as my balloons stretch high, I can feel them going in different directions. It’s as if my goals, visions, and dreams are all pulling me in different ways.
It is not a sinking feeling or something entirely negative. It’s exhilarating to have so many options and interests to choose from. I am passionate by nature and when I connect to something I find it hard to let go. I think that’s why I have always been able to maintain a 10-12 hour day teaching, coaching, performing, and working out. I’m not going to pretend it’s easy. It can be overwhelming, but I am getting better at managing stress so I can continue to explore all the world has to offer.
Even at 24, I am constantly surprised that I have a childlike outlook on the world, even as people try to talk me out of the possibilities. They are more level headed and realistic whereas I am a dreamer, an optimist, and incredibly stubborn. The one sentence I can’t stand is, “you can’t do _________”
That would be a great ploy to get me to do something that you want me to do. I love overcoming obstacles and adversity. I am sure that comes from all of the sports movies where the main conflict is always some ignorant fool saying it can’t be done. These kids can’t learn. These kids can’t play together. Of course, in most cases, the movie ends in triumphant sound.
Being constantly driven to excel is exhausting and I can’t yet say if I am excelling because it hasn’t been long enough to reflect, but I am doing the best I can. The struggle right now is deciding whether or not I want to pursue all of my dreams or should I cut a few balloons loose? I feel like that’s how people become their dreary adult version. They were once in midflight and decided that the gravitational pull towards the earth was stronger than their balloons, so they cut the thin string and became grounded. Settling for wherever they land and cutting away balloons of hopes as time passes. The other part is grounding with one balloon intact and watching it deflate over the years.
Can one soar for their entire existence? All dreams are possible if you have the courage to pursue them. I love this Disney quote. Courage. It takes a lot to attempt what a lot of people around you have never attempted. It’s not the beaten path or the easy way and you are not met with as much support as you’d have hoped. I want to do many things and, of course, now I live on my own and I maintain my own lifestyle. This makes it harder to just up and leave because I need to pay off student loans and I need a place to live and insurance and food, etc. When I lived in my car, I felt lower than low because I felt like a failure in regards to surviving on my own. I felt like my balloons had deflated and I was plummeting to earth. When I got my first full time job, I felt secure and grounded. The balloons needed some repair so I was firmly on the ground for some time. It would be easy to live in the same place, see the same things, teach forever and give up on my visions. I feel like over the past few months, my balloons have grown bigger and hold more helium. I am again off the ground and anxious for where I will go next. Let me just list some of my balloons that I have.
Medical Field. Surgeon. Athletic Training. Personal Training. Group Exercise.
MM. DMA. PhD
Playing volleyball overseas.
Coaching at a high level.
Performing for paid theater. Broadway
OLYMPICS RIO! 2016
These are all possible within one lifetime, but the hard part is deciding which balloon to pursue first. I am currently teaching and I want to build up my program, but if I wait too long, will my body hold out for the athletics component.
When I sprained my ankle 2 ½ years ago, I went through a very depressed state (at least internally) where I had given up all hope of playing volleyball ever again or throwing. At that time I can admit I was a bit dramatic about it, but it was/is a bad injury that still affects me today. I fear losing my athleticism and I have already begun to feel like my body is becoming humanized. Without a team to play every day and a coach to push, it becomes easy to just maintain and not challenge myself to grow. I don’t want to give up on playing overseas or going to the Olympics, but I recognize that these are things I need to do before too much time passes. Getting my MM or my DMA will happen in time, but it’s a matter of what I want to get the degrees in.
Until this year, I had never seen myself working outside the educational field and that’s because I like teaching and learning. I also have been in the system my whole life. I love athletics and the human body. I could see myself doing something in the realm of healthcare. I am active and I have retained a lot of working knowledge on the body which I can continue to grow.
Essentially, I need to figure out how much of my professional life will be teaching and music versus my career in healthcare. This is key for these balloons. I don’t want to cut any loose and I can’t pick anything to let go of just yet. My biggest fear is cutting too many balloons and landing. I don’t want to be just another house, I want to be a flying house with more balloons being added as my other ones are completed. Is it selfish to want a passionate life filled with dreams coming true? I’ll answer that later.