A Note to Teens: Follow Your Dreams

I was recently asked by a friend of mine if I would contribute a column to her newsletter. My friend runs a small group in her home for teenagers. The group has grown over the past years from a 8-10 girls to 20 or more boys and girls. Her home is a safe haven for these kids. She has created a space for them to come and discuss what’s important to them and to also read from the Bible and discuss the teachings of Jesus. It’s a non-structured environment, held on a Friday night, creating a perfect opportunity to relax and chill among friends. Teens understand each other and, for whatever reason, adults have forgotten what it’s like to have been that age. While we can look back now and see how the issues that concerned us during that time of our life was minor in the grand scheme of life, our issues were indeed important to us just as they are to the teens of today.

It was an honor to have been asked to write for her. Her idea is for me to write something inspiring since that’s how I tend to live life most of the time. I accepted the task without hesitation, but with a bit of skepticism in the back of my mind that said, “What the heck do you know about inspiring teenagers?”

I had about an hour to myself one evening and decided to allow the spirit of writing to come into my heart and see what came out on paper. Since my blogging has been rather erratic of late, I decided the final product would be a nice addition to the blog. So here goes….my letter to teens.
My mom put me in dance lessons at the age of 3 and I danced up until my second year of college. I loved dancing. It was my release for anger, sadness, frustration as well as an expression of my happiness and joy. Dancing meant everything to me. To this day, at age 44, I yearn to be on a stage dancing away my cares in pretty costumes. I always thought I would be some kind of performer. I bought ballet and jazz posters and hung them on my wall. I read books about dancers and went to as many dance performances as my family could afford to send me to. With the exception of high school and college, and a few classes I may have taken on the side, I had one dance teacher my entire life. She was a wonderful woman who taught me the love and appreciation of the dance. However, she made one very big mistake. I forget how old I was, probably 13 or 14, but I can recall the moment she said to me, “You’ll never be a professional dancer because you’re not tall enough.”

It was a crushing blow to my dreams. And the saddest part about the whole thing is this….I believed her.

Today I watch television shows and see dancers of all shapes, sizes and heights. They are all wonderful! You can just tell by watching them perform how much joy they get out of expressing the beauty and sadness of life through their movements. What I’d give to be young again and make different choices.

What is my point? Don’t let ANYONE tell you that you can’t have, be or do something that your heart yearns to do. No one is capable of predicting your future or your capabilities. God has given you talents and gifts that you may not discover for years to come…but they are all inside of you waiting to be expressed. Live for your passions. Pursue your dreams. Take chances. Fall down, make mistakes and get back up and do it all over again. Your success is your choice and no one else can decide for you.

Parents, family, teachers, friends….they all mean well, truly they do. And yet they don’t have all the answers, nor do they know what your future holds. Love and appreciate them for wanting to protect you, but don’t allow their skepticism to hold you back. BE BOLD! Because if you have a dream…a passion…a love for something that only you understand, then you are the one responsible for bringing that dream to life.

Never allow anyone, no matter how important they are to you, to tell you what you can or cannot do. Get out there and just do it. Keep the faith. Hold tight to your dreams. Do the necessary work. Love yourself and your life. It’s all within you to make the dream come true.


2 responses to this post.

  1. That was absolutely excellent advice! You and I have another thing in common, a love for dance. I was told that I was too tall. Hmph.


  2. That was a great inspirational post, I am sure that the teenagers who read it will be touched. I am not a teenager anymore, but I found it inspirational! Thanks for sharing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: