I’m (finally) feeling twenty, too!

(caption courtesy of my clever sister, Trisha)

I’m one of the ‘babies’ of the grade, but guess what? I’m finally 20 too!

Birthdays tend to carry a lot of expectation. You want people to remember, plan, and help make your birthday fantastic year after year. With my birthday being over the summer though, I selfishly hope for a lot, but I also expect very little. I hope people will remember, but know many are busy, on vacation and will likely forget. But if you try not to pay too much attention to the posts that were not written or the texts that weren’t received and instead focus on the amazing people that you have in your life, each year proves to be even better than the last!

This year, my birthday started off with my best friend inviting me over to spend the night and Balletring in my day at midnight!

Then, of course, ballet (because let’s be real: when do I not ballet?) where some of my favorites dressed in purple for me!

My friend treated me to a day of pampering with a fabulous manicure after getting my (VENTI!) free drink from Starbucks!

Then we spent the day at the pool and my closest friends took me out to dinner for my first ‘Cheesecake Factory’ experience, and let me tell you, it was ah-mazing 🙂

Definitely a great day, filled with great people, wonderful memories and plenty of love ❤ Big thank you to all of the people you did write, text, snapchat and acknowledge my birthday in some way! You all are the best!

I am looking forward to what this next year has in store! A year ago if you had asked me where I would be when I turned 20, I would have told you that I would be in Rochester for the summer, working at Dairy Queen after finishing my freshman year of college. But look where I really am! Dancing. Working. Living on my own. Enjoying each and every day!

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Dream Catcher

“And so she decided to start living the life she imagined…”

Dreams: what motivates each and every one of us to push through and achieve success. If we didn’t have dreams then what are we fighting for day in and day out?
But how do we know when we have reached or achieved our dreams..?

Ever since I was 13 years of age I dreamed of becoming a dancer. That’s all I wanted to do when I grew up, dance. I wanted to make it to the “real” stage, under the bright lights, have the big roles, and hear the roaring applause…sigh… *insert heart eyes emoji here* Seems kinda perfect, huh?

And then, within 2 years I boarded the injury
train and lost sight of those dreams
.

It took about 3 years for me to grasp onto those young, teenage year aspirations once again and try to make them a reality. 3 years of my life was spent doubting myself and settling for the ‘next-best-thing’ in my*  life.  I continued working hard in class (when I was healthy enough to attend) and kept trying to work through my injuries in hopes that a dance degree would be on my resume in a few years… But for what? For me, I had no purpose in getting a dance degree. What was going to use it for? And for that, I didn’t have an answer… At the end of those three years it took lots of convincing from others who believed in me for me to realize that it  might still be an attainable goal… The reality? I had given up on my dreams and completely lost sight of myself along the way.

Now though, can I say that I’ve reached my dreams? I can officially tell people that I am dancing professionally in a company in a (fairly) big city, and for that I am so very grateful. But is this current place in my life what I worked so hard for? I pushed through barrier after barrier trying to find myself as a dancer again to get here? Is there more out there? Of course there is ! But still the question remains: have I caught my dream? Dreams are ever changing, evolving, developing, so is there truly a distinctive point where we can answer ‘yes’ to the aforementioned question? I have made it to the stage….but is it the “real” one? I am dancing under the lights…but are they the “brightest”? I have roles…but are they the “big” ones? There sure is applause…but is it even for me?! I know that I’ve made it somewhere, and I hope that my journey will continue on, but at the end of the day do I have closure on how far I have come?

Look ma, I've made it [to the city] Location: Minneapolis, MN --Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset--
Look ma, I’ve made it [to the city]
Location: Minneapolis, MN
–Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset–
*disclaimer: I do not believe in any way, shape or form, that the college route is the ‘next-best-thing’ for a dancer. Many dancers take this path and have high rates of success, but for me, personally, college was the plan on the back burner for many years. As I continued to fight injury and setbacks it started to become more of what I thought would be my furthest destination in the dance world