As a teenager, I often thought about being a cheerleader; there was just something about those pompons that made you want to pick them up and shake ’em like crazy. Still, I never tried out because I thought I couldn’t make it, and I didn’t want to be embarrassed. Twenty years later, I still think about how I never tried out, and wonder what would have happened had I tried. Maybe I could have ended up as one of those famous Laker Girls or been a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader? Who knows?
Doubting myself and believing that I can’t do something has followed me throughout life, and there is nothing like a good old case of PMS to remind you of regrets and could have beens. The only difference between my self-doubts as a teenager and the self-doubts I have today are that now I can come up with better excuses for not trying. I can’t go to Hollywood and get in the movie business because of the kids; yeah, that’s a good one. I can’t finish the screenplay because the software program is not made for dummies; that’s another good one. I would really love to take a photography class, but I need to put that money in the bank just in case something happens. There’s always a reason to not do something.
For the last few years of my life, I have been thinking about hopping in the car and taking a road trip – just me, alone. I think it would be so exciting just me, my favorite CDs and the open road. But then I tell myself that it’s totally insane. Why do I need to do that? I have a husband and a family I love desperately. But there’s a part of me that yearns to be free just for a week or so. Then I tell myself that when the kids are out of the house, I’ll make that trip, but by then I might be too old.
Why do we always defer our dreams?
Of course as women we end up making sacrifices, but in order to truly live we need to get out and do the things that we want to do. We need to climb those mountains and stand beside the ocean. Nothing is worse than having a dream and wondering if you could really have achieved it. A dream that is constantly deferred eventually dries up and disappears and leaves you wanting inside. Even when you end up with everything that matters to you, a husband, kids, a decent job, you are still left wanting.