When I was sixteen years old, my friend Julie and I would huddle in her family room or mine, giggling about boys, gossiping about what was happening at high school, and fantasizing about someday going to Juilliard.
That was before I’d taken my first “real” dance class, or maybe not long afterwards. And the funny thing is, I totally forgot about those giggly tête-à-têtes.
It wasn’t until a few years later, when I made the crazy decision to audition for Juilliard that it came back to me.
Those conversations planted a seed, and my commitment and conviction kept me persisting, even when my body hurt, when all reason would have had me stop.
A lot of bad things resulted from my obsession with dance, including a vicious eating disorder, and almost losing my friendship with Julie. I don’t know if, given a chance, I’d advise my 16-year-old self to focus so intently on a passion that treated her like an abusive lover.
Yet I’m proud of that younger me for her conviction and grit. You go, girl.