Call me crazy, but it’s not like I spend a $1K on a dress every day.
Honestly, I made the decision on the spur of the moment. Even though I’d been considering it for several months, the actual decision came quickly when I received two unexpected checks – one. a refund from the refinance of my house, and the other, payment for a choreography I didn’t know included compensation.
And so I said Yes—to myself—and to something I’d been wanting for a long time, a ballroom dress.
I contacted my good friend, Diane, a master seamstress, to see if she would be available and if she was interested in crafting a custom dress. Diane, owns Grand Entrance Custom Performance Apparel and sews fabulous costumes for high school performing arts groups like show choirs and dance teams. As luck would have it, she was in between contracts, had the month of March free and was actually excited at the challenge. Long story short, 5-6 trips to Diane’s basement for fittings and the dress went home with me for finishing.
For me, the dress represents a big commitment I made to myself; a vow to honor and be true to myself. A promise not to sacrifice my dreams for anything, anymore.
Five years ago, I never would have believed that I’d be wearing this dress. I had a lot of good excuses.
–There wasn’t enough money.
–I was too old to start competing in ballroom dance.
–I simply wasn’t good enough.
I’d done a lot of waiting for the perfect conditions. But year by year, I could feel my dream slipping away from me. You see, so often we give up on things that are important to us. Life happens and we make other choices. But somewhere locked deep in the soul, our dream lives on like a little glowing ember, waiting just in case we choose to pick it up, dust it off, and breath it back into life.
I think anyone can have a second chance and even third chance to pursue something they love. The hard part is that it doesn’t always present itself as neatly as it does the first time. There are usually more obstacles later in life like time, money and mostly responsibility. Belief wanes and resignation takes hold. Therefore, rather than wait for opportunity to find us, we have to instead be intent on making it happen. And that kind of thinking isn’t for everyone.
So in having this dress made especially for me, I made a decision to cherish myself more than anyone else. So when I’m tempted to sacrifice my dreams for someone else (which I’ve done in the past) the dress will remind me what my dreams are made of and how important they are. I finally made the decision to stop waiting. And with the help of a fabulous coach, John Berry, who believed in me (even when I acted like I didn’t care) and the grace of something much bigger than I can imagine, I’m wearing my very own ballroom dress (not borrowed) in my first ballroom competition. It is beautiful and only the beginning of saying YES to me, and to more of what I truly want out of life.