For The Astronaut And The Ballerina

How many of you are doing exactly what you wanted to do “when you grow up?” How many firefighters, race-car drivers, fashion models, and movie stars read this blog? Where did the astronaut and the ballerina go?

Confession… I wanted to be an astronaut. Yes, I was that kid. I fantasized about weightlessness, eating food out of little baggies, and drinking nothing but TANG while on my mission to the moon. When I was nine, I believed there was not anything that could stop me from becoming and astronaut and that was going to be my path in life.

Obviously, that did not happen. Blame my grades, blame our nation’s dwindling (now non-existent) space program, blame whatever you want, I never became an astronaut but at 47 years-old, I still sometimes dream. No kidding… whenever I read about missions to Mars, or one-way space travel to the far reaches of the galaxy, I still think I could do it and still want to do it.

I still gaze up on the clear nights, look at the Milky Way, and wonder what it would be like to be “up there.”

For the many girls, what happened there? The ones who wanted to be ballerinas, princesses, models, movie stars, or something like that. Did you make it? Where did your dream go? I bet just as I still dream of space, your dreams are still alive and kicking around there somewhere as well.

What happened to the astronaut and the ballerina? We grew up. Practicality won out over passion as it often does, and the more “realistic paths” of life were taken. But I am here to tell you, even though that dream ended, and even though you are not pirouetting around a stage, you can still indulge in your dreams and passions. Even though you did not fulfill a particular childhood dream, that dream is still a part of you, so enjoy it in anyway that you can.

Look at the stars and constellations, watch that ballet… do what you want to do and appreciate what was your dream from a different vantage point. All of us have that inner-child, even as adults, and along with that inner-child we all still carry that child’s dream with us in one way or another. It is as much of a part of you as your eye or hair color, so you might as well indulge it, right?

Someone once told me that one of the keys to “not growing old” is to do something everyday for a fifteen minutes or so that you loved to do as a child. For me, at least right now, I ride my skateboard, even if it is just up and down the street to clear my head. It is still important to feed your childhood passion in any way that you can regardless of if you can fully participate or “be that” dream.

Look around you. Where did the astronaut and the ballerina end up running off to? Where did they go? I bet if you asked those around you, your friends, coworkers, strangers on the street, there are more astronauts and ballerinas than you would have ever imagined.

Keep dreaming those dreams as they are the conduit to youth and the untapped optimism of possibility – we can always use a little more of that in life. All of us.

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

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  1. andy…great blog about following your dreams…but what about the little girls who dreamed of being astronauts and the little boys who wanted to join the ballet…please remember to be inclusive….

    • 3peaksblog says:

      That is a super-awesome point Tobi – thank you! When I wrote it I was reflecting on my own childhood period when things were not quite as fluid or dynamic as they are today. Thank you for pointing that out and calling me on it! I will definitely be more inclusive!

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