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Yes, dreams can be contradictions, but a dream can float buoyantly with joy. I had a specific dream- a dream that could never happen.
I always expected that my parents would encourage me to do everything I dream of. I’d always receive a scrawled note in my lunch- rather printed with Sharpie onto my banana. My family was always there for me, urging me to keep trying. “You can do it!!” Their voices seemed to be cheering the loudest at my soccer games, pumping extra energy into me, and I’d score the winning goal! Mama was usually the one who lifted my spirits after a depressing dance class, too full of pirouettes. My dad helped me to cope during basketball- one of the sports I despise most.
I’d always thought that gymnastics would be the one thing that they’d turn ecstatic about me pursuing a professional career with.
I was wrong.
Those three words still cloud my brain, forcing me into a weird state of despair.
It started to push into my mind more- that idea of being a pro gymnast, like my hero, Nastia Luikin, or even Shawn Johnson. I too fantasized of winning heaps of gold medals, being famous around the world, traveling, and most of all I wanted to be able to perform those complex tricks.
My idea was to causally ask my parents over dinner, where their minds are most clear. I could almost hear that life changing yes!
It was not to be. This is a repeat of that conversation:
“I have a question.”
“It’s not a lot to ask… can I take gymnastic classes?”
“No, I mean the kind to train to be a professional gymnast.”
My parents glanced at each other, doubt lining their faces.
That’s when I heard the one word that would change my life forever-
I felt as if someone had hit me in the stomach, as if I had been pushed of a cliff.
I have recovered from that blow since- I now take dance, but it lurks in me still.