On the challenge of being yourself

If you’ve never watched the movie “Center Stage,” you should.  It’s cheesy and beautiful and uplifting and all the right people get what they deserve.  It’s a dance movie that functions perfectly as a metaphor for life: dance the dance you have inside you, with all the effort and discipline you can muster.  And recognize when you’re trying to dance a dance that’s not your own.  And of course, roses and standing ovations follow immediately when you have the wisdom to be yourself.

But here’s where I’d add a few things: it’s not just about wisdom.  It’s just as much about opportunity, and foresight, and connections, and plain old good luck.  It’s about having sufficient freedom from constraints that you can actually DO the kinds of movement your own self demands.  And for most of us, absent full-time child-care and a perennially healthy bank balance, we just don’t get that freedom.  So what do we do?

I hate that all the best answers seem to revolve around “patience” and “self-love” and being “mindful.”  We need an Action Plan.  A Career-Planning Mom action figure.  She’d be a myth, like all the other super-heroes, but she’d have her s*#t together.  Perhaps I need a costume.

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