A client recently told me her daughter sees me as her spirit animal.
Seriously, of all people, me?
I was baffled. I’m just me. I’m not someone in a position of power or of privilege, I don’t have a slew of “followers”, I curse too much, I shelved my dreams of being on the stage for a life of responsibility and doing what needed to be done in the moment. I haven’t reached a level of success that I feel my family needs and deserves and it makes me feel like I want to escape my life regularly. I couldn’t understand it.
She then began to list off all the reasons that her daughter looked up to me for. Everything she listed were all the reasons I regularly doubt and down myself for.
I was a dancer for a few years and had the most incredible experiences tapping into that side of me. I worked at Universal Studios doing shows in front of audiences all day long. That afforded me to be able to work SO many amazing events and meet a colorful array of people from every walk of life, both on stage and behind the scenes. I’ve been a part of putting on some pretty epic fashion shows over the years. I’m always diving into something creative, making, sewing, singing, writing, dancing, acting, always chasing the stage. Not for the fame or the glam, but for the LOVE of that stage.
As she continued to mention all these things that I’m being admired for by her teenager, I found in my own head I was adding a “but” to every thing she pointed out.
Yes, I danced for a few years but I wasn’t as experienced as my peers. I worked as a spieler and had an opportunity to act, but I never did anything note-worthy. I’m pretty gifted with my hands and have made tons of crafts but I’ve never been able to turn that into a fruitful income. I love to sing and write and music is what lives in every single nerve ending that I have, but I’ve never had the courage to let people hear me.
The conversation continued, but that comment impacted me. I obsessed over it because when you are regularly told by the people in your life (directly or indirectly) that you are not enough…skinny enough, pretty enough, smart, talented or in general just not enough, you begin to believe it. To hear that I had positively impacted this young lady in the slightest bit of minutiae shook me because I didn’t think I was that special.
I have nothing particular to envy and this young lady had thought enough of me to consider me her spirit animal. It completely blew my mind.
After graduating college the outside pressures of getting a “real” job weighed on me to the point of pushing everything aside. I look at myself daily and pick apart all of my imperfections. I beat myself up for all the things I haven’t done, what I didn’t accomplish, and all the would/should/could-haves of the last 20 years or so. It consumes me daily. As a result I’ve tried to live my life just under the radar enough blend in, but it doesn’t come naturally for me. And it would seem that I am not as invisible as I thought myself to be.
As far back as I have been able to formulate thought I’ve wanted to be an artist. It’s in my blood, in my heartbeat, in every action that I do there is some level of artistry there. It is what I am, who I am meant to become and who I need to be. And if I’m honest with myself, I do have pretty impressive portfolio of all the things I’ve been a part of that I don’t give myself credit for because I feel that my contributions maybe weren’t really THAT significant. It seems, however, that to at least one person they were. Sometimes a pat on your own back is well-earned.
That day I learned to look at my successes for that. A SUCCESS. No matter how small. Little victories still matter.
Here’s to taking each little victory as a grain of sand that will eventually make one kickass glass chandelier to swing from. I hope you do the same. <3
*cues glitter bombs*
Siu-Ling Rivera developed a love of reading at a very young age along with a passion for arts and constantly has her hands in something creative. After a traumatic post-partum experience, she began her blog (www.findingme81.wordpress.com) as a way of reaching out to other post-partum friends that were going through similar experiences. Siu-Ling lives in Orlando, FL with her husband an is a mother of two wildly energetic and imaginative little souls where she’s been a Licensed Massage Therapist since 2003.