"What did you want to be as a child?"
This was a question posed to me by a fellow writer and friend; "What did you want to be as a child?'
Immediately what came to mind was a ballerina. I remember listening to my music box as a child. I remember spinning the song "Music Box Dancer" by Frank Mills on my record player. I remember watching the beautiful pink ballerina in the starched frilled tutu twirling around with ease. The ballerina was beautiful, but more than that, she had purpose. She was right where she needed to be and she did her dance flawlessly, easily. And I got to be the one to make her dance just by turning the key on the back of the music box.
Today I stood in my kitchen and sincerely asked my husband; "What is my purpose?" Because I'm still searching, pushing, asking that question every. single. day.
We hashed it out. We looked at all of the things that this "stay at home mom" is capable of doing week to week. We listed all of the things: sing-alongs, old-time music, teaching, performing at events, volunteering for non-profits, trying to make it as a singer-songwriter, mothering my children, keeping a household running, volunteering at school, writing parodies, writing for Sesame Street, writing a book. We discovered that while everything else is wonderful, and perhaps low lying fruit, that this new adventure of becoming an author is my new focus. Everything has lead me to this. And even though I'm not quite the ballerina with the purpose set in stone, I realize that I don't want to be.
I love the fact that I can do many things. I love that I'm not in a box waiting for someone to open it, turn the key, and make me dance. I want to dance in my own way, on my own, with my own direction. A music box dancer, although I wrote my first parody to that record at age 6 (the laundry song), is not what I shall be. I'm making my own way. Writing and making art is the way that I have been discovering who I am for years and years. It will continue to be the way I get to know myself in the future. It is the legacy I hope to leave behind me when I leave this big spinning marble.
As the years went on, I decided I wanted to be a teacher, then a singer, then a songwriter, and now a writer of books; an author. Children's music and books seem to be in my wheel house. Wether it's due to arrested development, or just a longing to stay forever young, innocent, pure, and like a child, I hope to realize the truth of my purpose someday. I believe it will give me a chance to meet my true self. I hope to be greeted with open arms, dancing to my own music.
Below is a video of the song "Music Box Dancer". This was one of my favorite songs when I was little. I used to play it on my record player over and over again. I dreamt of being a ballerina. Once I was diagnosed with scoliosis I felt that dream begin to fade. I never took ballet lessons. But I did take piano lessons. I can play the song. Perhaps an accompanist may be my most fitting role to date.