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The Courage of a 9 Year Old

Recently I made a giant change in my life. I finally got the courage to pursue my dream of public speaking for a living. I’ve been doing it for years on the side, always with the comfort of knowing I still had a full time job with benefits to ensure I had a safety net. Well, when a forced reduction causes you to have to go out and get contract work to keep food on the table, you start reevaluating your career path. So it’s been nagging at me that I need to do what I love. So how did I finally get the courage to do it? Well, her name is Ainsley.

Ainsley is my daughter. She is beautiful inside and out. She’s funny, sassy and sarcastic (like her parents) and she just lights up a room. Last September she made a monumental decision in her life (as monumental as they can be at 9 years old). She decided not to try out for the competitive, national champion dance company that she had been on for the past three years. All of her friends were on the company and she loved it. It was what she’s known. It was safe. She was confident she could do it and would be happy. The easy road to take would have been to to keep doing what she knew. Ainsley didn’t. You see she had a passion that she wanted to pursue. She wanted to act. She loves doing plays and musicals and everything to do with the stage. She knew that if she danced, she would spend most of her time practicing and rehearsing and going to classes and that would leave no time to do what she really wanted. So she took the uncertain road, followed her passion and tried something new and a little bit scary. It paid off for her this year. She was cast in three shows and a student film. She finished the year with the role of Gertrude McFuzz in Seussical the Musical Jr. where she turned in a very funny & heartwarming performance.

Last week when I was really struggling with what I should do next, wondering if now was the right time for me to pursue my dream, Ainsley walked in. She just smiled at me and then went about her day. It triggered something in me. I started thinking about her journey and how proud I was of her. That day I knew I too needed to have the courage my daughter showed and go after what I really want. I am happier than I’ve been in a long time (now I just need to keep lining up the gigs). For anyone reading this, I hope you are doing what you love and if not, maybe you just need to find the courage of a 9 year old to jump start your efforts! Thanks so much for reading this. Enjoy your day and make it count!

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