My middle daughter, Mariah, is an arteest. She is primarily into theatre, although she also paints and writes fabulously. After she graduated from High School four years ago, she moved to LA to pursue her lifelong dreams of "making it." She went to an Arts Academy then started working at a coffeshop to support herself. Last year, she joined a theatre troupe. Most of the others in the troupe are older and more experienced than she is and she went through lots when she first started around feeling inadequate. Part of the process for her was that she went though this thing where she had to come to terms with her anger around the fact that I was too busy of a Mother to be a "soccer mom." Not that she was into soccer, but I did not cart her to various voice, dance and acting lessons when she was a kid. In the end, she came up with what I had thought all along which was that people will create their lives in the ways they want them. There are plenty of people who get a later start in life and to sit and blame the past gets you nowhere. She is a pretty amazing person and in a very short time she came out stronger, seeing that all she needed to do in this situation was to just forgive herself for not being where she wanted to be (like she doesn't have an Oscar yet) and to be gentle with herself for not being "better" at acting because she is learning well. That once she starts putting herself into something she ALWAYS masters, excels and shines in it.
She was recently invited to attend a theatre festival in Europe for a week in the summer. She will get all her expenses paid for except for the extra travel the troupe will do after the festival. I am so exceedingly proud of her for following her dreams. It is not always easy and given that she is, of course, a drama queen, I get plenty of anguished phone calls. She gets so caught up in things not being perfect from time to time, feeling like "her life is over" and she will never get to her goal! Each time we have to revisit that she IS accomplishing everything she dreamed of and is actually ahead of schedule.
I am so very proud of her and all who follow their dreams in a very concrete way that is often scary. I admire all those who stick to something and perfect it- overcoming incredible odds both inside and out. But primarily the biggest hurdles are the inner ones. The things we tell ourselves to not shine! I stand in awe of my daughter for, in the end, keeping her sparkle no matter what is in front of her. What a warrior woman!