“Note to My Teenage Self “
Updated: Feb 8, 2020
This is a “Note to My Teenage Self “ “You are very lucky to have a dream and be able to focus on one thing. Lots of possibilities are in front of you and believe in yourself no matter what difficulties you encounter. Keep in mind that life is beautiful and also life is long “
I sound like I'm 100 years old, but this voice comes to me naturally when I look at these pictures. Now I am a bit wiser than I was then.
Yes, It was me and I feel fortunate that I had something that so focused me and I worked very hard towards my dream from a young age - like 7 or 8 years old. That was one of the many great things about studying classical ballet.
Growing up in Japan where there is a “Samurai spirit “ and a culture of stoicism, I am pretty confident that I was one of the few who were more passionate and obsessed by the ballet than anyone else. Every free second was spent in practicing to improve my technique. I have to admit that it wasn’t always healthy. I didn’t do what the other kids were doing. For example, I grew up surrounded by mountains (sometimes referred to as the Alps of Japan) and in school we used to have mandatory ski lessons once or twice a week in winter, but I skipped all the lessons because my mom and I (and my ballet teacher) were afraid of me breaking my leg before ballet competitions. Or I almost never went to friends' birthday parties because I used to go to Tokyo every weekend to receive special ballet lessons from a master teacher etc. I eventually learned how to take breaks from dancing or that it’s okay to miss a ballet class for one day or that it’s fine to play with my friends in my spare time... But only after I went to study abroad. Don’t get me wrong, my parents, my grandparents and my teacher were all wonderful. They invested in me and walked along side me and shared my dream. Now that I am a mom of 2 children, I want my kids to experience something like that. I know what I did was a little too extreme and I want my kids to go skiing and go to birthday parties. But I also want them to experience the joy of doing the best they can at something. (But in practice this is not easy to do....parenting work in progress!).