My brother-in-law suggested that we catch a movie last night. I needed a break from the computer, so instead of being responsible we loaded up the kids after dinner and went to the movie theater to see The Greatest Showman.
This is totally NOT a movie review. If you like music, singing, and dancing then you’ll be entertained by the movie. There were two things that I really liked about the story.
First, P.T. Barnum took a group of people that were outcasts and gave them a common purpose and a home (some for the first time in their lives). One character in the movie states that Barum’s group (which consisted of people of different shapes, sizes, deformities, races, and backgrounds) was a “celebration of humanity.”
Image from http://all-that-is-interesting.com/
Second, Barnum had the courage to dream and then work hard to achieve those dreams. Even when repeatedly faced with failure he refused to accept defeat. His drive and courage brought me back to an experience I had in the fourth grade.
Disclaimer: I’ve never shared this story with my boys because I’d never want to encourage them to do something as crazy and stupid as I did…
As a child, I dreamed BIG. I mean REALLY big. I loved theater. I loved building sets, creating costumes, doing make-up, illustrating characters, dancing, singing, etc., I also loved to direct and tell stories. So one day, I thought to myself, “I am going to put on a play at school.” So, I convinced my entire fourth class that I had permission from our teacher and principal to direct a fourth-grade production of The Nutcracker. Instead of going to recess, I ushered my class into the school auditorium. Within 10 minutes I had assigned kids to their parts and we were full steam ahead on our way to bringing my vision to life. I was flying high and SO excited that I was going to make my dream a reality.
It took another 15 minutes until school staff, including one very distressed gym teacher, found us in the auditorium. It’s not every day that an entire class goes missing from recess. It was then that I realized my dream wasn’t going to be realized. I went from the high of glimpsing a dream come true, to crushing disappointment. And that’s when the pooh hit the fan. Not only were my teachers really upset with me, but my entire class realized that they had been hoodwinked. They were NOT happy. From that time on, my reputation proceeded me. I wasn’t really considered a “good influence” by the parents of my classmates after that. No one was going to invite “the 4th grader who kidnapped her class” to a birthday party. The rest of that year pretty much blew chunks!
That experience taught me two lessons: 1) Try new things, every if you’re scared (What’s the worst that could happen, really?), and 2) If you lie to everyone in your class you will run out of friends in a hurry, so it’s good to have a dad that moves the family every few years (for work) so you can start fresh in a new place.
Old illustrations I did years and years ago.
Playing “dress-up” with my Sam for Halloween.
I didn’t let my experience stop me from trying new things. The courage to dream got me to where I am today: a Creative Director and Inventor.
What scary things have you done in pursuit of your dreams?