Amelia Hertzberg | Ballerina, Superspy, Oh My

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Amelia Hertzberg grew up in Groveland, Massachusetts as the baby of three children. Currently she lives in Belmont, Massachusetts with her own three babies. Her interests include hiking, reading, creating, and having dance parties with her children. Now that her husband has finished his schooling, it is time for her to put some of those interests into a graduate degree and career of her own.

I am never going to be a ballet dancer. In fact, there wasn’t ever much hope of that given I was born with both feet turned in and had to learn how to walk without tripping over myself. Despite that, however, it was always in the back of my mind that someday, when I was all grown up, I would be a beautiful ballet dancer- that or a female James Bond. Well, I’m all grown up, and I am neither a ballet dancer nor a sexy super-spy. It is time my dreamscape grew up too.

Source: istockphoto

It was sad the day I realized that I was too old to fulfill those aspirations. Personally, I feel like I took too much stock in the confidence my parents had in me. To them, I was beautiful, smart, witty, athletically gifted, and sure to go places. While I tried various things and did my best, it was as though, in my head, I was over there on the sidelines with them waiting to witness my greatness blossom. Rather than choosing something and working at it, I was waiting to discover my passion and for it to guide my life path.

Now that it’s pretty obvious savant capability is not waiting to burst forth from my brain or body and that I’m interested in too many diverse things for them to guide me, it’s easy to feel a little let down. Like many of you, I’m sure, I had loving parents who told me I could be what ever I wanted to be. There were so many choices that instead of choosing, I waited for an epiphany, and now certain doors (like ballet and, most likely, secret agent work), are closed. Now I’m mature enough to realize that no agents are going to see me buying groceries and decide I’m the next Audrey Hepburn or knock down my door saying they heard me singing to my children and that I’m a born lyricist. No one is going to tell me what I can accomplish and lay it all at my feet.

Then there’s the nagging feeling as I struggle to keep my house, children, and husband presentable that some people are not meant for greatness. Perhaps growing up is just realizing your limitations and doing the work you must. After all, history and the homeless person on the street show tons of people are stuck doing just that.

My work right now is being a stay at home mother. For some, raising a family is their dream, and their homes, husbands, and children are probably amazing, but it is not for me. As modern technology succeeds in making a stay at home mother’s work more mindless and less rewarding than ever, I think more and more mothers are seeking a creative outlet. Recent rises in the popularity of old fashioned skills like sewing, making jams, and knitting seem to support this. I’ve dabbled in these hobbies and found myself proficient but unfulfilled.

Here I am, old enough that childhood dreams have passed and new responsibilities weigh on me but young enough that I’m not ready to throw in the towel. I am in America: The Land of Opportunity. I have a college education. I have access to all kinds of information.  I have a longer life expectancy than any other generation in history. And, by golly, just because I’m a grown up with a baby on my hip and two others constantly trying to kill each other doesn’t mean it is too late to figure out what I want to be when I grow up and go do it. After all, even if I’d been a ballet dancer, my ballet career would be over by now, and I’d be in the same boat as I am. So, chin up, Amelia Renee, and go get ‘em, and you — you go get ‘em too.

Has there every been a time when you had so many choices, you didn't make a choice?

“It was as though, in my head, I was over there on the sidelines with them waiting to witness my greatness blossom.” Have you ever done this?  I have!

Now that your childhood dreams have passed, are you ready to consider your dreams today?

Amelia is going to date five dreams, and then report back in six months.  Have you dated any dreams recently?

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