Sunday, April 4, 2010

"I'll take background for $200"...

I was born in Australia and am the youngest of five children.  When I say the youngest, I mean it... My parent's intention was to have my sister and I close in age, however after years of trying with no luck my mum gave up and decided to focus on other things and allow nature to take its course. Which it did, 10 years later! Being born into a family of mostly teenagers was quite an experience in itself. I'm not sure whether it had something to do with how much of a surprise I was, but I was born into a group of people who were simply in awe of my existence! Every day was something new, I was dressed up, taken to 'show and tell', paraded around my sibling's friends and neighbors and reciting words and phrases that invoked rounds of laughter and applause. It was apparent very early on that I had found my first audience! It wasn't long until I clocked onto this idea of entertaining and by the time I was 20 months old I was begging to go to dance class and finally admitted into a strict ballet academy at the ripe old age two. Part of this ballet academy's requirements (apart from being able to count to 8) were that I also take a deportment and grooming course. A true ballerina and graduate from this academy must always conduct herself in an appropriate and graceful manner!  By the time I was 5 I had graduated the first few of levels of ballet, somehow scored an agent, learned how to behave in front of dignitaries and further more how to conduct a formal dinner party down to the table setting.  Looking back I feel exhausted just thinking about it, where on Earth did I get the drive and the energy?! However, these new found skills I were obtaining were going over really well with the family and friends.  Although my parents were too down to earth to take all of the fuss too seriously, they taught me how to enjoy this new found knowledge for what it was, 'behavioral dress ups' and the most important thing lesson being the joy of learning.  This was only the beginning of many a dance recital and performance interlocked with a self made tea party intermission. 

Looking back on these formative years of my life, I really believe that these are core experiences that shaped me into the woman I am today.  Although it was an interesting curve to learn the lesson of, "What do you mean I'm not as fabulous as my family thinks I am?", what I am left with is utter gratitude. I grew up feeling truly cherished by my family. I remember the excitement and intricate party planning that they would undertake for my birthdays.  I remember my brother in-law almost killing himself scaling down our bannister dressed as Santa, while squeals of laughter ensued from my family as I screamed, "I"m asleep Santa, I'm asleep". I remember the joy they constantly found in discovering new ways to celebrate every stage of life.

Ultimately this has made me want to shower people with that same love.  I want people around me to feel that same awe and gratitude that I was flooded with.  Even though the first part of my life was entertaining an audience there's nothing like the applause you get from the people that you love. The best part is that the applause already exists, you don't have to do anything to obtain it. It already exists because of who you are to those around you. 

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