Up Against the Wall

She ruined it all for me. The woman was a teacher and she destroyed my dream. After much begging and pleading my Mother enrolled me in modeling classes when I was 14-years old. I was going to take the runways in Paris and Milan by storm. I’d be photographed and airbrushed on the covers of all the top fashion magazines. I’d live in New York and…well you get the idea.

I was tall, I had good bone structure and I was eager. Yet she had the audacity to strip that dream away from me with the stroke of her pen. This modeling teacher gave me a ‘D’ at the end of the semester. She wrote on her report, that when I stood straight up against a wall my back had a slight curve in it and that was career-ending according to her. For a 14-year old gangly teenager with wide-eyed dreams, just starting to learn about the world and her place in it, it was a devastating blow. My career was over in a flash of the report card she sent home for my parents to read. I suppose I cried, I don’t remember but to this day it still haunts me so I know it was a significant event in my young life. I can’t remember what I ate for breakfast today but I remember that event.

I was sharing this story with my partner today and I started laughing. I started howling in fact as I realized I had let this woman ruin my chances at being the next …who was big back then?… Oh right, Cheryl Teggs or Chrissy somebody. I was even told I looked like them.

Have you ever let someone control your dreams? If you haven’t,  I doubt you’d be reading this post today, so chances are yes it’s happened whether you are aware of it or not. Today, I would have called her up and asked her exactly why she failed me? What did I need to learn to get better? Would she help me or should I find someone who would? Instead, I took no action, walked away from my dream, and have let this fester inside for a lifetime. I let this happen to me.

The moral of the story – you cannot let other people dictate to you what you should and should not be doing when it comes to your dream. It’s your dream and they are just players in it. When it comes to your vision of your future, only you can control how that vision looks, feels, smells, tastes, and what you are willing and able to do to create it in your reality. That failing grade you got twenty years, or the negative comments about your Lego-building finesse, baking ability or singing tone, that you let into your mind  back then, and then chose not to pursue your dream based on it, dictated where your life path would take you. Does that cut it for you today? I know it doesn’t pass muster for me. Who knows, our paths may have crossed – I may have lived in your towering apartment building you designed in NYC or tasted your mouth-watering, award-winning pastry or be listening to your CD – The Best of… now, and you could be standing in line at the check out counter and glance over to see my smiling eyes staring back at you.

Would you have been… ? Would I have been a top model? You bet your nicely shaped bottom, lean long legs and pouty bow lip,  I would have. I just needed to grow back bone – a straight one.


One response to this post.

  1. “You can’t…you ain’t….you’re stupid….Now let me show you those who can.” Grown folks said this to me.

    There is nothing right about stealing a person’s self-esteem.

    Everything is right when you pack “other people’s opinions” and toss them the ocean. Fish Food!

    Vivian Dixon Sober


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