A couple months ago I was taking a road trip down the Highway 1 in California with my friend Angie. It was something I had always wanted to do and for my 31st birthday, I had finally orchestrated the event.
I was weepy the entire trip. Besides having just let go of a relationship that I had not fully grieved, while on the trip I found out that one of my dearest friends had passed away unexpectedly. I had constant questions in my head of, “What is my dream? What do I want from my life? Where do I belong?”
After living in Hawaii for almost 15 years, I wondered if there was another place for me. That is one of the reasons I wanted to go on this trip. To see if I fit in anywhere, or to see if there was a place in California that called to me like Hawaii had.
I returned to my island two weeks later having received no clarification or progress on my questions. After two weeks on the road, I returned to start my dance session at the Manoa Dance Studio (where I had been renting space for the past 5 years). I had just finished registering 4 new little dancers, all ages 3 to 4, for our most popular pre-ballet class. I was sitting out in the hallway talking with the parents of two of the dancers. They were telling me how shy their girls were and that they could not believe that the girls had just walked into class with out any tears! I expressed that that was what the studio was about, creating a safe place to explore self and self expression through movement. The parents were thrilled!
I got into my car and as I was backing out I remember feeling so fulfilled…so full of joy. Then it hit me. “Hillary! You ARE living your dream! You live in Hawaii AND you have a dance company (which I wanted since I was 8) AND you live in Hawaii!!” How could it have not been any clearer? It took me years to realize that I was finally living my dream! How many days had I taken for granted while I was doing what I’d been doing for years, and not realizing what I had?
Then came a phone call. The owner of MDS said that she was relocating to Europe for the rest of the year and could not run the studio from there. Either the space would have to stop operating or someone would need to step in as owner. Meaning, me. In the past when we had discussed the possibility of me taking over the business, I was always uncommittal, always on the fence about stepping into that responsibility. It seemed to be too much commitment for me. The idea that if I wanted or needed to pick up and leave, I could, had always been too strong.
Then I remembered how I felt after I left that dance class and seeing those little dancers. There was no doubt in my mind what I had to do. What I WANTED to do. I said yes to stepping up as owner in order to keep the studio going.
The next three weeks were a rush and blur. As the previous owner was on a short time crunch, we scrambled to get as much in place as we could. To my gratitude and blessing, she was very organized,we had an easy working relationship, and she’d always been so patient with me as a renter and supportive of my history with my stroke and starting over.
Ever since I said yes to my new role, there was this flow that I had never experienced before. Things and timing worked out perfectly. There were a few hiccups, but one thing after another fell into place. And they keep doing so!
Here I am. The new owner of my very own dance studio. Just like I had dreamed about as a little girl. I now have a space where we can empower others with movement and dance, helping them discover their own truth and higher selves. We are helping create good people and empowering others through movement. We are choosing magic over the mundane!
I am overwhelmed with gratitude for where I’m at and the long journey of how I got here. The struggle makes it that much more sweet and joyous. I feel I had to go through that wandering process to understand just how much I do have and that I am in fact living a life that I’ve created and dreamed about for as long as I can remember.
That day, driving away from the studio after my ‘Ah Ha’ moment, I thought, “You ARE living your dream! Now, how can we make it better?”