The Plastic Slipper

Audrey - Walnut Creek, California
Entered on February 19, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

The Plastic Slipper

Remember the days when all you needed to become a fairy princess or a bride was a basket full of soft, polyester, hand-sewn skirts and your mom’s discarded shoes? When the biggest conflict you’d ever had with your best friend was whose turn it was to wear the pink necklace? It’s these feathered-boa clad days of playing dress up that have given me the memories I value today.

But the memory that stands out more vivid than the rest is a simple conversation I had with my uncle.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” he’d asked (a popular question among adults, I’d come to realize).

Fortunately, I had my answer ready: “Everything!” I’d responded. “All the jobs in the world!”

“Even a supermodel?” He teased, his condescending tone flying right over my head.

“Yes!” I answered, despite the fact that I hadn’t slightest idea what that was. “Even a supermodel!”

While most people would consider my answer extremely naive, even for a child of my age, I look back and realize that what I said that evening was wise beyond my years. Even though it’s impossible for anyone to be everything, at that time of my life, I could have been anything.

I believe in the limitless possibilities for our futures that we hold in our hands. What we can achieve in life is about as extensive as our imaginations can make it. Unfortunately, as teenagers and adults, we forget about this notion and base our reality on what others tell us. We should really be listening to that inner child, who disregards all common sense and chases dreams along with butterflies.

When we try to hold our feet on the ground and keep our goals “realistic”, we need to be reminded of Christopher Columbus, William Shakespeare, and Benjamin Franklin. If these men had joined the ranks of monotonous daily commuters with their “realistic” goals, where would we all be today? This is why I desperately hold onto the belief that I can do whatever I set out to do in life.

I’m not a fairy princess, and since I’ve discovered what exactly a supermodel is, I haven’t wanted to be one of those either. But I try as hard as I can to not forget about that little girl I once knew who believed in herself, set her standards high, and dreamed in plastic slippers.