I stumbled across the Misty Copeland story on Elephant Journal. Something about that dream-crushing line from the rejection letter she received at the tender and malleable age of thirteen really stoked the coals of defiance for me. Imagine:
“You have the wrong body for ballet.
What proper course exists when the realities of the body with which you’ve been bestowed frustrate the desire that sings in your heart? There are two warring camps to help answer this question: the voices that advocate a pragmatic recognition of limitations, and the opposing chorus of “Never give up.” Each thinks the other suffers from tunnel vision, and at different twists in the journey toward something evasive but not impossible, each argument delivers a powerful sway. Robert Frost iconically lamented the conflict inherent to choice.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
…long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Once, when I was facing just such a fork in the road with many exterior voices pressuring me in one direction or another, I returned to my meditation circle after a long absence for some clarity. At the end, our group leader pulled out a deck of cards and asked me to draw one. When I flipped it over to see the heading, “Angel of Obedience,” I felt a flare of anger at the idea of obeying anyone until I read further to find,
I follow my soul’s guidance…the only true obedience is to the soul.
I’ve been thinking a lot over the past week about the rest of my embryos, and how this public loss will only magnify the patronizing looks and commentary from people who put significant stock in limitations. I think I’ll take the note from Ms. Copeland and carve out my own road to happiness because, sometimes, “will trumps fate.”