The Beluga Ballerina, Gal Pals and the Magic of Dreaming Out Loud

dream universe

I’ve long believed in the immeasurable power of articulating our dreams. Writing, speaking and sharing our hearts’ desires can turn whimsicle maybes into attainable goals by strengthening our beliefs, holding us accountable and shaping our actions with intent. Every now and then, dreaming out loud seems to work like sheer magic. Other times, we simply need to think outside of the box…

Many Halloweens ago, when I was five, I decided to dress up as a ballerina. Seems like a reasonable costume for a little girl, right? I thought so, regardless of the blizzardy Minnesota winter that had arrived prematurely. As the time to trick-or-treat drew near, I donned my heart-studded tights, pink leotard and sparkly tutu, eager to tromp through the snowdrifts in the name of candy. My mother’s plan for me varied slightly.

The moment she handed me my bright blue, squooshy snow pants, my dancer dreams dissipated like snow dots on a warm windshield. NO WAY! I’d told everyone (the entire kinder-verse) about my costume, dreamed constantly of wearing it and absolutely couldn’t let pillowy pants wreck everything!

Racing back to my bedroom, I removed my costume and slipped it back on—over my snow-gear. If I had to be a baby beluga whale in a tutu, so be it. Costumes shouldn’t discriminate! And besides, even then I deemed whales lovely.

whale ballet

Joyfully comparing myself to a beluga whale ballerina (high praise from that five-year-old) I ended up having a blast that night, delighting in the added attention and candy my puffy getup brought me. Given the chance, I probably would’ve opted for the beluga getup in snow over the ordinary look in sunshine. Regardless, my costume dreams had come true, and I had the sugar high to prove it.

I imagine many of us recall making seemingly fanciful dreams come true in our youth. As a whole, we adults are less likely to dream boldly or seek creative ways to lure our aspirations into fruition, particularly in the face of naysayers (to which, I say, bah humbug!). While maturity is invaluable, we sure can learn particular lessons from children.

Lately, I’ve been reminded of the importance of sharing dreams with like-minded others–in my case, adults who agree that some of the most cherished parts of us should never grow up. Since my pals and I are raging photo-oholics aren’t exactly camera shy, I have visual momentos from our recent dream-filled gatherings. I’m telling you, these gals are magic! Wondrous things have evolved for numerous of us since our shared time, and there’s more to come; I feel it! I also know that pursuing our passions allowed us all to meet, for which I’m eternally grateful.

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I’ll be sharing more regarding our unfolding dreams soon, but for now I simply felt like saying THANKS—to the universe, to my friends, for the freedoms we have that allow us to cultivate dreams lofty and small, and to you all for your continual awesomeness and support. You rock like king-size candy bars to trick-or-treating tykes. 😉

I’d love to hear from you! Has sharing a recent dream helped make it happen? Any related childhood stories to share? If you’re inclined, please post a comment letting me know what you’re dreaming toward. I’m telling you – there is power in sharing! I’d love to help cheer you on.

Leave a comment


  1. Catherine Johnson

     /  October 24, 2013

    Yay for writer pals! I love your whale story good on you, August.

  2. Sounds like a whale of a good time! And yes…I tell everyone you have to DREAM it first before it can become a reality. Been chasing brass rings —oooooh shiny!—-all my life.

  3. You’re welcome, Friend. And thank YOU.

  4. Fantastic! It is so great when we have the opportunity to hang out with “our people…” 🙂

  5. Great pics, August. It’s good to hang out with like-minded people who get us.

  6. Love the pics, August. Mathair always told me that holding dreams in stifles them. “You must first give them life by speaking them into existence, and then work hard to achieve them.” That’s what she always told me. Absolutely adored your Halloween story. I wanted to be Indiana Jones when I was a little girl, but my schoolmates said I was weird and that I should go as a princess. Mathair was so irate that they told me I couldn’t be what I wanted that she bought all of the things I’d need and put together her own costume, then she dressed me in it for school the day of Halloween. Yep, she’s bad ass like that, and so are you. Cheers to all the bad ass chicks.

  7. OMG, I LOVE that shot of all of you as angels (should I say archangels??) – you ladies are gorgeous! And of course we are rocking those boas. 🙂

    I was just sitting here thinking that I missed my “yummy breakfast square from August.” Sadly I’m now addicted, you’ll need to send me the recipe. Happy week-before-Halloween to you, my friend. You are a shining light in my universe.

    • Both were seriously fun nights! I feel so lucky to have friends who are profoundly deep thinkers yet love getting silly. 🙂

      Recipe to you soon! I hope you and your clan have the best Halloween.

  8. I love love love it. This is awesome, girl – you are magic encapsulated as well! I can’t wait to see you again xo

  9. LOL- I grew up in Alaska- the costume/ not dying of hypothermia debate was a big one in my house too.

  10. Raani York

     /  October 24, 2013

    I just LOVE your post, August! And when you told about this Halloween costume it took me back about 36 years when I wanted to go to children’s costume party with my sister. Mom loved having two little girls and often dressed us up the same way – and: costumes were expensive – AND it was February…
    What does the responsible mother of 30 years ago do? She designs costumes of her liking for her little blond girls, combines them with dark woolen pantyhoses and turtleneck sweaters, and instead of going as “princess” and “ballerina” as we girls had chosen, we were dressed in black with red dots, and Mommy found it cute to let us be “Ladybugs”, but with striped turtlenecks and blue pantyhoses we ended up looking like a strange mixture of grasshoppers with measles and bumblebees…
    I’m still blushing….

  11. Hahaha! I love your costume. You are such an inspiration to all of us and I just love you to bits for it. Thanks for being you.

  12. Love this post. What a fun and precious memory. Why is Halloween always so cold? We live in Cali and it’s still cold come the BIG night. No costume is the same with lots of layers to keep one for freezing. That said, where’s the picture of you as a beluga whale ballerina? You ain’t fooling me. That picture at the top is not you. 😉

    Fabulous pictures with so many amazing writer friends. They truly lift us up, don’t they?

  13. That’s a lovely quote from Paulo Coelho, “The alchemist” is one of my favourite books! 🙂

  14. I love the winky-dink creativity of August just as much as I admire the grown up version she still inhabits.

    You do realize those pictures with your gal pals makes me even more determined to make my next free-to-be-me vacation destination Southern California, don’t you? I know most of them. I want to be part of that group, even if it’s just for a week or two.

    In spirit, I’m already a part of the group. My dream is to be there in person to ham it up strut my stuff make memories happen. That dream will come true.

    • You mean my strategy worked??? We need you here, lady! But no pressure. 😉 You’re definitely one of us, regardless—but I foresee that happening, too. Keeping your feather boa safe in the meantime!

  15. Kourtney Heintz

     /  October 26, 2013

    Terrific post August. I love the way you trouble shot that Halloween at 5 years old! Very telling of who you would become. 😉

  16. I second Catherine – yay for writers! Yay for writers sticking together!

    Love the Halloween story. It’s amazing what people around the world get up to on my birthday… (I was a Halloween baby). I remember, many years ago, my Mum letting me and my sister dress up and go “trick or treating” around our neighbourhood that day – this was NOT done in New Zealand at the time, but we did it anyway.

    • Ha. I love that, Matthew! It’s fun having a holiday birthday, don’t you think? (Mine’s just before Christmas.) And I third Catherine’s yay. 🙂


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