by Bridget Woolley
I look through the mirror, and the thing I see, that could be anyone but me.
I look light-hearted, and I see this artist. With bubbly eyes, I look in, deeper. Lips pink with gloss, I pucker in judgment. With the ring I was given, I could only think of fidgeting with it. Circling it, interlacing it around my fingers, over and over and over again. Until I was satisfied.
With my hair gelled back, I thought to myself, “Is this truly who I’m meant to be?”
Overloaded, I had to choose between who they wanted me to be and who I knew I could be.
Eventually, I saw, not this strange moody girl, but rather a young lady willing to take risks, follow corrections, and make change. I found a young lady that could listen to those around her and hear what they were really saying. She’s no longer fake, a piece of bubble gum. She’s a lovely person willing to speak up and do everything she can to achieve her dreams. No longer will she waste away trying to fake it.
She recognizes the people who are good people. She’s learned that family runs deeper than blood, and that your real family is filled with diverse people who share a mutual love for each other. And, she understands that blood means nothing without genuine love.
I’m the girl on the other side of the glass, free to love and free to grow.
Bridget Woolley is a Ballet Major at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts under the artistic direction of Jared Redick. She expects to graduate from the high school program in 2024 and plans to pursue her Bachelor of Fine Arts in the school’s conservatory program. Bridget began dancing at the tender age of four at Naples Dance Conservatory, under the artistic direction of Abdel Roque. While her heart will always lie in classical ballet, she loves to push the envelope by incorporating contemporary and modern techniques. As an artist, she loves creating and collaborating on new pieces. She believes that dance has the ability to lift people up and help them fly.