The Costs of a Dream

By: Hannah Young

Photo by Sadie Walsh




I made it to New York,

standing on the stage of my dreams

behind a curtain that will rise in exactly two minutes,

commencing the beginning of this performance at seven o’clock sharp.


I cannot believe this is it.

This is the moment I have been waiting for.

For as long as I could remember,

this was always the dream.


I never thought I would get here.

Will all the sacrifice be worth it?

I am standing on the stage of my dreams,

but at what cost?


All the parties I missed in high school,

the tests and quizzes I failed cause I could not study,

the people I snapped at and the ones that abandoned me,

the sporting games that I never got a chance to go to,

the inability to think about anything for a long period of time without dance getting involved.


The constant stress I put myself through physically and mentally,

the bones I broke, the muscles I pulled, and the blood I shed,

the body dysmorphia that I developed, picking myself apart piece by piece,

putting myself in a never ending cycle of extreme highs and lows,

the constant nauseousness I got from dancing too hard without proper nutrition.


All of these thoughts and more flooded me at once,

so much so that I did not realize that the curtain had rose.

The music was echoing from the orchestra a couple feet away,

and yet I did not move a muscle.


I was frozen in my starting pose

under the burning lights of the theater,

scanning the confused audience members

and turning my head to see my company also perplexed.


I relaxed from my starting pose,

putting my heels and toes together.

Slowly, I began to walk backwards.

Although I was physically in the theater, my mind was elsewhere.


I saw visions of what could have been my life

the utter joy I could have experienced,

the laughs I would have shared with my friends in high school,

the events I would’ve gone to, and much more.

The visions were so intense that I rose my head slightly towards the bright lights

and mouthed the words “thank you.”


Darkness overtook me as I fainted at 7:03 pm.