You told me I could be whatever I wanted
You told me to reach for the stars
You told me, “No matter what happens, girl,
You had better follow your heart”
And I believed you
But you didn’t say why.
That phrase sounded so beautiful, so ethereal, so right
But you didn’t say then that what I wanted
Would be so very hard to get
You didn’t say that I’d have to struggle and fight for it everyday.
And I gotta tell ya, mama, I’m kinda scared.
In first grade when I quit soccer because I couldn’t play goalie,
You told me it was okay, because I had to do what made me happy.
Five years later when I cried at the piano and told you to throw it away
Because I wasn’t getting better, you said,
Baby, someday you’re gonna have to learn to push past the hard place.
Someday you’re gonna have to fight through the pain.
But I said no.
And a couple years later I quit cheer because I didn’t like the coach.
I changed schools when the kids said they didn’t like me anymore.
Despite your words, I learned a long time ago
That you can’t lose at something if you walk away from it first.
And then I went to college in the far far away land of Dreams Come True
Everyone there believed the only obstacle in the way of the future is you.
They gave their money, time, ankles, and appetites because they knew
That with determination you could do anything you put your mind to.
These are the kids who really do become president,
The ones who are not lying when they say they danced on Broadway,
And they amaze me, mama.
They are so driven…
They actually finish what they start.
These kids know what it means to follow your heart.
And I wish I was more like them.
They are even crazy beautiful that once in a blue moon
When one of their brave hearts gets broken.
But I’ll tell you…
At those moments, I am absolutely speechless.
When a damn good dancer gets arthritis in her knees…
When a dad loses his job and an honor student has to leave…
When a family casualty causes a loss of focus and decline in grades
And the best little actor has to leave far far away
And re-enter that ugly place that we call the Real World…
When that happens, what do you say?
And the only thing I can say as I hold a crying friend in my arms is:
Baby, you better keep reaching for the stars.
Don’t let this keep you from following your heart…