of the Soul

Coastal City Ballet

16 Lilah Fitzgerald

Lilah Fitzgerald

Ever since I could talk, I would say one thing: I wanted to be an actorsingerdancer — all one word, just like that. Because to me, it was one thing. It was my future. My family lived on a ski hill in the Okanagan, with the idea of big cities and bigger dreams a distant fantasy. But to me, it was all that existed. All that mattered. And thankfully, my mother listened to my dreams, and made them into a reality.

In Justine Fraser’s ballet, a young village girl has wild hopes of exploring the world beyond her community. As she falls asleep, she dreams of what it’s like beyond the small town she knows. In my life, I would fall asleep in the backseat of our car as my mom drove across the Coquihalla mountain pass to get me to my auditions here in Vancouver. Six hours, each way.

In the ballet, our heroine travels to three worlds and learns three important lessons: Hope, Wisdom, and Community. In my life, my mom opened the doors to every opportunity available. She said “yes” to every single thing she could. She supported my acting, my dancing, my singing, and everything else I set my sights on.

In the finale of the ballet, the village girl returns to her home filled with new respect and appreciation for her community. In my life, my mother has stood by me in every adventure I’ve set my eyes on, teaching me to be resourceful, resilient, and confident. Waiting to catch me if I fall, but knowing she’s given me the tools I need to fly.

The world is unfathomably large. It would be impossible to see it all in one lifetime. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try. However far I travel, however lost I get, I know I have a home to return to. I know I have someone watching out for me, loving me unconditionally. Where I am now and where I hope to be wouldn’t be possible without my mother — and for her, I am forever grateful.

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