"Reach for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land among the stars."
The world around us can seem so vast! Our hopes and aspirations seemingly as miniscule in comparison to the world as a grain of sand is to the vast cerulean waters of the ocean! Such a discouraging realization can cause anyone to immediately lose grasp of any dreams they may have once had! If there were a graveyard of buried dreams, there'd be at least acres and acres of tombstones. So many tragedies have stood between man and his dream! It's such a pity, the absence of a masterpiece that might have been if only it hadn't been for the mere discouragement and doubt of it's yielder! Oftentimes man's endeavor to keep hold of his dream is lost by the viscous tug of it's monstrous enemies; doubt, fear, and uncertainty. Ah! Yes, uncertainty. A factor responsible for more deaths of a dream than any other. Many a time has it yanked a once beautiful dream into the depths of it's bottomless abyss. It is like a turbulent storm, pulling the vessel of man's dreams, deeper and deeper into the blackening waters of the ocean.
All of this can indeed be daunting. All of the factors, all of the people, pulling you further and further away from your dream. On the other hand though, there are plenty of influences in this world to tell you that you ought not ever stop dreaming. A great means of inspiration for me, would have to be the lives of some of the greatest names in history. Behind their glamour, their fame and their legends, I have, through careful research, learned that there was at one time, just an ordinary person with sometimes even the poorest and at times darkest of pasts. With that knowledge, I have come to realize that anything is possible and that not a single one of my dreams is too farfetched. Here's a little glimpse of these extraordinary stories, of ordinary people who obtained extraordinary levels of fame;
(1.) Marilyn Monroe (Norma Jeane Mortensen)
First known as little Norma Jeane Mortensen, Marilyn would have to undergo a series of turbulent struggles before claiming her legendary spot in both Hollywood and history. During her early childhood, Marilyn would experience, among several other abuses, the excruciating pains of feeling unwanted while drifting from foster home as her mother, Gladys Baker had been far too mentally unstable to care for her.
Norma Jeane at age 5 years old
As the years progressed along with her striking beauty, that is, Marilyn began to realize that she was becoming less and less invisible.
“Suddenly, everything opened up. True, it was mostly boys. But even the girls paid a little attention, because they thought, 'Hmm, she's to be dealt with.' ”
After being discovered by the photographer, David Conover at a munitions factory, Marilyn then began her determined quest for stardom. She had always dreamt of becoming a film-star, and now she was finally pursuing it!
Little did she know, however, that one day, her pursuit would eventually find its' victory and that she would one day place her hands and feet in the cement at Graumaun's Chinese Theatre as the iconic, Marilyn Monroe.
Marilyn would later reflect,
(2.) Audrey Hepburn (Audrey Kathleen Ruston)
Becoming one of the greatest style and beauty icons of all time was beyond anything that Audrey could ever have imagined.
Born Audrey Kathleen Ruston in Brussels, Belgium on the 4th of May in the year of 1929. At the age of five, her father walked out on both she and her mother, which was, in Audrey's words "The most traumatic event" in her life. After that she would spend most of her time with her mother in England. Audrey would later reflect on being called an "ugly duckling" by her mother and from that time on would never be able to consider herself "beautiful" like the rest of the world would come to know her as.
Focused on ballet as a young girl, Audrey's acting career took flight when she was spotted for the roll of Gigi in the year of 1951 after which she would find her fame in moving pictures when she was then cast in William Wyler's "Roman Holiday"
for which she would later win an oscar.
Along with all of the hearts of American and beyond, that is.
And from then on, she would persist in winning more and more hearts as well as a permanent place in history.
Quite some accomplishments for such an "Ugly Duckling", eh?
(3.) Elvis Presley (Elvis Aaron Presley)
Known forever as "The King of Rock and Roll," Elvis' upbringing was a simple one. That of an "average" as his first grade instructors would deem him, young boy brought up in Tupelo Mississippi. At ten years old, Elvis would land 5th place in a singing contest.
Only to one day be crowned the King of Rock. A long jump from "5th Place" one might add. But not yet, he still had many years of persevering, trudging onward with his dream, fighting past the critical and discouraging words of others. In 1947, at the age of twelve, one of his performances was interrupted by his having developed a horrible case of "stage fright". After continuous attempts in latter years, Elvis' determination to succeed in show business lead him all the way to the endurance of countless other rejections as well as just as many triumphs. Upon auditioning for a local vocal quartet entitled "The Songfellows", Elvis was turned down. "They told me I couldn't sing" was Elvis' words to his father in regards to the refusal. As if that hadn't been disheartening enough, Elvis would face yet another rejection from Eddie Bond, the leader of "Smith's Professional Band, which had an opening for a vocalist. Bond rejected him after his audition and was noted as having advised Elvis to stick with truck driving (he worked for the Crown Electric company as a truck driver) as he would "never make it as a singer". Despite these two disheartening rejections, however, Elvis kept on pursuing his dream until he would one day debut his talents on national television, the reaction from the crowd the perfect justification to all of his struggles.
Following his performances on CBS's Stage Show, Elvis would release his first album which was noted as having been the first rock-n-roll album to top the Billboard chart and the rest is history!
His rejections clouded heavily by his success and lost forever in the past, Elvis' struggle had finally come to an end, his name forever engraved in history.
So, with that said, never stop pursuing your dream! Imagine if Marilyn, Audrey or Elvis let the disparaging remarks or rejections of others bring them down! Why! They would never become the iconic figures they are today if they allowed themselves to give up, let the enemy notion of "your not good enough" stand in their way of fame and success.
~ Erin xoxo <3