The Little Gingerbread That Could

Lindsay reminisces about her glory days as a dancing gingerbread man, and what they have to teach her about her present.

I was four-years-old wearing an itchy gingerbread man costume made out of brown felt and white sequins, making my tap-dance debut with 15 other little girls. Because nothing says sweet like little girls dressed as cookies.

I remember tap-shuffle-ball-changing as I itched my gingerbread head on stage. I remember the other girls tapping and twisting in front of me, pushing me back to the end of the line lead by the instructor, urging us to follow her like a gaggle of baby geese. And I remember me, the feisty four-year-old that I was, being mad that I was at the back of that line. I remember looking at the girls in front of me and the empty stage behind me.

I remember turning around and without a word, walking away from the line of tappers and back onto the stage by myself. The Lone Gingerbread Girl.

Now at 24-years-old, I think back to that memory of little four-year-old Lindsay, all brown felt and fearlessness. I can’t help but feel as if I need to take a page out of her book.

Because nowadays, as a quote-unquote adult, I sometimes shrink behind others when I should let myself shine. When I get upset about something, I don¹t always do things to change it. I get scared to stand out and be vulnerable in front of people.

And yet my four-year-old self wasn¹t.

With her gingerbread costume and determination, she wasn¹t scared to be herself. She went after what she wanted. She didn¹t want to be at the back of the line; she didn¹t settle with people shuffling her around, taking the spot before her. She made her own solutions and she did it without worrying what the people in the audience would think.

Maybe we all should look back to who we were when we were little and remember our fearlessness. Remember the days where we didn¹t care what others thought.

We need to be exactly who we were born to be, without limits or fears. We need to remember to turn around and not be afraid to get back on stage, in the spotlight.

  1. Shannon Rigney Keane

    Lindsay, I can completely relate to this. Though there is something to be said for maturing and growing up, but we do become more inhibited as we become more aware of others' perceptions. Every grown up could benefit from a dose of the unself-consciousness that we had as children.


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