I saw this yesterday, but I needed to sit with my response for a bit. This might be long, so go grab a cup of coffee. Or you might want to skip to the next response.
I had a great childhood-loving family-which really is all that matters. And I have no regrets about my life thus far.
Except for one. I loooved to dance as a kid (and a little later, gymnastics too.), and I had a good amount of talent. Even now, whenever I go to a yoga class or some such thing, someone will say, "It looks like you have a dance background." But I don;t really. I was able to take classes here and there, but I was never able to study it on a regular basis. I was never able to go to classes several times a week, and work my butt off at it. And, I wanted to so badly.
The reason is mostly religious upbringing. First was just the technical scheduling aspect. In Orthodox,Jewish, private schools there are two full time curricula going on: regular studies and then Judaic studies. So the school day is long, and in elementary school I just finished school to late for any local classes. By high school, I had classes till 5/6 pm, plus an hour long commute. I managed to take classes here and there; in the summer, in the evenings. Sometimes I took classes with 4 year-olds, and sometimes with adults. Whatever was available.
Now, on the one hand, my family was supportive. When I found a class, they drove me wherever I wanted to go. And they never said no. My mother always complimented my dance, and said, "I bet you'll do something with that some day." And I would always say, "but I don't know enough!" So while they did everything for me that I asked, I wish they took a little more initiative to help me. I was always the one looking over the phone book for schools at and course catalogs. I wish they would have said, "Wow, you are really passionate about this. Let me see how I can help you." And, I think to some degree they were probably a little uncomfortable with it from a religious perspective. There are rules about dress in Orthodoxy that are hard to follow in a dance class, plus all that body movement, and boys and girls together. It just is not typical in the Orthodox community for someone to be a dancer. Again, I didn't grow up in a painfully restrictive religious environment, but there were rules and norms, and that affected things.
I will add just one more thought (hopefully). Aside from the religious stuff, I think that whatever that thing is-passion, maybe-that makes people work so hard to dance or sing or make it into the Olympics, I think that I was just different than the rest of my family. My sister was telling me recently about my niece (she's 11, and we are similar), who was taking her younger sister to an art class to drop her off. She became interested in what they were doing, and the teacher told her she could stay and take the class, if she didn't mind being with four year-olds. And she didn't. And, I told my sister, "Oh, that sounds like me." And my sister agreed, and added about herself that, "I just never had anything that I cared about that much." But I did. So I think my parents saw my passion, and recognized it, and even admired it,but just couldn't necessarily relate to it. And, I don't blame them, i just wish...
Ok, one more paragraph to tie it all together. I am not trying to say that I would've been the world's greatest, most famous dancer. I might still be a 37 year old, preschool teacher, who thinks about how she used to be good at dance, but now is busy with work, and family. And, that's fine with me. I don't regret not being a professional dancer. I regret not having the opportunity to learn and improve at something that I loved. I could take dance classes now if I wanted to, and i choose not to, because of the time and expense. I'd rather be home with my family. I think that scrapbooking (which I can do at home) has fulfilled that creative desire and need. It's the thing that I go back to and keep working on it over and over again. And I push myself through non-creative times. And, I've learned things and gotten better. It gives me goals, and even just the tactile process of crafting--I think it's related to the kinesthetic sense or need that I had that made me want to dance.
Ok, I swear I'm done. Who do I give my 200 bucks to for this therapy session?