• THE SHIELD

"On Fear" by: Xielo Cora

Updated: Nov 22, 2018


There is a wall of long mirrors.

I am gripping the smooth wooden ballet barres tightly.

I try to maintain my balance.

My face drips with sweat.

When I spin, my legs turn into wings.

I am free.

I am a bird. 


I remember this moment perfectly. It was there one day, but gone the next.

There are people who know what their purpose is in life. It seems as though they were born with a gift meant to be shared with the world. They make life look effortless. Others of us invest countless hours, lose sleep, make sacrifices, just to get an inch closer to our goals. These people have plans for grander things. They have passion. Focus.


Where do I fit in ? 



I am a dreamer. Most of my daydreams involve dancing because I’ve always loved the art form. It is the only thing that has been a constant part of me since I was a little girl. For a long time I felt that dance was my life’s purpose. However, that dream eventually evaporated. One bad ballet class changed me. I felt ashamed because I could not keep up with the girls in my class. I never wanted to feel that useless ever again. I gave up on the one thing that made me the happiest.

My confidence was destroyed. 


Afterwards, I refused to try anything new in order to protect myself.






    When I think about that period in my life, I realize how differently I think today. Back then, I gave up when things got challenging. I did not allow myself to transfer my frustration into something attainable. It is almost laughable how I handled the minor issue. I came to this realization after joining volleyball my junior year in high school. It was the first time in a long time that I decided to push myself. I knew nothing about the game but I wanted to be involved in a physical activity. I was terrified that I would have another bad experience and in the beginning, I was right. There were many days when I felt like I was back in my ballet class. However, this time, I chose not to give up. I made it my mission to prove to myself that I could handle this challenge.


I became one of the people that I’ve strived to be more like.

I became the person that works extra hours, putting volleyball before every social event. I constantly pushed myself to get slightly better. I’ve practiced on blazing hot days at the beach, at park and in my backyard. When it rains, I’ve practiced at local gyms. In the winter, I’ve jogged in one place to stay warm in between spikes and serves. My hands red, the weather so cold that I exhaled fog, no matter what circumstances, I’ve strived to get better. 




I believe that I have improved at the sport. More importantly, I feel capable of many things now. I can only imagine how skillful I would be if I had started playing volleyball earlier. I keep at it. I won the Most Valuable Player award for the sport last year. Which makes me wonder, what did my future hold had I kept up with my love of dancing? What was my full potential? 


I regret being afraid of everything for so long. 


Where do I go from here?


It is an issue I now struggle with. 


Did I miss my true calling?


Was dancing, simply a life lesson?


What is my true life’s purpose?  


I do not know enough about the world to make a concrete decision about my career path.Yet, what I have begun to realize is that I am capable of great things when I put my mind to it.



Knowing my worth gives me hope that I will figure things out. I put my trust and faith in God and in myself. 

If you ask me, “What college will you attend?” 


I’ve yet to know. 


If you ask me what my interests are today, my list is very short yet precious. I enjoy helping others, sometimes by simply listening or by providing sound advise to those who confide in me. My family says I'm intuitive and emotionally intelligent. My friends say I'm trustworthy. I also love cultural events that are so beautiful, I could cry. Modern dance, music and theater are essential to me. Furthermore, I can tell you that I am strong and hard working. I am passionate when I discover a new part of me. I relentlessly try to improve myself academically, physically, and spiritually. Because if there is one thing that I have learned about fear, it’s that it will take control of your life if you let it. It can cripple you. I now understand that it is better to try and fail then it is to do nothing or have no sense of self. 


I dream of dancing through life 
not without fear 
but because of it.

© Melida Rodas 2018   Web Developer / Writer / Multimedia Artist