Shout-Out to my ballet heroine — the older Ashley, under whom I became known to the whole dance studio as “Little Ashley.” I didn’t mind the nickname, though, because you were the role model I looked up to.

Thank you for being so kind, as a high school junior, to a ten-year-old little girl who idolized you. Your welcoming smile and “Hi Little Ashley!” made me feel accepted and valuable. Yes, I loved watching you dance, and dreamed of being as good a ballerina as you were, but more than that, I appreciated how sweet you always were to me.

Because you probably never knew it, but to an awkward tween girl figuring out who she was, the acceptance and kindness of her heroine was empowering. So thanks for all the smiles.

 

Challenge to readers:
Was there someone you looked up to as a child, a role model who had a positive impact on you? Give them a shout-out in the comments below. 

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