“The straight paved road won’t always get you farther than the winding dirt road.”
If you’ve been anywhere near my Facebook and Twitter feeds over the past three months, then you know how fervently I was rooting for Kelly Monaco to win this all-star season of Dancing with the Stars. It was a blast to watch her routines every week and also to see so many of her GH co-stars support her in the audience. I have been a fan of Kelly’s since her General Hospital debut back in 2003, and not only because she does such a lovely job of telling Sam’s story. Beyond that, she is genuinely gracious – I’ll never forget how she took the time to talk with me after co-hosting Philadelphia’s Thanksgiving parade back in 2005 – and diligently devoted. She is the kind of person who creates luck instead of waiting to find it, the kind of person who chases her dreams and works hard to turn them into reality. If you watched Dancing with the Stars, you know that. Kelly twirled her way into the hearts of people everywhere, and despite scores from the judges that were often lower than they gave other contestants, she and dance partner Val made it into this week’s finals. And while they finished in third place on the show, they were – and are – number one in every way that matters. They reminded us to never give up on our hopes, to never stop reaching for the stars even if they seem out of reach. They reminded us that people come into our lives for a reason and that lifelong friendships can blossom when you least expect it. They reminded us to always work endlessly for what we believe in. They reminded us to dance to our own song and listen to our own music. They reminded us not to internalize it when others doubt our goals. They reminded us that, even though the straight and paved road may be more direct, it isn’t nearly as meaningful as the winding, dirt one. Simply put, they reminded us to spin the rhythm of our hearts and to soar on its wings.
Seventy-percent of the way through my last major round of revisions for Mine to Love, I admit that I’m ready to cross the finish line and start the next segment of the race. I am so excited about this book and can’t wait to begin the querying process for it. Do I know how my quest to send it out into the world will play out? No. Do I know how the paths will curve? No. But, like Kelly said, I have faith in the journey. Whatever roads this book takes are the ones it is meant to travel. So, Kelly, I owe you a triple thank you – for your sincerity at the Thanksgiving parade, for your kindness in signing my parade production pass when I saw you at a GH meet&greet, and for your inspiration now. LeAnn Womack sings, “when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.” Thank you for doing that and for motivating us all to do the same.
Your turn: who is your all-time favorite Dancing with the Stars contestant?