A Chocolate for a Dream

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By Dina Codrina Capilnean:

A little while ago, it was my father’s fiftieth birthday. We celebrated as our family normally would – music, games and laughter, but my father had a few too many beers and he started to make a speech.
“I am fifty years old, and I have not left my mark on this world. When I die, I will leave no remembrance for no one but my family. One day, you will wake up half way through your life and realise this and it will kill you. My only choice is to live my legacy through my children.”
He started to cry, which was not unusual, however he made reference to me and my dreams.
Growing up, my father was a hard man to please. This was due to his tough upbringing in Romania under Ceausescu’s communist regime. He fought in the army and came to Australia on his own – living in bars and being on the run from some rather dangerous associates. He left his wife, my mother and my brother who was just a small child in Romania for three years until they could move to the Lucky Country as well.

“When I was a child” he cried, “I could only have one old and hard chocolate on my birthday, if I was lucky. I gave everything so you could have a piece of chocolate every day.”

When I was younger, I was frightened of my father’s rigid nature but as I grew older I realised he was a simple man: he wanted to be loved. His advice that he has given me will never be forgotten and now I am passing it onto you.

No matter how much you doubt yourself or your talents – follow your dreams. When you are fifty years old, you want to be proud of what you have accomplished or at least know that you have tried instead of wondering ‘what if?
Let others stare, let them talk… They will anyway, so do not mind it. Get off Instagram, get off Facebook and go for a walk. What does your heart sing for you? Mine is music. Since I could talk I was singing and since I could write I was writing lyrics.

However, due to my insecurities, I wasted time. I gave up singing and playing the piano for years, I would convince myself that it was not my path and I ignored the aching in my heart whenever I would see another up on stage singing. I modelled and wanted to become a lawyer – I was an idiot; I could not get more than 35% on my Legal Studies exam in Year Eleven.
Only now have I found a producer and will release my single soon. I changed my way of thinking – no matter how scary it was, I could not deny my purpose.

Do what you feel and do not mind what others think. Our generation is too focused on the public eye rather than what we really are. Be the example that changes that.
You will never succeed at something that you are not putting your heart into.

After my father gave his speech, I told him, “Give me an old, hard chocolate any day – as long as I can still sing.”

Dina Codrina Capilnean

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