Posted tagged ‘what do you want to be’

“Just tell yourself, Duckie, you’re real quite lucky.”

July 28, 2014

Yesterday I decided I was perfectly content. At the time I was sitting in my AC cooled house watching a really, really bad science fiction movie called Sharktopus, hunting on-line for a DVD of The Thing with Two Heads and eating muhammara and bread. All of a sudden I had a revelation. I didn’t need a thing.

When I was growing up, people asked me what I wanted to be, but they never asked me how I wanted to feel. If you think about it, that seems a really important question. How did I want to greet every day of my life? Did I want to bemoan my fate or smile at the luck of having another day. I suppose I could have said that whatever I chose to do had to make me happy, but no little kid would think that in a million years. Besides, I was too busy thinking about the next day or the coming weekend, about as far ahead as I could handle. I knew I wanted to travel suffering as I was from Barrett syndrome, but I had no idea where. Somewhere, anywhere was okay with me. I didn’t have a plan. Traveling for the sake of traveling just hung around my head and never left.

In the long run, I have always been thankful for the trip of my life. It has been far more than I could ever have imagined. I’d tell ten-year old me to enjoy what’s coming. I’d also tell the young me not to worry. Bad times don’t last. Good memories do.

No question about it: I am content, and I greet every day with a grin.

“Adulthood is accretive by nature, a thing which arrives in ragged stages and uneven overlaps.”

December 28, 2013

I collect hats. They hang from nails on the bottoms or tops of the bookshelves, which one depends on your orientation. I tend to think they hang from the bottom shelves. My friend gave me two new hats for Christmas. One is your basic black perfect for almost any occasion. The other is white fur with ear flaps and a red Soviet hammer and sickle pin on the front. I figure red is not an accident. It is now my favorite hat.

Today is warmer than yesterday. Gracie has been in and out all morning. She is my temperature gauge. The longer she is out, the warmer the weather.

When I was a kid, relatives trying to make conversation sometimes asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I figured it was just one of those polite questions asked right after concerns about my health and before I was dismissed, the pleasantries being finished. The health I could answer, but what I wanted to be was elusive. I answered cowgirl once in my Dale Evans phase, but I didn’t actually think I’d ride a horse and work on a ranch. Lois Lane was about the most interesting woman on TV back then. She was a reporter but not just any reporter. She was dedicated to getting the news no matter what. Lois often found herself in trouble but Superman always saved her, and her story made front page. Reporter was a possibility. I never imagined myself in pearls, short heels and a dress so being a Mrs. Cleaver or a Mrs. Stone was out of the running. I read a book from the library about Nellie Bly, and she became my heroine. I wanted to be Nellie Bly. Not only was she a reporter but also a world traveler and a muckraker. She taught me to disregard boundaries: I can do anything.

I went to college, the first in my family to attend. It pushed the boundaries, but I didn’t think of it that way. I just figured it would give me time to work out what I wanted to be when I grew up.