Last night I was reading an article by the wonderfully awesome Leonie Dawson www.leoniedawson.com and she had asked the question,
What did you want to be when you were a Child?
Well the answer for me was a lot of things!
An artist was on the top of my list, along with a writer, a traveler, a famous rock singer ( I will explain) an actress and a nun. Never mind that I was the most timid pup in the litter…those were my dreams for my future.
She challenged me to do some serious thinking about what I have achieved….and the funny thing is even though I took a lot of twists and turns and even some detours…I ended up doing just about what I always said I wanted to do.
When I was a small girl I knew three people who would change the path of my life forever. One was the son of a woman who lived next door. He had some type of job in Japan…Now I have no idea what it was, it was that he was living in Japan that fired me up. Then, I went to school and met a girl named Susan Shelton, her dad was in the military and she had been born in….you guessed it JAPAN! I think that sent me off on a quest to do, and be, and live, everything Japanese. I ABSOLUTELY had to get to Japan.
But more than them, was my Aunt Ada who lived next door. I had no idea at the time how similar our lives would turn out to be. This was the 1950’s and 60’s and women who were divorced….OH MY GOD! That was a deep, deep, dark secret to be hidden in the crevasses of a deeper darker canyon somewhere.
“Dear we don’t ask about things like that”
But my Aunt Ada was a trailblazer…I have no idea how she had money, yet she did, and I have no idea how she traveled so much, but she did. Belgium, Paris, London, Rome.
And for each place she visited she would come back with a souvenirfor me and an incredible story to go along with it. The blue cashmere sweater from Ireland was at the top of my list. My favorite hours were spent with her playing Parcheesi and looking at all of her gorgeous plants.
She loved art, and nature, and maybe not so much kids, but she was truly my heroine and I wanted to be Just like her when I grew up.So I can mark the spots where the travel bug started to nip and my heels. But what about art, and writing, the convent, and being a famous rock star?
Like other children who just seem to come into the world with certain gifts, or desires, I am pretty sure these were hardwired into my being. Maybe I was like a lot of other teenaged girls who looked at the movie star pictures and thought ‘I want to be a part of that world’ or maybe not…truth is I have never asked anyone.
But here is the thing I know. Despite all of my sidetracks, and u-turns, and hopelessly lost moments, I ended up doing many of the things that I wanted to do when I was a little tyke.
Has it made for a magically successful life? Not in the terms of how a lot of folks would measure that. But has it led to a full and adventurous life? You bet! No grass has grown tall amongst my toes.
I have hit almost every one of those targets – save the rock star. Probably because of dogged stubbornness. Sometimes dogged determination played a part too, but mostly I just don’t know why.
I realized someplace along the way that you cannot take the child out of the adult and live a happy life. You cannot un-program what was added in the creation of the spirit. No need trying. That child, (even if it is you) will be who she knew she was here to become. There is no stopping it.
I may not have done the things I wanted to do at eight as I had imagined them then. But I somehow managed to work most of them in. I still have a few things on that list that I have not achieved. In my heart and soul I am pretty confident they will happen too, because, that childish spirit still remains, albeit coupled with a salty serving of reality.
And now for the bit about me becoming a rock star.
Yes, that has not happened. I would venture to say that it probably never will. You see the one thing I recognized as I was growing up was that I was missing a vital ingredient for ‘rock star’ status.
I couldn’t sing worth a lick. Not all dreams are literal. It could be there is an essence in that dream that wished to be expressed. So when your son says he wants to be Superman when he grows up…he might be on to something.
Provided he knows how to fly!
P.S. I am currently working on the aspiration to become a nun….
I will get back to you on that one.