When I Grow Up

One of my best friend’s wives is exactly the type of person I want to be when I grow up, even though she is much younger than me, and I know next to nothing about her. Everything I am about to write is simply the impression I have of her based off limited experience and a few conversations. Here I go:

She is everything I think I am, and pretend to be but know I’m not.

She is funny and fun loving, ambitious, creatively talented, seems to live in a world created for her. Her personality can take over the room effortlessly.

I’m sure she has down days, and I know she gets scared and worried about her future. But she seems to never lets those things stand in her way.

She is an optimist. She sees the world as something she can affect instead of something affecting her.

She dreams big but works small, close and personal.

She is genuinely very intelligent, one of the few people that really intimidates me.

It is no question why my friend married her; she is a very special person. A person like I have never met before. And like I said, everything I pretend to myself to be, even though I fool no one.

I believe I started on a path that would’ve led me to be who this person is, long ago, before high school. I was smart, I was funny, and I felt like I had the whole world in front of me.

But then high school and cynicism hit me. I still felt there were plenty of opportunities for me: I thought my band would make it, I thought I would be famous as either a musician or an architect. But I also felt things push against me. I was no longer one of the smartest kids I knew, or one of the funniest. But I still felt my path was a serious one, full of artistic endeavor.

But then I got to college and I realized I had no discernible artistic skills what so ever. But I was a decent designer and I thought I could make a career out of it.

But then it took my forever to find jobs and I could never hold onto them very long and that is where I began to let my dreams die. It is a quick kick in the gut when your reality does not match your vision. In a lot of ways things have turned out better than I hoped. I feel like a better father than I could’ve guessed, I live in a nicer area that I would’ve imagined, I have a more understanding wife than seems possible. But I struggle every single day that what my elementary schools teachers told me was essentially an unknown lie, I could not, as it turns out, do whatever I wanted when I grew up.

I wish I could be like my friend’s wife. She was in a place where her dreams were dying and instead of accepting that she moved forward and created something wonderful.

Maybe one day I’ll grow up to be just like her.