when i was in college, one of my professors asked me a question that, at the time, seemed very random. she asked me “who do you want to be when you grow up?” i started to answer her saying “i want to be a…” and she cut me off saying “no… WHO do you want to be?”
i’ve been thinking about this conversation a lot lately. i have a career that i love, i own my own home, i’m generally very happy. but i’m not grown up. i’ve said it before, i’ll say it again… i never want to be “grown up” because that seems like the end of something rather than part of a journey. everyone always wants to ask you what you want to do with your life, what you want to be. but her question struck a chord with me. i don’t want to be a what. i want to be a who. now who that who (haha sounds like owls) i’m still figuring out. here’s what i have so far:
i want to be the kind of person who
- is thankful of everything she has but isn’t so humble as to not try for her dreams.
- loves without boundaries, without strings.
- works for a living but doesn’t live for working (this one is really hard for me).
- finds beauty in the pretty and in the ugly.
- is fair and just.
- will turn the other cheek once but won’t be walked over.
- gives back to this amazing thing we call life.
- trusts other people (also really hard for me) and who people can trust in.
- has faith in something.
- does laundry in a timely manner. i believe this one may sadly neve be accomplished. i hate laundry.
- saves the world, one act at a time.
- smells the roses. and then takes a picture of them to keep that memory with her.
- for-real-smiles too much (none of that fake crap)
- helps peole because she wants to, not because she has to.
i’ve found that i like lists. i’m sure you, dear reader, have noticed it as well. i think i know why. they can be marked up, added to, or crumpled and thrown at a wall. there are so many ways to deal with a list. much easier than dealing with people.
so i’ve had this in the back of my mind for all these years. my “who” has changed a little over the years. i think this list has shaped “what” i’ve become. it’s because of the who that i decided to work in human resources, why i took up photography, why i am a regular blood donor. strange how one conversation 6 years ago has shaped me.
someone said something to me that is absolutely hilarious and absolutely true. i have adhd. i wasn’t diagnosed until i was through with school ironically. you see when i was growing up, having adhd had a stigma associated with it that was very negative. so people would jump through hoops to make sure there was no way their child(ren) had this ability. now it’s not as big of a deal and can be managed pretty easily and effectively.
so, i have a good friend who is also has adhd and he and i make jokes about it quite a bit. in reality it’s not fun, but if you can’t laugh about something like this it means the diagnosis owns you, not the other way around. anyways… he said to me this weekend that having adhd is like having post-it notes raining in your head. so true! think about what that would feel like (i mean without the papercuts to the brain) and you have an idea of what it’s like to live that life.
change of subject. as a service industry worker, we have quite a few traditions that we just love. one of the most loved (especially in restaurants) is what we refer to as “initiation.” this is where, basically, we get our rocks of by pulling pranks on new employees. now, i’m not much of a liar. in fact i’m a terrible liar. but, for some reason, i can convince new employees that a certain task i’m asking they do is perfectly legit and relevant to their job no matter how silly it may seem. this always works best if you have another restaurant close by that also participates. you can send people for all manner of things.
one time, we sent some poor kid next door to another restaurant for a steam hitch, a grill stretcher, a can of a.i.r., and some xp147 (i think that’s what we called it). well, he came back loaded down with some plastic tubing, some kind of hook-on-a-stick, a spray bottle of goodness knows what, and holding it waaaaayyyy out in front of him like it’s a bomb that could go off at any time, a cup filled with some unidentifiable liquid. seriously. it was hilarious watching him carefully pick his way across the parking lot, trying not to fall or spill or drop somehting. i would love to hear what they told him that liquid would do to make him so afraid of it.
but we waitstaff are a bit milder than the kitchen. see below. yes, it happens. all. the. time.
(hint hint… the water NEVER runs out.)