on becoming the woman

Quite often since hitting 25, the thought has occurred to me that I’m becoming the woman I want to be…

My brother asked me once, who I wanted to be when I grew up. It was during the turbulent years of undergrad when I was picking a second major, joining/starting clubs and pursuing undergraduate research experiences.
“A doctor” I responded. I wanted to be a doctor. But he was prompt to correct me. His question was not “what” I wanted to be, but rather, “WHO” I wanted to be. If you answer the question of “who” first, the “what” will come easily.
It was a new way to set goals. Instead of trying to be worth a certain $$ amount, or trying to gain x# of degrees… Think about the type of person you’d want to be by the end of your life.

A friend rephrased it this way: How do you want to be remembered when you die?

I remember my childhood friend Portia as fun, crazy, worldly-wise, street-smart, caring, pensive, protective, strong – oh so strong, and just altogether a better friend than I ever deserved. I’m not sure if that’s how she would have wanted to be remembered. She died in a bus accident my sophomore year of college. She’s the only friend I remember day-dreaming with about how our kids would play together when we got older. Our kids won’t play together.

My list is comprised of qualities I do not yet possess – well, I want to be remembered as someone I am not yet. I asked a trusted friend a couple of years back, what her most honest and brutal appraisal of me would be. I can’t vouch for how thoroughly honest she was but it certainly felt brutal. Not necessarily because she said things I did not realize about myself, but because I realized that others saw those things in me too. How could she still be my friend knowing me as she did?

Everyday, I become more and more like the person I will be remembered as. The small actions of each moment define my eulogy. I am becoming the woman I will be remembered as. It’s nice to know that I have some say in the matter!