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!
One Reply to “on becoming the woman”
Awww…I remember Portia in so many ways. She was a gem!! “Miss Piggy” as she often called herself…Always made us roar with laughter and yet very genuine and straight to the point. You sure knew what her thoughts were at any given time..
Talking of the legacy we leave behind.. Its an interesting way to look at life and its soooo true that it helps one to re-focus and look at things differently by thinking of the “who”. Its definitely good to know that we decide to a large extent what shape that takes. I went to a funeral service today and the lady who passed away was very selfless even in her illness..As the tributes were read, one thing that struck me in one of them was how she kept asking “why not me” instead of the common “why me Lord” question when we find ourselves in miserable situations and circumstances beyond our control..Linking that to the “who” question..It just reminded me that we ought to be content with our lot & make the best of every situation..:-)
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