Knowing who I might become has never been something I’ve attempted to figure out. Fifteen years ago, I would have likely said the same thing. Though fifteen years ago, I would have decided on the spot that I wanted to be an educator, or a lawyer, or the first female President of the United States so I had something to say in response. I never knew what I wanted to become because I never knew who I would be a year in the future let alone 10, or 20, or 50. I hoped I would be someone I could look up to. I hoped I would be strong and intelligent. I hoped I would still be around. Though mostly I focused on the present.
I’ve never been one for dreaming. Focusing on the future can be empowering. Focusing on the past can be debilitating. I’ve done my fair share of thinking about both, but I’ve mostly found myself in the realm of the present. There is so much life happening around us at every moment and I intended then, as I do now, to take in as much of as I possibly can. For this very reason I couldn’t tell you who I wanted to be in the future because I was focused on who I was being then. I still don’t know who I want to be in the future only the things that I want to be everyday.
I don’t have a career carved out ahead of me, but I have interests. I don’t have a set game plan for my future, but I’m still making steps to set myself up for success. I just don’t know exactly what I want to do yet. I’m not so sure I ever truly will. I think that’s okay though. I think its okay to constantly be growing and changing as a person. Actually I think its expected. So if I’m constantly evolving so will my future. That thought excites me. To know that whatever my future holds is what I make of it drives me forward. I’ve always said that I want to leave a mark some how - that I want to do what I can’t, to be what isn’t. That path isn’t always easy, or fun, or conventional but that’s okay.
Fifteen years ago if you told me that I would run my own theater company, have a YouTube channel, run a blog and a podcast, write for a newspaper, teach undergraduate college courses, and work on a Master’s degree at the same time I likely wouldn’t have had any idea what you were talking about. When I was 9 YouTube didn’t exist, and I had no idea what blogs or podcasts were, but I think I would have been happy knowing that I was doing so much. The things that I’m doing now were inconceivable to me fifteen years ago and that’s why it is inconceivable to me now that I would know what I want to do with my life when there is so much I haven’t experienced and so much that doesn’t exist yet.
Fifteen years ago, I didn’t know who I would become, but fifteen years ago I hoped about what kind of person I might be. I hoped I might be strong - a voice for the voiceless, a persistent force for what I believed in. I hoped I might be authentic - staying true to myself and my interests. I hoped I might be working toward something bigger - beyond just myself, more than just a moment in time. I hoped I would leave a mark - on people, on a community, on anything really. I hoped I would be intelligent - well read and well versed in the real world. But mostly I hoped I would be happy.
I still hope for most of these things. I hope that I embody these things everyday. I feel I might be this person whenever I stand my ground or speak up about injustices I see. I feel I might be this person whenever I sit up straighter, whenever I stand up taller, whenever I command a room. I feel I might be this person whenever I take part in something for my own sake, to make me happy. I feel I might be this person when I remember to take breaks, whenever I stop pushing myself to do more because I have already accomplished so much, whenever I look back at where I came from. I feel I might be this person everyday whether I think that I’ve deserved it or not because I’m trying to live up to the person that I might be, and one day, if not today, I will be.