A few weeks ago I was at an elementary school in front of an entire 2nd grade class. First, those little ones are exhausting! My hat’s off to teachers – you are unsung hero’s dedicated to your passion for children and learning. Second, there should be a very special place in heaven for teachers – it’s quiet, everyone pays attention when you talk and will happily comply with every request you make of them!
After we finished talking to the class we asked some of the children what they wanted to be when they grow up. One cute little dude with a sweet mohawk jumped up immediately and said he wanted to be Antman. True story! I didn’t know what to do with that answer but hey, I’m all for pursuing your dreams buddy.
Another sweet girl donning long pigtails said “I want to be just like you when I grow up.” Honestly, I didn’t know what to do with that answer either. I looked at her and asked “what makes you say that” and without missing a beat she says “I just do.” I wondered what she saw or heard that prompted her statement, or… the more likely answer… she says that to everyone.
But it had me thinking, why would someone think, or assume, that my life is so great she’d want to be like me. How somehow it APPEARED easier, or better, or more charmed than others.
Lets do a quick run-down on some of my “charmed-life” experiences:
- Grew up with three (THREE!) television channels
- Lost a sibling to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- Got alot of spankings – I’ve been strong-willed since birth apparently
- Broke my foot 2 weeks before my first dance recital resulting in a nose-bleed-view from the back of the auditorium with my foot in a cast
- Used my face to break the front windshield of a car — okay, that sounds bad but it’s true. I was in the middle of the back seat and went partially out the front windshield after a missed turn (and yes, I wear my seat belt now)
- Because of said windshield event I had massive scaring on my face and neck requiring several corrective procedures, and a copious number of awkward looks from people
- Had my sinus cavity drained when my top two wisdom teeth were impacted into my jaw and when they pulled them out one had roots into my sinus’s
- Learned the hard way that boys don’t always respect the word stop
- Had a root canal and an iron filing thingy (technical term) broke inside of my root requiring oral surgery to remove it because I was allergic to it
- Experienced debilitating migraines for years and still suffer from them
- Tested positive for mononucleosis multiple times in 12 calendar months during high school
- Got married. Got divorced.
- Got a great job. Got laid off.
- Lost ALL the contacts in my phone. Who has numbers memorized these days? Anyone? NO!
- Battle depression
Lesson: Never assume you know what someone else’s path has been or currently appears to be.
YES, I am blessed beyond measure AND extraordinarily grateful for each and every experience because it made me who I am today, but just because something looks like it’s perfect doesn’t mean it’s true. We don’t actually live in an Instagram filtered world. We are ALL flawed. Imperfect. And have a shit-load of “charmed-life” experiences. Some of which you may not find particularly enjoyable.
I’ve never met a strong person with an easy past. So if you have a story, that’s okay – it made you who you are and you never know who is watching you and thinking when they grow up they want to be like you.