Why I will not be that whiny, angsty singer-songwriter whose name I can’t remember

July 12, 2010 at 5:00 pm (in my head, It's all about me)

“What I would like,” I explained whined “is a job, no a career that I can love. And then I think the money would come.”

Very kindly, very politely, my friend told me that concept was bullshit.

“You can’t have it all,” she said, “so you have to decide what’s important and pursue it. Make that which matters possible.”

She’s right, you know. And not just about finding the right job*.

There are so many things I would like to do or be. I would like to be the kind of mom who will always put her kids’ towels in the dryer on fluff so they’re fresh and warm after a bath. I would like to be the kind of hostess who offers flowers in the guest room and a personalized selection of magazines at the foot of the bed. I would like to be the kind of wife and partner who isn’t bothered by awful, ugly, outdated jeans (*cough* evil Carharts *cough*) because his style is not a reflection on my own. I would like to be the kind of friend who remembers every birthday and anniversary with a handwritten card. I would like to be the kind of woman who looks polished in jeans and flip flops. I would like to be the kind of employee who can run a meeting, take criticism, and make it happen no matter what. I would like to be the kind of cook who always makes pie crust from scratch and uses a mortar and pestle for pesto. I would like to be the kind of homeowner who accumulates antique finds and pairs them perfectly with contemporary pieces and elegant personal touches. I would like to be 31 flavors and then some.

I know all too well that I cannot be these things. Not all of them. Not even most. But as my friend said, I can focus on what’s important to me and do that. Even…sometimes…do it well.

I can’t set out fresh flowers (or even offer a guest room), but I can leave a bottle of bourbon and two glasses on the kitchen table of my in-the-center-of-it-all-and-yours-for-a-night studio. I can insist on cookie dough from scratch, every time. I can answer the phone at 4am and listen through the night to a friend in need. I can take a stunning photograph and make it mine with an off-center mat and a casual lean instead of a formal hang. I can tell The Man, honestly, that I don’t mind the scruffy (and temporary) beard. I can be considered neutral, diplomatic, and calm in the face of raging colleagues.

It’s important to observe and appreciate my strengths, but it’s absolutely crucial to forgive myself my shortcomings.

*We learned that it applies to wedding planning as well, but that’s a subject for another post.

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2 Comments

  1. Jess said,

    I want to be these things too, and for the most part I won’t be. I love the alternatives you point out. I am a lot of things that are great. Why waste time wishing to be other things too?

  2. amber said,

    I really love hot towels right out of the bath. It’s the little pleasures, you know?

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