What I want to be

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

How many times were you asked that as a child? I know I was asked it so many times I couldn’t count, and I never had an answer. There were too many things, life was too full of options and choices, how could I narrow it all down to one little choice? Sometimes I would say “Artist” – that was my fallback. I drew all the time; crayon horses and dragons and my superhero-girl Amanda who killed giant cobras with a sword and had long, blond hair and was totally kicked gluteus-maximus.

But the truth is, I just didn’t know. I wouldn’t think much about it, I’d just shrug and answer and walk away with maybe a vague “Huh, I wonder what I do want to be,” or more frequently “Why do people always ask me that?”

But the older I got, the more I thought about that question. The less people asked me, the more I asked myself. What do I want to be when I grow up?

If I were to be honest, and I generally do my best to be, I would have to say  – I still don’t know. I mean, I know some things – I want to be like Jesus. I want to be a published author. I want to be an illustrator. I’d love to be a singer, or an actress, or make movie trailers or name paint chips or own a bookshop where I could try and pick a book for everyone who walked in like the woman in Chocolate. (But with books.)

I was just on the phone with a dear friend of three years, Cassie, and she mentioned my up-and-coming eighteenth birthday. She posed the question “So, are you ready?”

“Ready for what?”

“To be eighteen.”

I had to think about that for a moment. It was an odd question, but a good one. And honestly, my feelings differ depending on the moment. Some days, I feel far more mature than anyone else my age I know. I feel like the responsible one, like all my motherly instincts are out in full force and I am the epitome of mature, godly wisdom. (cough) And then other days, when I’m in a particularly goofy mood, I feel a bit immature. As Cassie put it so aptly, I stand there and wonder “Do I measure up to average?”

Here’s the thing, though.

I don’t want to measure up to average. I want to be different. I want to be myself. I’m the girl who prefers rain over sunshine. I’m the girl who sings Kpop in the shower and butchers my favorite language on earth (many apologies to Korea) just because it sounds awesome. I mix up my priorities and procrastinate. I have dozens and dozens of inside jokes with many different people, all of which make me crack up. I don’t have a delicate laugh; it’s more like a really loud cackle. I have flyaway hair and like to wear huge, bright earrings. I’m the girl who, if I’m given a camera, will take a thousand no-good pictures just because I can. I’m the girl who USES CAPS A LOT BECAUSE WHEN I GET REALLY EXCITED OVER THE INTERNET I WANT EVERYONE ELSE TO KNOW!!!!!!!! I love anything that has to do with Alice in Wonderland; as evidenced by what I made and put on my wall –

I’m the girl who wants pizza muffins and fudge for my birthday instead of a huge dinner and cake. I’m the girl who wants to be an example of Christ more than anything, but messes up more than anyone else I know. I’m the girl who looks in the mirror and thinks I’m ugly half the time and pretty the other half, when in reality I generally look like this –

(See, there’s the flyaway hair I was telling you about!) I’m the girl who obsesses over things for a few months and then jealously defends them the rest of her life unless proven wrong (which takes a lot of proof). I manage to be both introverted and extroverted, and I manage to look twenty-two some days and fifteen on others. (I don’t think it counts as a talent, but I can put it on my resume). I can do impressions of pretty much anyone and have my family in stitches, but sometimes I have trouble with finding who ‘I’ am. (Note: You/me is not the answer. It’s God.) I’m the girl who had to be dragged kicking and screaming to go camping, only to discover that I actually liked it and my hair didn’t get as greasy as I thought it would. I’m the girl who wakes up at two am to write down a book idea. I’m the girl who doesn’t dream nearly as often as I’d like, doesn’t frighten at horror movies, and hasn’t had a nightmare since she was ten.

I’m the girl who can quote movies after seeing them only once, but has trouble memorizing things for school. I’m the girl who taught herself to read when she was little, but is still in Algebra 1. (I’m almost done, though! YES!) I’m the girl who loves hot chocolate, even if people never put enough whipped cream on it. I drink lots of tea and coffee in a day and I have an enormous sweet tooth. I can never, EVER remember phone messages unless I write them down. I’m the girl who names EVERYTHING, from roses to iPods. I get excited when I hear a tornado siren, and I roll over and go back to sleep when the fire alarm goes off. I’m the girl who writes fanfiction to mend my heart when a sad ending breaks it. I’m the girl who always feels sorry for the villains and antiheroes and wants desperately to see them redeem themselves.

I’m almost grown up. Some days I feel it, and some days I don’t. Some days I’m ready to enter the world of adults, and some days I want to fly to Neverland and not come back. 

What do I want to be?

I want to be the best me that I can be. That’s what.

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13 thoughts on “What I want to be

  1. I love these sorts of posts, and this one was quite well done. I love how you’re willing to be open and honest about you, especially online. That is a very good and attractive quality to have. I note that being eighteen only means the entrance into technical adulthood; there are people way, way over eighteen who really aren’t adults, and people way under who are more adultlike than most. And true maturity is found in God, and nowhere else. Wanting to be yourself, to be unique (which everyone is, whether they embrace it or not) and to be the best YOU that God made you to be, is a very good goal to set. And of course, the ultimate goal is to be like Christ, a process that He brings about, not us. Everyone has areas of themselves they dislike, so you’re nothing new in that regard, but I will say that, regardless of whatever flaws you may have, I believe you’re an amazing, Christian individual who I am pleased and honored to know. Keep being you!

  2. True but I don’t think we have to stop with that, being the best we can be. I think it’s also good to have short term and long term goals, you can decide on your profession years before you get there and study so when you do have the opportunity to obtain the job you can quickly and efficiently work to the glory of God.

    And being the best we can be means FINISHING algebra! Jk
    Keep up you good work and maybe (with my help) you could be the best. =)

  3. I don’t like Oscar Wilde much, but I do empathise with him in this quote; “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.” And I think that your you is rather lovely, m’dear.

    Here’s a secret that most of the other “big kids” won’t tell you about growing up. You don’t really ever “feel” old. Probably because in the light of eternity what is any number under 1,000 years really? In the light of eternity, what is any number anyway? xD

    And the ones that do feel old, well I don’t know that they were ever kids to begin with. They might have been hatched somewhere. So take joy in all that your Father gives you to enjoy, dance, laugh, (and even snort) revel in hot chocolate and the scents of Lilly of the Valley and cherry blossoms. Stay up to late too watch the stars, go to bed too early and gloat over the feeling of being in bed with crisp fresh sheets and the tantalizing thought that ‘no one made me, I tucked myself in’ Oh, and don’t EVER refuse to be tucked in.

    *I* personally can’t wait to see all the lovely transformations from you to more Jesus-like you. So far, it’s been a marvelous thing to watch, and to root for!

  4. I love this post, Mirriam! It’s always so interesting and fun to learn things about your favorite bloggers. xD Keep on being amazing! *hugs*

    *sigh* I did Algebra 1 last year, but I didn’t get into geometry this year, so I’m back in Algebra 1. I dislike it. *wrinkles nose*

  5. You are a wonderful you. 😀 I love you for being you and that was a beautiful post! I guess you will be 18, but we’re the same age for now mwahahaha! 😀

    (Also, is wordpress doing something weird with the comments, or is it just me?)

  6. I love this post! I wish more bloggers would do something like it so I could get a better idea of who they are. Excellent goals, by the way, and I especially liked your closing line. Wishing you all the best on your journey! 😀

  7. This is pretty interesting. 🙂 Stephen and others have already made good points – there’s not a whole lot I can think of to add.

    Not to rain on your parade, but turning 18 is highly overrated – at least if you don’t plan on smoking or doing other stuff like that (or buying a shotgun or rifle). 😛

    Oh yes, Algebra (and Statistics) and math in general is no fun. 😦

    You haven’t had a nightmare since you were 10? Wow. I don’t have nightmares often, but I still have them at times – and not long ago at all. But my very good dreams are probably even worse than the nightmares I have, because when I wake up I realize a friend didn’t really get murdered (or whatever the bad thing was, it didn’t really happen), but if I had a dream in which I’d met someone I’d really wanted to/met some really nice people – even if they don’t actually exist/made a new friend/etc., had a special ability (like telekinetic powers or flying – dream in which I’ve been able to do the latter were really cool), been in a magical world, and other things, when I wake up and return to my own (normal) world, it’s kind of depressing…I wish the dream could have been real. 😦 But enough of my nonsense, right? 😛

  8. I wish I knew you in real life – I feel like I do even though I don’t! 🙂 Good luck turning 18 – it’s a big big age – the age Rapunzel finally found her dream 😀 😀

    I’ve dreamed about many professions, including: rancher, author, interior designer, mom, even a maid at the White House! But I know I’ll be ‘me’ no matter what I choose. I do hate when people pick jobs just because they pay well. You’re going to do _____ for years and years, so choose something you love! 🙂

  9. Being the young an inexperienced fifteen year-old, I know I have plenty of time, and don”t worry about it yet. I always have the same answer to the “What do you want to be?” question, either an artist or a writer. But you’ve gotten right to the core of the subject, “the best I can be”, there’s not much better than that. Funny thing, I never really thought about it that way before…

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