Growing–We Pretty Much Do It Every Day
[Note: Yes, the title of this blog post may in fact be derived from a Barney song. Yes, I used to watch Barney. Sue me.]
When I was about ten years old, I wanted to be Broadway star. No, seriously. A decked-out, costumes-and-makeup, belting-Rodgers-and-Hammerstein kind of Broadway star. Then I realized I couldn’t sing, dance, or perform well under pressure. So I shelved that dream. Before that, I wanted to win the national spelling bee and enjoy life as the employed version of a professional speller. Not really sure what that job would have entailed, but I guess it would have involved a lot of grammar and Latin derivatives. Only I hate Latin. So there went that one. I also remember thinking once that I wanted to grow up and own a lot of horses and live on the Moor with long sweeping skirts and riding boots and some kind twenty-first century version of Heathcliff. That probably would have been my best aspiration of them all, if not for the fact that the two times I’ve tried riding on horseback I couldn’t go faster than a slow jog because my fear of heights plus my fear of giant smelly animals was made my head hurt. It’s kind of hard to gallop after Heathcliff when you can hardly think straight on horseback.
So, needless to say, all of my childhood dreams ceased to come true. The closest I ever got to a Broadway show was row eighteen or nineteen on a week night performance of “Phantom of the Opera”. The last time I participated in a spelling bee was in sixth grade and I almost went home crying from embarrassment because I put the letter ‘e’ at the end of “acrobat”. (Still trying to figure that one out) And I no longer have a desire to do anything involving cleaning up after large animals, even if it were to include sweeping dresses and dreamy British guys.
Looking back on my childhood aspirations from the very wise and mature age of sixteen has caused me to do some reflecting this week. Because I have hopes and dreams and aspirations now. I want to travel the world, and meet people, and visit a drive-in movie theater, and carry on a conversation in another language, and kiss someone on top of a ferris wheel. And I don’t want to one day think that those things are cheesy and silly. But the thought still lingers — what if, one day, they will be silly? What if everything I hope for right now in life will one day seem like nothing more than the sentimental wishings of a sixteen year old girl?
It’s only when I consider things in that light, that I realize which dreams and aspirations of mine are really important. I’m always going to be growing up. I’m constantly getting older and (hopefully!) wiser. Each day I’m growing a little taller, not smaller. (Quoting Barney again) And so I’m always going to be getting new ideas and dreams about different things. But, hopefully, only one dream of mine will never change. No matter how old I grow to be, I hope that I will always dream of being a more godly woman, as well as a more loving and joyful one. I pray that I’ll constantly long to become more wise and humble and caring. I want my one life-long dream to be that I will grow up to be someone who brings God’s light to the life of others. Who impacts those around her and really cares about people.
Broadway will never know what they missed out on that afternoon I decided to throw away my dreams of being an actress. Most likely, they’d be thanking the Lord that they never had to deal with the likes of Rachel Coker. But hopefully I will always know what I am gaining by putting away my selfish wishes and working toward my ultimate goal of being more like Christ. I may never be a professional speller with a moody British boyfriend and the lungs of Barbara Streisand, but hopefully the life I’ll live will be filled with so much more.