I always thought I was destined to do something really special. As a kid, I used to imagine flying to the moon, saving a life or inventing something really terrific, like the ever-lasting gobstopper. My life could slide this way or that way, but I just had this confidence that an extraordinary event or talent would happen to me eventually.
At 10, I did do some brief modeling for House of Bargains. While it was pro bono work, of course, it did give me a glimpse of how a life under the bright lights might turn out. I imagined traveling all around the world, thin and captivating, to give people this gift of beauty. So, when the modeling work dried up shortly after my debut, I just moved on. No hurt feelings really.
In high school, it dawned on me that maybe sports might be the way to go. I played softball, basketball and ran track. Go, go, go. I even made it to the state track meet my sophomore year. One week later, I tore the ligament in my knee. It was a hard break, but that's life. I packed away the gloves, and cleats, and batons. I didn't look back either.
I pushed my way through college as fast as I could because, well, let's get real, you are more likely to find extraordinary in the real world than in college. I started my first day at a national law firm in a very sharp suit, with a very bright smile, and walked into a very big building. Do you see the importance? I also sat at very small cubicle with not a very nice boss with not a lot of input into my work. I really was a good puppet. Nothing special about that.
Kids came. Here was my chance to give something Herculean. During birth, I asked for pain medicine and then cried like a baby during the c-section because I had failed to progress. I've spanked my kids in public, I've cried alone in the garage and I've gone to a big work meeting with some kind of goo on my shoulder from morning hugs. On the rare days I've got it all in a nice, neat package, I think if I could only sustain this.....it might be special.
But today, it came to me. There is a really good chance that I will never invent something, win the lottery, touch the moon, be a celebrity, or have people recite my poems in every classroom around the country. Perhaps I don't get a special event or that extraordinary big thing in this life, but instead I get a quirky personality and a light within that radiates to others. Special might be making people laugh. Being kind, or loyal, or loving. It might even be all those big mistakes I've made along the way that I thought made me really unlovable. It somehow also made me approachable.
So, I guess I feel good about that kind of special. No big headlines, you see, just a dogged determination to keep plugging away at those big, ugly, hot stage lights in my life. Those moments can be wonderful, too. Let it shine, let it shine.