Friday, September 28, 2007

The Woman I Want To Be

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”
- Albert Einstein

The holiday season is months away and yet today I purchased the first of the many gifts I will give this year.

It has finally happened. I have started my shopping early.

This is one item on a long list of things The Woman I Want To Be would do. I think we all have this list. Even if it isn't conscious. Now I am NOT talking about The Woman We Think We Are Supposed To Want To Be. She of the 18" waist, fast-track career, sweater sets that match her expensive Italian leather loafers and well behaved 2.5 children. I don't want to be HER. Magazines tell us that we should strive for those qualities and most women go through years of learning to walk away from that bizarre cookie cutter ideal our culture is so sold on.

The Woman I Want To Be is a completely different matter. She is me, only more so. She remembers the things I forget. She has all my values, but manages to live up to them far better than I. She does the things I dream about doing. I aspire to be her... hopefully by the time I am 50 or 60 I will have become a reasonable facsimile. It's like an internal system of goals, both practical and ephemeral. I think a lot of women struggle with these things (the big things and the little ones) ...and assume our peers have them under control. Someone told me once that I am "so together" and "have things figured out." I laughed when it occurred to me that if I SEEM that way to someone - while I am trying to BE that way - then many of the other women who I think have it all under control are probably just as nutty and imperfect as I am.

That realization is oddly reassuring.

The Woman I Want To Be will:

Be patient.

Travel often.

Get her Christmas shopping done early.

Send birthday, holiday and thank you cards.

Be more fit than I am now, but not obsessive.

Pay all her bills on time.

Have read everything.

Always look put together.

Bake often.

And give baked goods away.

And not just on holidays.

Know where the heck the tweezers and nail clippers are.

Have adventurous hair.

Be friendly to strangers (strangers freak me out).

Build a family.
Who like each other.

Finish the projects she starts.

Be self-employed or at the very least set her own hours.

Be completely at home in her own skin.

Write on a regular basis.

Have a stronger grasp on Geography.

Know how to drive stick.

Maintain a manicure.

Learn not to buy cheap shoes.

Keep abreast of current events.

Learn not to overextend herself.

Take the extra 20 minutes in the morning to slow down, make a cup of coffee, apply lipstick and fix her hair.
(almost have this one down)

Maintain clean but comfortable home.
(...One with extra bedrooms ready for out-of-town guests, an attic for children to explore and a large warm kitchen overlooking a vegetable garden.)

Not give a rat's behind what anyone else thinks.

Make perfect Tiramisu.

I'm trying to be realistic and not put too much pressure on myself, though. It's good to start with simple, practical goals. So, does anyone have a great recipe for Tiramisu? Falling short of that, does anyone know where I put the tweezers?


  1. Great entry, dame. You can borrow my tweezers the next time there is a tweezer-crisis.


  2. Thank you. See? That's one down right there.

    Ah, the wonderful feeling one gets from making meaningful progress toward personal goals!

  3. BFF whose on CrackOctober 02, 2007 4:29 PM

    So are these in any particular order? B/C Learning to Drive a Stick should be at the bottom, I tired this once. ONCE! The tire marks are still on the U-Save Parking Lot.

    And I don't know what you want to do with your hair, you have the MOST WONDERFUL head of hair I've ever seen. Seriously, you and your hair need to do ads or commericals for any and every kind of hair product!

    You are an awesome cook and you always look put together!

    And I'm glad you aren't into having the 2.5 children, I'm just not sure how that whole having half a child thing would work out. Would you have the top half or the bottom half? Or maybe the front half verse the back half. I guess I would pick the front half, he or she would make for better family photos.

    I know, Only me!

  4. You, my "BFF," are INSANE.

    God, how I love you.

    Totally the front half. Or maybe the right half. Then the kid could just be sideways in photos. And REALLY good at math (left brained)... Just a thought. ;)

  5. i want to be this woman too! i love that list. i had a list kind of like that when i was 14 and i've been sort of compiling a new one in my head this past month (um...over a decade later so way overdue, right?!). i think there's something about this season that makes us stop for a moment, reflect, and think about what we want in our lives and realize just how different that may actually be from what we thought we wanted a year or even ten years ago.

    p.s. manicures and expensive shoes, yes please!!!

  6. B&B - I totally make lists like that all the time in my head and occaisionally on paper and it's funny to think how they have changed over the years. It's fascinating to think that - not only does who we actually are evolve - but who we WANT TO BE evolves as well! Hopefully the two eventually merge!