When I was living in Oklahoma two years ago, an older man approached me while I was working the floor of a local gym. I’d never met him before, but as with most elderly gentlemen, this didn’t stop him from engaging me in a drawn out conversation. Out of the blue he offered me his secret to success.
He told me that when he was my age, he made a list of everything he knew he wanted in a wife. He listed qualities like intelligence, wit, humor, success, honesty, and generosity along with blond hair and height to match his own. I laughed a little, but he went on. He said that he carried that list with him everywhere and strove to be each one of those qualities himself (except a few choice physical traits). When he portrayed those characteristics, he explained, he naturally attracted the woman of his dreams.
At the time, I thought his words of wisdom were sweet and well-meaning, and I thought about them every now and again, but I never explicitly followed his advice. Since then, I’ve changed everything from my location to my profession to my sense of style. In the process, I sometimes feel that I leave behind parts of the woman I should be while I’m searching for who I can be.
I am not a writer, housewife, cook, professional athlete, philanthropist, news junkie, political activist, rock star, artist, or intellectual. However, there is a part of me that wishes I were each of these things. Maybe it’s the world telling me I should be everything all at one time, or maybe this desire stems from my perpetual dissatisfaction. Either way, I am vowing to work my way towards achieving status of renaissance woman extraordinaire.