When I was four-years-old, I wanted to disappear, which must have worked, because I didn’t even notice it when it started, and I don’t remember a single thing about that year. Then maybe I reappeared before I was ready. That’s ok, though.
At seven, I really wanted to grow up to be a movie star married to Uncle Jesse from Full House. I’d even go so far as to say that I not only would have taken Danny Tanner and Joey as consolation prizes, but I would have happily been involved with all three. That was high thinking for a seven-year-old, but it had to be that way. I already knew what it was like to disappear and reappear, and never at will. I would have taken all three, but Uncle Jesse would have been the grand prize above all.
Scarlet is seven now and I don’t think she thinks that way, but I overheard her playing with a toy cell phone on the school playground, saying, “My boyfriend just texted me.” Gobsmacked is an understatement. What goes on in that little world in that little girl? That little girl in her big world. At seven, I had such deep feelings for Chris Jenkins in Miss Alpert’s class, that I would tell my mom at night that I liked him so much and would like to kiss him. He used to give me snacks and coins. I’d be sitting at lunch and a bag of potato chips (good), or cheese balls (best) would appear in front of me. I’d turn around to see where it came from, but somehow I was never fast enough. The phantom snack giver would disappear into the crowd.
Eventually my best friend, Becky, sat across from me at lunch instead of next to me, and caught the snack giver in the act. It was Chris Jenkins – the boy who stirred my pretty deep feelings. Deep for seven. Heck, deep for 27. So when my brother told Chris that I liked him, and he came to me and said, “Your brother says you like me?” That would have been the perfect time to say, “Yes. Yes. I really do.” Instead I denied it, and I’ll never know what could have been? It’s ok, though. It wasn’t time.
At 13, I wanted to be a filmmaker – so surely – up until I took a film class when I was 16 and I got to be the director. “Direct!” My teacher said. “You are so full of ideas and passion but do you even want to direct?” I didn’t, and I’m still that same girl now. I don’t want to direct. I want to be directed and make you cry happy tears with my attention to your directions, or I want to go rogue and ignore all senses of direction, in every sense of the word. I’m not born to direct. And that’s ok.
I brought up that dream again with a film internship in college. I thought you could magically become a filmmaker in one day. I was waiting for inspiration to strike me, and I listened to my 30 and 40-something co-workers tell me how life beat them down, and would surely beat me down, but I didn’t want to leave a beaten down legacy. I didn’t want to direct, and I didn’t to project either – project movies, that is (and more) – so there was nowhere to go from there, except out. Upwards and out.
Later in college, and always, there was writing. There was photography. I wanted to be a household name, but not in the way I did at seven, or 13, or even 16. It was a transcendent way. It was not yet discovered. I also wanted not to be a household name, but not in the way you forget dreams – not at 15, or 20, or even 36. Sometimes it’s about being a good parent or a good person, but honestly – I’m not always this, and I’m not always that. It can be about simpler things. Getting through the days. Being published in other people’s books. It’s about having deliciously happy children who are always up for adventure.
I can’t tell you that there isn’t still the intrigue. That there isn’t still the dream, and maybe my dream of being a household name is more a dream of not being a household name, but still getting under their skin, and in their hearts and minds.
I think I want to not fade away, because I’m afraid I’ve been doing that for 32 years. Sometimes I allow it. I speak softly and tread lightly and stand behind the camera. Sometimes I speak loudly and wear the brightest colors you can imagine.
So it’s weird that I’m an ambivert with situational anxiety and sometimes my body language says, “away”, but I’m thinking, “stay.” And it’s weird that I’m still searching for my legacy, while also understanding that it’s been building for years. It will always still build. Fade in and out. Lose focus, gain focus. Come closer. Stay away. Push and pull. Maybe another way?
Is it albino moose under northern lights? Is it photographs on gallery walls, or in the pages of my own non-fiction novels? Is it saving lives, or publishing books that save lives? It’s funny how it changes, but it lets us know we’re alive and still spinning.
This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “I want my legacy to be…” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin on any of the matters: HERE.
Outstanding post. Simply outstanding . Love you as big as the sky .
Likewise! And thank you!!
Legacy… hmmm… I don’t think about this very much. I believe in a couple of generations, no one will remember me much. I’ll be an old photograph that people ask, “Who was this again?” But I’m okay with that. Most people with long legacies are famous for something, and often fame isn’t remembered honestly. I’m more of a “live life with honor and in truth” kind of gal, and then be happy with whatever residual is left:)
Ah, I think you’re memorable! For sure.
I think being remembered for honor and truth is much better anyway. More powerful.
Janine Huldie says
It is funny how as we grew up, our thoughts change on what we want and even what we want others to know about us. But like you, I can honestly say that with each new phase, I have had this happen, as well. I am at the point that I just hope time slows up just slightly. But still love what you did here and so many hugs now!! <3
It is a little funny. It’s like we really have nine lives, or more! Sometimes we don’t reach certain dreams, and mostly, I think they just change. Which is a-ok!
Those horse pictures are amazing! I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I have worn a lot of different hats over the years with many different roles. I hope that changes like that don’t stop. It makes life interesting, mostly….
I bet your mom is glad that first love interest denial happened 🙂
Thank you for noticing the horse pictures! You always seem to notice things I leave here.
I think I do know what I want to be when I grew up, but I figured it out like.. a few years ago? Tops? Well past 18!
I bet my mom wasn’t ready for me to kiss boys at seven! So true.
I think it’s interesting the way our legacy dreams change as we get older. When we;re young we want to be famous. Now, we just want to be remembered and loved. 🙂 Love the hoser pics, too!
Right? All little kids say they want to be a baseball player or movie star or doctor or whatever. And the thing is, people really do become such things!
We’re all cut out for different things.
Kendall Patton says
Legacy. It’s such a interesting word, an intriguing concept. Legacy is memories and tradition, love and devotion, faith and (sometimes even) resurrection. None of this has to be religious, just an inside thing. Or maybe an outside thing, but an inside thing for others.
Legacy isn’t something I’ve spent much time on before. Then, my Dad died and I understand legacy differently now. His legacy is important, it’s me, my family, my life today, and my future life, too. 🙂
Ah, you’re making me cry! I miss my dad too. So much.
Dr. J says
That’s a,amazing that you can remember what you wanted to be at three years old.
I’ve thought of grave marker statements, but never legacy. Maybe one will show up someday.
I have no idea why I remember that because I only have a few memories of being three, if even. Maybe that dream carried into being four and five too?
Grave markers. Wow. I’ve never thought of my own. I don’t know what I’d say!
I can relate to every word of this. I was always in love with someone. I always vehemently denied it. My 5-year-old has already chosen his future spouse from his kindergarten class, and I see me in him all over again. Ambivert is a word I never heard until last year. But yes. yes to that. I’ve always called it a shy extravert. Directing is more work than I care for. I could only direct if it could be done from the safety of my laptop. I can relate to all of this. Right on.
Whoa! Was it the same person you were in love with (and denying it?) or was it a series of people?
Shy extrovert = ambivert? I like it! Can you also call it outgoing introvert? haha. I don’t know! I just think it’s people who thrive on both scenarios. I bet more of us are ambiverts than one or the other.
It would be the same person for years, followed by another for years. There was always somebody, but the somebody changed every few years until I finally grew up enough to not deny it. I married that one. 🙂
That’s interesting and I relate so much. I’d fawn over someone, silently, for a few years. And then the next.
I’m so glad you married the right one – clearly in the case you couldn’t NOT deny it. I love that.
I love this post, and I love that song from Sia… and I love Uncle Jesse!
Thank you for loving the post and Uncle Jesse, and knowing the song. It is SO GOOD!
Every so often I think about this…how do I want to be remembered. Will I be remembered? It’s a reminder to live in the present — something I’m not always good at. Although, it seems the older I get, the more I focus on this. Your stories always make me think about it too. 🙂
You will be remembered! For your awesome food and food photography, for one.
I focus on it more too!
I so get the fading in and fading out. Well definitely I would think that my children are my legacy, but in addition I would say that I would hope that my blog was also a part of my legacy. That people were able to use something I have shared on it to help them make a meal, save time, or be more productive.
It sure is. I have learned a lot from your blog. I guess my blog is my third baby! Maybe second since Des was after it.
Amanda Love says
Oh I just love this and loved the way you started. You wanted to be a garbage woman? I wonder what caused that. We all have so many dreams and aspirations growing up and we look back and wonder, what happened? BTW, I think you should have told Chris that you liked him, do you ever wonder how that would have turned out?
My sister wanted to be a mailman, so maybe I got it from that? Or maybe hanging from a moving truck looked fun to me! Still does.
I do wonder about Chris, but ultimately, I bet it wasn’t going to happen.
Mrs. AOK says
Love this post. And who didn’t love Uncle Jesse?
I thought I was Jesse’s girl. 🙂
It’s crazy how through cords, ethernet, WiFi, miles, and cookies there’s someone on the other side of the country who can write words that I too can totally feel. Oh life… oh anxiety… oh time. SLOW DOWN… ALL OF IT.
I’m always thinking of what I am, who I am, and what I’m living on this earth. That thought scares me…. sometimes.
We’re all Jesse’s girl, aren’t we??
It’s weird that we’re like twins. I think that OFTEN!!
Bev Feldman @ Linkouture says
Lately I’ve been thinking more about what I want my legacy to be. I want to be remembered, but not famous. I want to leave something behind, but I don’t quite know what that is.
I feel the same way. Fame doesn’t seem all it’s cracked up to be, for sure.
ImagesByCW (@imagesbycw) says
Interesting to read all those jobs and people you were dreaming of when you were younger. Hm, a legacy – I didn’t think about it much. Until I was 40 or so and wanted to have children only to realize that I would not. Now, I am trying hard not to think too much about ‘who will even remember me when I’m gone’. Not very many people I am sure. But that’s o.k. as long as I am living and enjoying the life that I have now. And that is what I am intent on doing 🙂 I hope, I will almost say ‘know’, that you are intent on that same thing and I dare say: You are succeeding. With your work and with your family. You are building, maybe at times unknowingly, your legacy at all times.
Btw – I love your photos of the backlit pony tails and manes 🙂
Thank you about the back light! I’m not always very good at back lighting. They are pretty ponies.
I think plenty of people will remember you!
I feel happy to be succeeding because I think I’m just a big old mess. And I wonder so much what’s next.
I relate to this post and you’ve described the pendulum between what is and isn’t so well. I’ve learned to embrace Whitman’s quote “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.”
Ah, I love that and how did I not know it??
It really is something to think about and I so love the pictures in this post!
Thank you! I love these prompts because I kinda leave my comfort zone and it’s kinda nice!
Oh and I still follow John Stamos on Twitter. What is not to love with him?
!!! I may have to go follow him…
I never really thought about my legacy, or leaving a mark in this world… or rather, I did when I was much younger but like you sometimes I prefer to fade into the background now. Still remain present, but not too loud (though like you, there are times when my clothing or bright patterns would speak otherwise).
I’ve never heard of this song before, but I do love me some Sia. Beautiful video <3
Yes, it’s odd. I really am an ambivert, which is also odd – because I just wrote about my introverted side on your blog comment five minutes ago!!!
Sia is awesome! I saw her live with Zero 7 ages ago. Many moons ago!
ah the word legacy looms over me ALL the time. Some days I am overwhelmed with the possibilities but most days I’m okay with all that has happened and what is in my future. I think as mothers we want to leave behind greatness for our kids, whether that is wealth or ambition, or a little of both.
I think that’s it. It’s the parental thing!! And of course, I want to see their mark on the world. Maybe more than my own! Who am I??
Kimberly M (@momgosomething) says
You wanted to marry Uncle Jesse – business Jesse in the front or party Jesse in the back? That mullet was spectacular.
I love you and this post is absolutely stunning in the same way you were born to be. Did that sound weird? Drugs. I am on a lot of drugs. But I mean that you are such a wonderful person and mom and wife and the world needs your shine and weird and brilliance and photos and moose adoration. xoxox
Business Jesse. Ok Party Jesse. All Jesse all the time!!!
Nothing you said sounded weird at all, I assure you.
Unless we’re both weird? I’m not on any good drugs and I relate 100%.
I loved Full House and all the TGIF shows as a kid. All the families seemed so cool and funny.
I have no idea what I want my legacy to be. At 35 I’m still changing what I want out of life.
Same. And it’s a blessing that we still can, and still will.
It was Shaun Cassidy in The Hardy Boys for me… later followed by the entire cast of The Outsiders on my wall. And I when I read the Hinton novel – boom — omg WORDS. Gimme all the words. And that was it. In real life it was Robbie Malette who once punched my in the stomach so hard that I fell down and then I hit him back with a tree branch on the ground and he said “alright – good one” and for some reason we were then the thickest friends. A hard lesson at 8 years perhaps. I guess we both just wanted to matter enough to someone. That’s the think right? Just trying to matter.