Am I who I wanted to be?

looking back

One day I came home and I wasn’t a happy camper at all. That day somebody had made fun of me in school and I felt small, ugly and misunderstood. I was too tall and way too thin. I looked like a spider, with long limbs that I would grow into a few years later. A few kids had made fun of me that day, they had laughed about me and it hurt.

I was so upset. I can still see myself standing there in our kitchen, rambling on about what had happened in school, with tears in my eyes, because I didn’t feel pretty enough. I didn’t want to be taller than the other girls; I wanted to be popular and pretty. Why was life so unfair?

My Grandmother just listened and then she told me she would help me, if that would be all I wanted from life. I didn’t understand. She gave me a piece of paper, a pen and some cookies. She asked me to sit down and then she said, “Now you write down what you would like to read on your tombstone one day, after a long life”. If all you want from life is to be pretty, then that’s what you write down.

What a stupid idea that was. I knew what I wanted?

I sat there for the longest time, ate my cookies and thought about my future. I thought about what I wanted to be later on as an adult. Lots of words came to my mind and were scratched out. The final result -after hours of thinking- had nothing to do with being pretty, or with being popular. I gave her the paper and it said:

She was smart, witty and a good friend.

My Grandmother looked at me, “Well, then stop worrying about your looks and start working on who you want to be.” I never forgot that.

Now in my early 50’s I look back at my life and I wonder about the person I once thought I was. I can see a young kid, a teenager and a young woman way back there. All of them seem strangely familiar, but are strangers to me at the same time.

Was that me? What was I thinking?

Why didn’t I do this or that differently? I questioned many things in my past and then one day it hit me. Today is tomorrows past and the worries of today won’t matter tomorrow.

In just a few years I will look back and laugh out loud, when I will try to understand the woman I am today.

You know everything about me, inside-out, up and down and across. But you don’t really know me at all and you never will. I don’t even know myself.

 

Advertisements

21 thoughts on “Am I who I wanted to be?

  1. Every morning while shaving I take a long and hard look at the man staring back at me. I am not so concern with my looks (age, gray hair and wrinkles) as I am with what do I have to offer and how can I become a better person. Took me many years to realize what is important.

  2. What a very wise Grandmother.. 🙂 And wise words.. Thank you for passing along this memory.. I hope those who need its lessons learn from your words.. xxx Wishing you a wonderful week xxx

  3. Bravo, Grandma! Smart, witty and a good friend are all great aspirations. ^_^ When I did that exercise, mine wasn’t as inspiring, “She did the best she could with what she had.”

  4. Sounds like you have just the kind of grandmother I aspire to be. She sounds like a very wise woman, and I am guessing that not only are you smart and witty (evident in your blog), but likely a good friend. Love the ladybug theme. My youngest granddaughter is extremely fond of them.

    For me, my 50s were a time of learning acceptance and coming to peace with myself, a time when I resurrected writing as my way of figuring myself out, and sharing hard won knowledge with the world. I hope that is and will be true for you. Thanks for your blog!
    Jo

    • My Grandmother was my hero and it seems like I am turning into her (if that makes any sense at all). She took me in, when my birth givers decided to drink their life away. I learned a lot from her and I do talk about her and her wisdom ALL the time.
      Thing I didn’t understand make sense now. It’s like she left seeds and they started blooming years later.
      I am not sure about the writing part. I think I am more of a story teller. I have a hard time thinking of myself as being a writer, mainly because English is not my Mother tongue.

      Thank your for your reading and thank you for your comment.
      Bridget

      • Ah Bridget…I think the best writing is story telling! My favorite books are those that tell the best stories…the ones with “real” characters…like your grandmother.

        I am not turning into my grandmother…but I am trying to turn into my husband’s 🙂 so it does make sense to me when we pass on the wisdom we learned to the next generation…and plant seeds that will sprout in them as they bloom long after we are gone. Jo

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s