|OK, I gotta admit-- the umbrella trick is still pretty awesome.|
I followed my sister around like a puppy dog-- I wished I was smart like her. I even tried to read the huge James Michener novels she devoured to try to impress her and my parents, but they just didn't grab me the way books like The City Under The Back Steps did.
I wished I were brilliant and beautiful like my best friend, Devjani. I wished I were cool like my big brothers. I wished I were popular like the kids who made fun of me at school, and I wished I were athletic like the kids who got picked first for all the sports teams while I waited, red-faced, knowing I'd be picked last. I wished I were someone else, somewhere else.
It wasn't until I was quite a bit older that I realized that you simply cannot escape yourself. You are in charge of your own life, and you have the ability to choose your path. Granted, there are always obstacles that are out of your control (some far bigger than others), but how you deal with them is entirely up to you.
My sister is a genius, and I will never have her kind of intellect. Dev is stunning and beyond brilliant, and I will never look or think like her. My brothers are still pretty darn cool, and I will never be their kind of cool. I never did become one of the "popular kids" (and I can't say that's a bad thing). I probably still suck at kickball and whiffle ball.
And you know what?
I'm quite OK with that.
I've been through a lot in my life, and I can't say I have a single regret. I am really proud of who I have become and of the choices I have made (even the bad ones, since I've learned from them and, I believe, become a better person for them). I love my life. I don't think this is lucky. It took a lot of work and a lot of soul-searching. But despite this, I feel very fortunate to be able to say those words.
My point is, you are the only You there is. You can't run away, and you can't be anyone else. Trying to be someone you're not is an exercise in futility. Instead, make yourself the very best You you can be. Take care of your body. Learn to love yourself. Take the obstacles life throws at you in stride, and use them as stepping stones instead of excuses. Make short-term goals and figure out exactly how you're going to make them come to fruition. Follow up on that plan. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Don't be afraid to remove anyone from your life who stands in your way.
I may never have gotten to jump down that rabbit hole, but I did learn to create my own magic. I sincerely hope you do, too.