Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pedestal

"If you could be any person in the world, who would it be?"

I'd be Kathryn. Or Kat.

But I wouldn't be Kathy.

I know it sounds anal, but I don't like to be called Kathy.

That's what they called me in school. That was the name to which I responded during a portion of my life where I spent way too much time pretending to be someone I was not.

Receiving 12 years of private education was like a lifelong lesson on oxymorons.

While my mentors and teachers encouraged me to be myself, the crowd pulled me to the left and urged me to pursue the definitions of worldly success and popularity.

Never a member of the popular crowd, I learned quickly to suppress the person blossoming inside me.

Luckily, she didn't wither and die. Thankfully, I shed the skin of that phony persona I tried to put forth in order to fit in and let Kathryn live.

I try to stress upon my children the importance of being comfortable with who they are.

So, I worried when my teenager asked this question during lunch the other day: If you could be any person in the world, who would you be? I wondered why she would ask such a question. Was something so terrible about her own life that she dreamed about being someone else?

Who did she want to be? Amy Lee? Demi Lovato? Miley Cyrus? Any girl on TV who gets to do a smoochy scene with Joe Jonas?

It concerned me.

But my concern somewhat paled in delight when my seven-year-old exclaimed: "I know! I know! I'd be me."

I hoped Elizabeth would continue seeing that there is nothing wrong with who she is, and that heroes and idols have a tendency to eventually fall from the pedestal on which we put them.

Before I gave Molly the answer to my question, I turned it back on her to see which direction her thoughts were traveling.

Molly shrugged, smiled and said: "Don't worry, Mom. I'd be me, too. Only I'd have straighter teeth, more money and I'd be famous."

I guess that would be my answer, too.

I'd be me...only better.

7 comments:

Sex Mahoney for President said...

There is nothing better than what you are now; in a few years you won't think so, but you'll be even better then.

Sex Mahoney for President

Rosslyn Elliott said...

And the only reason she thinks she would want to be famous is that she is young and tender. :-)

I'm glad you're you, and real. I feel sorry for people who are still stuck in high school twenty years later, as far too many women are.

lynnrush said...

Oh man, at that age, I wanted to be anyone but myself. Glad you're so real with your kid, Kat. She's really lucky!!

Especially when so many of those whom we want to emulate end up disappointing us...making poor choices. Sometimes the young people follow along.....

Great post, Kat!

JC Lamont said...

At that age, I wanted to be a boy. I prayed and prayed that God would let me wake up and I would suddenly be a boy. It never worked.

For now, yes, I am mostly content to be me, but published, best-selling author me would be very nice.

JC Lamont said...

by the way -- that pic is soooo cute!

Jill said...

What the name Kathy means to me..it is the name of my best friend, confidant, someone who made my childhood more bareable. The name Kathy brings a smile to my face and is the name of my cousin/sister. Kathy is the name of the coolest person I have known all of my life and someone I look up to. You will always be my Kathy. Love ya, Jill

gzusfreek said...

Kat -funny I don't like the name Kathy either. I like Kath or Kathleen. As a little girl I made everyone start calling me Kathy. I wouldn't answer if they called Kathleen. Then, years later, I had to retrain them LOL Grandad still uses Kathy :( but he's 90 and he can do as he pleases ;-)

From here, you look like the best mom! and from Jill's post, the best kind of friend!