Who or What Would I Be?
I have been asked that many times and often I say, “I have no clue.”
But now, with this challenge, one I have thought over the last three days, I have come up with a small montage of who/what I would be. See, I like choices. If one doesn’t work out, I have alternatives to work from.
A Butterfly. They evolve like a mystery, and become a thing of colored beauty. They harm no one and fly where they will. They are comforting, peaceful, and graceful.
FDR: Franklin Delano Roosevelt. I often wondered what it would be like in his shoes when he made the announcement that, “December 7, 1941, is a day that will live in infamy.” Immense pressure under daunting times. And on top of that, his daily struggles with Polio, at a time when there was no cure. Would I, could I, face such challenges so daring as he did, and still manage to come out on top. Could I have done what he did at a time when this country needed a strong leader and pull us out of a Depression? Hard questions, but he did that. I would like to say I could as well, but times today are far different from then.
A Scribe: This is rather a thought I have had for years, but to be a scribe during the years of Christ, and follow him, record his words and deeds. For me, that would be fulfilling. And I would want to ask Christ just one question: Did you know what would happen when you were a child?
My Mother: Strange perhaps, to want to be a woman, but she had an indomitable spirit, gumption and drive. She never saw any obstacle she couldn’t get past and she worked hard all her life. From the coal mines in Western, PA., to a riveter during WWII, to being a waitress for 35 years, as well as raising me (which was never an easy thing for her).
She instilled motivation, logic and drive in me, and my father, of which, if she hadn’t, he would have never lasted 40 years working for one company. She was tough but she had heart.
The only other person I would want to be is ... me. I have had my share of ups and downs. Quit school at 16. Entered the Marines at 17, saw a war, traveled the world, and the states here, fell in and out of love too many times to count but was really in love-love, twice. The second one, I married. As time moved on, she died and I went through some changes, but we all do, don’t we? My life has seen me as a teacher, a Chef, a salesman, and now, a hopeful writer. Retired and enjoying life. Yes, I’ll just be me. No one else has the memories I do.
What a treat it is to be able to pick out who I want to be (and no I don’t want anyone random for I have the perfect picture). I am very much aware that to achieve balance in this world, not a single person can be said to have it all so I hope no one minds that I’ll do a little shopping and bake the perfect person. Please follow the list to the letter.
1. A brain like Hermoine Granger. (fictitious characters? this is how we want to start the list?). Oh yes, everything starts from the mind and you need the very best when you have first choice. But if you find she has put spells around it, then my sister’s will do. She seems to be doing well in that department.
2. A voice like Jenny Lind. She’s real I’m sure but if that won’t do Loren Allred will do and we’ll belt out Never Enough for every singing competition and get away with it. (Or we’ll keep eating bananas till we can confidently sing outside the bathroom.)
3. A smile like Monseratt Mendoza (who allowed you to make this list?!!! Now you are adding characters from all those soap dramas you watch in secret?) definitely one like that. Her smile plays in my head when I read about smiles that melt the heart. If fiction refuses to cross over, you can always coax the dimpled smile off your little cousin.
4. Friends like the Jeremy character in my head (this is getting out of hand and it’s just ingredient 4! You can’t write characters only you know about it). I want to have an overflowing of friends too. If that is in short supply, we can take that from that girl in my contact list. You know the one, she’s always putting them out for display.
5. Talent like J.K Rowling. (you are sure, beyond sure that no one else tops the list?) All threats to upseat a queen can’t be taken lightly that’s why those that may compare are long dead. (And Jackson Biko? You know he is your new standard!) But what do I know? There are great writers out there giving their best in obscurity. Just look at this platform.
6. A fashion sense like Park Min-Young (you do know that as an actress, she has a wardrobe designer right?) That’s right, with the world being a global village now, no one is safe from this list! Allow me to blow the trumpet for South Korean fashion though.
7. A booty like... (PEACHES! children might read this. Nothing to see here people, move on)
BONUS INGREDIENT. Having a boyfriend like Elias Veturius (and I thought we had closed the chapter on fiction) except that where I left off, he seems to be hanging out in the ‘underworld’. And we all know he is bound by that mantra ‘Duty First, Unto Death’. If he won’t do, I’ll have to wait patiently for my real life Prince Charming who may or may not be lost on his way.
8. Courage like Maximus the General who became a gladiator, the gladiator who...(no need to quote that line from the movie, they get it). Wouldn’t it be epic to go out in a fight like that, against a tyrant (think your president) and not the inglorious way you plan to die.
9. Faith like Job (now we are getting somewhere). To look pain in the face and refuse to die till you see the Lord’s redemption. To hang on to your innocence in the presence of holiness. What a relationship! And who are you without that!
10. Wealth like Solomon...or Mansa Musa (ah! I was wondering when the money would factor in. And you pick out wealth and not wisdom! Peaches, you embarrass me.)
11... well this list is endless, the grass is always going to appear greener else where. And nothing here is set in stone as better makes itself known. But I will say this, a thousand changes could be made to my existence, but in whatever form, I want the charming idiots I call family exactly the same. I’d give my life for theirs in a heartbeat.
"Always be yourself - unless you can be Batman. Then always be Batman."
Sorry, this just triggered my auto geek response - but yes, metaphorically speaking, we should always be Batman.
- Not a killer / shooter
- Surrounded by friends / copycats
- Constantly facing our inner demons, even scary clowns
I had this doll when I was a kid named Jaslene. She was a Bratz doll who was Hispanic (at least in my head) with long brown hair, sparkling hazel eyes, who was thin with a B-cup chest and could stand just fine in heels. I loved her. I wished all the time that if I woke up different, I would look like her. To be fair, I didn't like looking like me. From the time Iw as a kid, I didn't want to look like me anymore. I didn't want to be black with short nappy hair and common brown eyes. I didn't want to be short and chubby with a big chest. I wanted to be like the women I admired as a kid.
If I had woken up anyone else, I would've wanted to be Hispanic or Indian or maybe Chinese. I loved their hair. Every person I knew who wasn't black had super long hair. Sometimes it was wavy. Other times it was straight and down to the back of their knees, and I wanted that badly. I would get excited when I was watching America's Next Top Model because all of the Latina/Hispanic and Asian girls looked so pretty after the makeovers. I loved their eyes too. Even when they were dark like mine, the camera always made them shine. The girls were all tall and thin and even the "big" girls looked amazing.
If I wake up tomorrow and am anyone else, I will freak out. Even if a genie heard my wish ten to fifteen years after the fact and made me what I had wanted as a kid, I wouldn't be me anymore. Though I didn't look like how I wanted, I had to learn to love who I am and how I was born. I look like my dad. I have my mom's nose. I mirror the generations before me and I've learned to be proud of that. It's something I plan to teach whatever children I adopt.
Though if I could wake up as anyone else, I'd want to be Gabby Douglas or Simone Biles because come on now. Looks aside, I will never be able to do gymnastics like that, and I want one day to be able to do a backflip without falling on my face.
If I choose to be someone else, wouldn't I not be the "I" that chose not to be I? If this is the case, then it is impossible; Not only physically, but grammatically.
The Ideal Human
For the most part, the female body was made for one job: childbirth. It's why our hips our wide, our chests aren't flat, and why once a month things aren't so ideal. Biologically we are not made to be the attacker, the defender, the muscly, bacon bringer.
My body was made to be a mother which is why I hate it. I don't want children and so these parts of me have become my weaknesses.
There is not just one person I would become if I had the choice. I would become a mixture of people, the ideal human.
As a teenager, I would exercise every day or nearly so. I was desperate to have visible muscles and it made my youthful temper boil to know that no matter what I did my barely ever moving brother would still be stronger than me. In my head, I associated strength with masculinity.
I cut my waist-length hair into a pixie cut. I threw my dresses out of my closet and replaced them with more shorts and button-ups. Anything pink, frilly, anything feminine had to go.
People told me that women could be anyone. They said we could be doctors or lawyers or actors and yet when discussing reproduction they did not even wave past the idea that some people may not want to have biological children.
I won't use this as an opportunity to rant about the school system or give a feminist lecture.
If I could be anyone in the world, I would take my female name and face and past it onto a body that bypassed reproductive parts for practical features, testosterone, muscles, a flat chest. If you're being generous I wouldn't say no to a nicer face too.
I don't think I am the only girl that feels this way but I'm curious to hear about your views. Do men hate their bodies for such weaknesses? Do they ever feel a need to reject masculinity to prove themselves? Or not prove themselves but become a stronger person in the eye of society and your own mind.
I know there are surgeries that I could take to reduce this feeling of bearing a body not made for my purposes but if you overlook the fact that I'm a broke college kid with parents who aren't exactly progressive, it seems overkill somehow. Every woman has to live like this, is this strive to reduce my weaknesses a weakness in itself? And how could I explain something like breast removal surgery to future partners or family?
"Oh, you're wondering why I did this. Yeah, they were just annoying me."
I think I am ranting now. I've kind of wanted to get this off my chest, pun not intended.
If I had a choice, I would have the ideal body, made to be strong, made to endure, made to be the head of the household without judgment. I would combine the best parts of being female and being male.
The sad part is there's not much about being female, that I would want to keep.
Living in this skin
Who else can take up my space?
If I were to be someone else, who would live my insane life?
Who would turn the faucet on and off precisely twelve times to make sure it’s not running?
Who would spend twenty minutes in child’s pose on my yoga mat, hoping to cure what ails me?
Who would curse the gods during quarantine, only to realize I’ve achieved spiritual growth during this time?
Who would be here to do sun salutations to embrace those gods I’ve only just started to believe in?
Who would go to church to pray to these same gods and bring my life story, share my own individual gratitude?
Being someone else would be like an erasure of my identity as me.
No one else has my same prayers.
If one day I get up as someone else, some random guy or short girl, a black aunty or a old grandpa. It doesn't matter who I become.
I just wanna get out of this hell.
This suffering body.
This constant struggle.
It would be my dream come true, if I had a chance to be someone else.
Classic Ice Breaker
I've worked too hard to align my morals, educate myself, and earn my reputation, no matter how small. My privilege, my peers, and any opportunities that have crossed my path are not unique to me, but they are valuable. And if you listen to the people you envied or the people you pitied, the people who you think would or wouldn't be worth becoming, you'd be surprised how much you can understand different shoes without lacing them up yourself. The grass is always greener or whatever, but how do you remind yourself to appreciate that you have grass at all? Would I gamble what I am now for a chance to experience a different life?
No. I can't guarantee that the next person I become has the same determination and integrity that I taught and trained into myself. I'm already an asshole, the least I can do is keep it contained and under control. I wouldn't risk trading my chaotic neutral for someone who could do worse damage.
But if it wasn't so random? I already have my top 3 choices, in order.
No I would not choose to, but this is interesting so I'm going to pick someone anyway. If I could be anyone I would be J. R. R. Tolkien. He is one of the greatest authors and made lord of the rings. I thought about Peter Jackson, the director of the film, but I rather create the story. Peter Jackson is a close second.