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Denver, Colorado, United States

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Birthday Lessons From A Five Year Old

"The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want.”---Ben Stein

I has taken me 47 years to figure this one out.  In the beginning it was simple...I wanted to be a Princess, I wanted to live in a castle with land all around it, I wanted to marry a Prince, and I wanted to have a horse.  That was it!  Oh, to be five again...

In my pre-teen years I wanted to be a singer and marry one of the Osmond brothers.  I used to watch the Donny & Marie Show and fantasize about standing with them all at the end when they'd wave and say, with their huge, toothy grins "G'nite everybody!"  There's a reason they call the the "awkward age".  I had a hard time even admitting that one.

High school was all about glamour, excitement, and money.  It was the 80's...that's what it was all about.
I remember one "spirit week" (or some other dorky high school excuse to get out of the Catholic School uniform) there was one day we were supposed to dress for the career we wanted.  I wore this white jumpsuit with a popped collar and had a 35mm camera hanging around my neck.  I was a National Geographic Photographer.  A worldly traveler who went to exotic places and made piles of cash (or so I thought).

College, as usual, is when you get creative.  Again...hey, it was the 80's.  I was going to be an Artist, and not just any Artist...one that would be remembered as someone truly unique a la Andy Warhol or Salvador Dali.  In high school I had the usual 80's blond, feathered, big hair and preppy ensembles but towards the end of my senior year I morphed into an artistic, punk rock look, that got me A LOT of attention during my freshman year of college.  Big hair was replaced by a 'Til Tuesday look.  Short blond hair with a long rat tail, sweatshirts with the collar cut out (think Flashdance), army fatigue pants, white leather ankle boots, handcuffs for a low hanging belt, a big ol' Swatch watch with a swatch guard, and safety pins in place of earrings.  AGAIN, have a hard time admitting that one...  I was remembered though!  One of my first A's was in my painting class.  I took off my top, painted myself with swirls of color, and layed down on the paper making a "bust" of myself.  It was a hit with the class and my professor!  (Oh, BTW...I did it in my dorm bathroom NOT in the classroom.  Just wanted to clarify that.)

Junior year of college I was forced to make a BIG, rather unexpected, decision.   I was pregnant and I had to choose between being a mom or giving her up to continue my career path to becoming a starving, although memorable, artist.  The first ultrasound made that decision for me...I heard her heartbeat and I saw her tiny foot...I wanted to be a mom.  I spent the next 19 years doing exactly what I wanted.  I was poor, it wasn't glamorous, it was difficult, and it was AMAZING!  We were so close that it was almost scary ;)  She was my "Mini Me".  When she passed away, for three years I really struggled, I felt like part of me went with her.  She was my life and once she was gone I didn't know what to do with myself. 

Once again...I had to decide what I wanted.  It wasn't that hard to do once I got past the grief.  "Mini Me" was my inspiration. 

You all know the story from "New Beginning", my very first post, (if you're new...check it out...it explains a lot) about my whole Wyoming Adventure/Dream and Santa Sara Ranch.  The dream we shared together has changed a little, for example, I threw in a Prince for myself (she'd understand...she didn't want to leave me alone).  What I never realized, however, until I began writing this post, is how similar the dream is to what I wanted as a 5 year old.  OK, maybe the Princess part is a stretch, the castle has become a cabin with land all around it, the Prince is just someone fun who would treat me like a Princess, and the horse...well...that is non-negotiable.  Every Princess needs a horse.

The lesson it took me 47 years to learn?  When trying to decide what you want more than anything...think about what you wanted as a child before there was anyone around to tell you it's impossible.  I bet you'll find your answers there.



  2. Thanks for sharing your story and your adventure!