Don’t get me wrong. I like who I am. I really, really like who I am (Thank you, Sally Field).
I’ve been a teacher and a writer and a wife and a mom. Advantages and disadvantages to all those occupations, but in the long run? I wouldn’t trade my experience being all of those.
Growing up, I believed—as most children do—that I could become anything I wanted. The sky was not even the limit because I could maybe become an astronaut! My grandfather wanted me to be an airline pilot, but when I couldn’t even see the appendages on the big “E” on the eye chart—just a dark, fuzzy blob—that wrecked that dream. It was his dream, anyway. Not mine. I enjoy flying, but I didn’t want to be the flyer—just the flyee.
I went through a phase when I wanted to be a spy. I read spy novels and watched spy movies and TV shows. I thought there was nothing cooler than being a spy. Fortunately, I wised up and discovered I’m pretty much a wimp. If I’d been captured and the Secretary disavowed any knowledge of me, I would’ve folded under torture. Just a scary look would’ve probably done me in, so I’m sure my country is glad I didn’t decided to serve in the CIA. Just watching Homeland lets me know I’m not cut out for that kind of life.
When I was in high school, I thought I would be a journalist. I’d light the world on fire, like a Woodward or Bernstein. I also thought about becoming a lawyer, but between the extra 3 years in school and all the money I’d borrow to get through those law school years, I didn’t want to put off life any longer—much less drown in debt. So I eventually settled on a calling from the time I was very young and played school with my stuffed animals and dolls (Chatty Kathy & Suzie Smart were 2 of my prized pupils in my bedroom schoolroom).
I discovered teaching was where I was meant to be, and I’m lucky enough now to have added “published author” onto my resume. Both have given me immense satisfaction.
But every now and then, I get a hankering to be either Diane Sawyer or Emma Stone.
Diane is all class—that polished manner, ethereal beauty, whip-smart intelligence. I’ve followed her career over the years. Cried when she left GMA. Was happy for her promotion, but sad for her morning audience. She and Charlie were simply magic during their years together. She did an amazing job on the ABC national news desk, and I look forward to her new chapter as a special correspondent.
But what I like about her most? Not the gravitas she brought to the anchor desk or her quick thinking and skilled reporting. Nope, I like her quirky, fun, down-home, goofy sense of humor. Over the years, watching her on TV and reading interviews with her, she just is a happy, funny, and there’s no other way to say this . . . dork! She’d be the first to tell you what a dorky klutz she is. But she’s funny and real and maybe one day when I’m visiting New York City, I’ll run into her somewhere. We’ll sit and have a glass of wine and laugh like old friends—because she’s got that ability to be there, right there, with someone, in the moment.
Another, different beauty that I think is just precious is Emma Stone. She’s gorgeous. Talented. So natural on screen. So stylish on the red carpet. And . . . another quirky, dorky gal. Just listening to her when she’s being interviewed, she is a fun and funny person. I love a sense of humor more than any other quality in a person, and Emma seems to have one a mile long and two miles wide. She seems as if she loves to laugh—whether it’s at herself or along with you. Maybe she’ll drop by that table where Diane & I are sipping a smooth cab and join us for some good conversation and plenty of laughter.
These women are very different from me. One, a journalist. One, an actor. Occupations I would have liked to try but never will (Unless I write a book about one—which I did just sell a manuscript about an actress pursued by a serial killer—hmm…maybe Emma could play the lead in the movie version and Diane could interview her?). Still, whenever I have trouble sleeping at night, I think I just might pretend to be Diane or Emma in my daydreams . . . if only for a little while.