Growing up, I believe, we all have people we cross, both in real life and in fictional ways (e.g. book characters and movies characters), who we want to be (or else more like who we want to be).
We declare, at least to ourselves, “I want to be like that(!),” and then we take on new ways with determination.
We do our best in the moment to stick with these new ways of being or living, in order to be more like the desired individual – sometimes we stick with our new ways, and sometimes we drift back into whatever we were doing beforehand, and forget all about our determined declaration to be different than we had been.
I have found, though, that, in many cases, I have forgotten that I wanted to be like a particular individual, but still stuck with the new ways of being.
It is only years and years later that I rediscover my desire.
Sometimes I merely remember that I wanted to be like a certain someone.
Other times, I rediscover that want, thereby uncovering why I am doing a certain something.
The first I realized was Sailor Moon.
I am not sure I ever really watched the show, but I remember for sure seeing at least pieces of episodes, specifically the scenes where she transforms from her school uniform self into her battle-ready self.
I have always wanted a gold tattoo somewhere on me, because of the cats, but I have not pursued that one.
What I did pursue, however, was her hair.
In that scene where she transforms her outfit, her pigtails spiral around her body as her body turns, they are so long and blonde and perfect… and I wanted to have hair just like that, just like hers.
So, until junior year of high school, I had the longest hair I possibly could have.
I hated going to the hair dresser, because my sisters always lied to me, saying only an inch or two would come off – it was always a minimum of 4-6 inches, and not merely due to split ends… they just didn’t like the idea of my having such long hair.
And so, I left almost every appointment of my childhood haircuts balling.
Junior year of high school, I had been teased and taunted enough that, combined with my desire to try something different, I was ready to let the hair go.
I had a fun and silly summer with kids my age who joked about my hair in just the right way that I was delighted to allow them to go ahead and cut it for me (It was a whole huge fun and utterly silly ordeal, actually, and in an iconic spot in northern Spain.).
It was not until another few years later that, upon mentioning Sailor Moon to someone and talking about the show, that I suddenly remembered my childhood desire…, and that I suddenly understood why I always wanted my hair to be long.
People always were asking me, but I never had an answer that convinced myself… it was just some lame because I prefer long hair kind of answer… and now I knew.
And I never got those pigtails that swirled around me (because they’re actually probably impossible with natural hair)…, but I did have a lot of fun with my hair that summer, swinging it around like a helicopter to hit people nearby and all that jazz… it was great.
And it was all because I wanted swirling blonde pigtails like Sailor Moon had.
Fast forward into my adult life now.
In a conversation last night, my cousins says to me, “You’re essentially living the Dharma & Greg life right now.”
In so many ways, I am.
And it was super exciting that she said that to me, because I had always wanted to be like Dharma.
But I had never expected that it actually would happen.
However, here I am, living my own honest version of Dharma, and without even consciously doing it – it all kind of just fell into place in its own way in my life.
I am a yoga teacher; I live in an Ashram above a yoga studio; I have many odd and awesome jobs that come and go; I take spontaneous trips; I’ve done a boatload of what the average person would call absurd things; I’ve lived around the world with somewhat absurd circumstances; I speak honestly and openly, and it blows people’s minds regularly; I do the craziest of things; I surprise people with fabulous surprises; and I genuinely care about everyone in my life, and I make efforts for them to experience that love, no matter how loose the connection is between us; and there are a few others I’ll not mention just now… ;P
Nonetheless, I am very much like Dharma now, in my own way, and I hadn’t even remembered my desire to be like Dharma until just recently.
A third was Janie from the The Face on the Milk Carton young adult book series.
So many things she did, big and small – outfits, mannerisms, topics contemplated – have been around my life for years…, and I believe they were directly inspired by her in my elementary school self.
There’s actually a reminder on my phone right now to go get a certain outfit like what she had in one particular scene in the book – I loved it so much as a child, and, upon rereading it (and thereby rediscovering all of these things), I found I still loved it and wanted to make it happen, now that I really could(!).
I never would have remembered how badly I wanted to be like Janie, if I hadn’t reread those books recently.
The same would have been the case with Dharma, if I hadn’t started rewatching the show as an adult living in Japan a few years ago.
The same is so with Sailor Moon (and watching it recently).
And the same would have been true with a fourth person, if not for some meditations this afternoon on this particular person and my childhood.
This fourth individual is my cousin S—–.
As a child, I wanted to spend as much time with her as possible, and I wanted to be as much like she was as possible.
I loved having hand-me-downs from her, but I rarely got them, because she was the top of the cousin chain, and I was the bottom – they had a long way to go to make it all the way down to me.
When she returned from having studied in Spain, she spoke easily with my stepfather in Spanish, and I envied her for it.
I wanted to do that, to be that way, studying abroad and speaking a new language comfortably and communicably, like it was no big deal, full of excitement.
Plus, just like all the others, she was beautiful.
And I wanted to be beautiful like that, too.
Here I am, years and years later, and I see how many things have spurred me on via my desires to be more like she was or is.
I not only studied abroad, but I did it many times; I speak more than just a few languages, and all of them rather comfortably; I have classy, chic outfits that I know something inside me calls “S——- outfits”; and my body is finally showing up to me like I have always wanted it to be…. which is surprisingly (or not surprisingly) similar to the body of the woman who stood before me tonight for the first time in a long time…, my cousin.
If we hadn’t been coming to see her tonight, I’m not sure I would have thought back to childhood with her in mind at all, and I doubt I would have remembered consciously that I had always been inspired by her and that I had wanted to be more like she was…
No, I haven’t become an awesome lawyer like she did, but that hasn’t changed the fact that something inside me keeps considering law school… I wouldn’t put it past being inspired entirely by my childhood love of her…
Anyway…, this has been fun, reminiscing on my childhood dreams for myself, but I’m not sure I did a very good job sharing about it all, so I’ll just leave it and get to sleep.
Goodnight, World… hasta mañana. ❤