Thursday, March 13

peter pan was onto something

When I asked six-year-old Maryanne what she wanted to be when she grew up, she said, "I want to be myself."

It struck me as the best answer I've ever heard to that question.

I spent yesterday night in my hometown with childhood friend MaƱana Mama, who not long ago became mama for the third time. We spent a well-deserved evening (on her part, at least) catching up and drinking bourbon.

We play an old high school friend round of Do You Remember?; discuss love disguised as compromise; and mourn the lack of money (read: respect) in any of our preferred vocations.

And then I drift off to sleep atop a down comforter and beneath an adobe skylight. I decide, when I grow up, I want a skylight in my bedroom.

It was nice to get away. It seems to help one get a look into her life from the outside.

I must say, from the outside, things are looking pretty good these days. I'm about to start teaching riding lessons again, and get paid for it. I'm making connections in the horse community that may lead to any new adventure. 

I'm also preparing for the spring show with AirDance NM. I'm partnering with one of the two guys in the company for a piece. And even greater, he's actually excited about working with me-- Me, the girl that started learning aerial dance a mere year and a half ago. It's very nearly a dream come true.

Things are good.

But have I grown up to be myself?

When I was a wee girl, I wanted to be a mommy. Watching Maryanne and her little sister done fairytale pinks and purples for another day of spring break adventures, I think if we are to discover what befits us, we ought to look back to our childhood.

"I'm a gem-hunter," Maryanne declares brightly, finding what she deems special rocks in the gravel landscaping.

"A geologist," her mama corrects gently. But Maryanne is undeterred: "I'm a gem-hunter."

When we were children, Maryanne's mama and I embarked on various vocational explorations. When we realized we could make things from chicken feathers, rocks, and beads, we opened a handicraft business, even compiling a catalog to display our wares. 

Later, we started a (very) local periodical covering breaking neighborhood news and events, accidentally initiating adult forays into the world of journalism for both of us.

Sitting on sofas, scotch in hand, we both now agree we hate journalism. But she has badgered the editor of her small town rag into letting her have a column. And I, well, I'm still looking for an agent.

"Don't let the grumpy gate-keepers get you down," she calls after me when I leave the next morning.


At aerial practice two company members discuss the origins of circus. One muses if joining the circus might once have been an alternative for women with limited career options.

"Teacher, nurse, or trapeze artist," I join, laughing at the sound of it.

But why not?

It seems we might do any number of things in a lifetime; but why waste any more time not being ourselves?