Growing up I wanted to be a professional ice skater. A poster of Michelle Kwan hung from my bedroom wall. It seemed so glamorous (except the knee bashing part); the crowd patiently awaiting your arrival, the triple salchows and double axels, and the waterfall of flowers admiring fans toss at your feet. Michelle’s intake each night was always the most, because she was the best and the coolest. I wanted to be both of those things.
Considering I’ve only been on the ice once, maybe twice in my life, the whole ice skating career didn’t pan out. Although I wasn’t much of an “ice skater,” I did enjoy practicing my routines with Allie.
When I say practice routine I mean the following: Allie and I would take our positions in front of the television and mimic every move each skater made. High kick? No problem. Lutz jump? Kid stuff. Biellmann spin? C'mon give us something challenging already!
We worked hard, so hard that on one particular night Allie vomited the peanut butter toast she had consumed shortly before practice. It was for fuel of course. Two mildly overweight eight year olds planning for our future; our parents must have been proud and wildly entertained.
My skating career ended early, but don’t worry because shortly after I realized I was meant to be a professional singer. Whitney Houston’s, "The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album," was my first cassette and I listened to it on repeat until CD’s became a thing. She was the best, the coolest, AND the prettiest. I wanted to be all of those things.
As I’ve gotten older, the unrealistic dreams/desires have morphed into a subtle version of the latter. Now instead of trying to obtain impractical fantasies, I prefer the subtle torture of comparing myself to others and their accomplishments. I think we all do to some extent.
With the era of social media we can lovingly gaze at others peoples' lives and think…”Oh, what a beautiful family,” (that’s what I need to be happy) or “Their relationship looks perfect," (if I had that my life would be complete). As soon as we get a glimpse of the imperfections the desire to have “that life” generally subsides, but honey, if it’s not Michelle it's Whitney. Far too much energy (meaning any energy at all) is wasted on looking upon others and what they have with desire. Different isn't necessarily better, it's sometimes only...different.