1: a person who wants or aspires to be someone or something else or who tries to look or act like someone else
I think that I have been a Wannabe for most of my life. Even when I was a young girl, I changed my name and tried desperately to code switch so that other kids would like me. As a teenager and young adult, I cycled through a few Wannabe periods, from hard rocker to conservative Christian, trying to figure out who I was, where I belonged, and how to make friends. It is normal to experiment with social groups during the adolescent years, though we adults love to remind teens that the best thing is to “just be yourself.”
At the age of 37, I am still a Wannabe. But it is different than being an insecure teenager experimenting with fashions and slang words. I know who I am, and what I like. But I also have a very clear picture of the person I would like to become, and nearly every day, I hold myself up against that person and realize how far I fall short from being her. So who is she? What is it that I want to be?
I have been a writer for most of my life. I have had a short story published and won a publishing award for another. I have written poems, manuscripts, and, of course, numerous blog entries. But until I have had a novel published, or at least a few more stories and poems, I will always see myself as falling short of being a true writer.
What holds me back: Confidence. I have the skills to be a serious writer, but when it comes to sending out my work to be accepted or rejected, I choke.
Wannabe Great Homemaker
Even as a working mom of 3, I will always see myself as a homemaker. I adore making my home a beautiful and comfortable place for my children and me, from nice curtains and artwork to fresh flowers on the table. I enjoy cooking delicious foods from scratch. But where I still fall short is keeping our home consistently clean. It is not an out-of-control problem. Mostly our house is passably clean. But in my vision, the dishes hardly ever pile up overnight. The cat litter boxes are always scooped immediately. Beds are made every morning. The floors are cleaned more than twice a week. It is not an impossible dream. I grew up in a spotless house.
What holds me back: Laziness. Lack of a consistent daily cleaning plan.
Wannabe Great Gardener
I have been a wannabe gardener for so many years. I have a vision of growing many beautiful flowers and having an abundant organic vegetable garden. Most years, I manage to grow a few spring flowers before I kill them all, and grow a few tomatoes and zucchini. To be fair, every year, I get a little better and produce a few more veggies and flowers. But I still have way more failures than successes.
What holds me back: A lack of sunlight. Lack of education about things like fertilizer, organic pest control, and timing.
This has been a lifelong struggle, as I am naturally shy, introverted, and – well, weird. I would love to have a real life friend or two. Someone with whom to share common interests. Someone to grab a cup of coffee with every now and then. Someone with whom to exchange recipes and talk about kids and sports (okay, hard to find among women) and trade books and ideas and whatever. Someone to chat with on the phone once a week. Maybe even a small group of friends to go out with every now and then.
What holds me back: Avoiding people due to insecurity and fear. Went through an extraordinarily painful friendship breakup a couple of years ago and am fearful of that ever happening again. Torn between loneliness and extreme fear of making friends only to lose them.
Wannabe Person Who Makes a Difference
I used to have a job in which I felt like I was able to help people. I would like to find another job like that. I also would like to be the type of person that makes a positive difference for others by helping wherever needed, encouraging others, and helping the very poor and homeless.
What holds me back: That same insecurity and fear of people that holds me back socially also keeps me from reaching out to help other people.
Wannabe Fluent Spanish-language Speaker
Another dream I have held since childhood. I am growing closer to this goal, and yet it still seems so far away.
What holds me back: There’s that fear of people and insecurity problem again. Without actually talking to people who speak Spanish, achieving language fluency is probably always going to be out of reach.
Now that I have the means to regularly prevent Cholinergic Urticaria, I have been trying to consistently stay active, running, dancing, bike riding, and playing soccer in order to stay healthy and fit. Exercise is also a great stress release and natural mood booster. But I am still inconsistent. Some weeks I exercise a lot, then the next few weeks, hardly at all. Who knows? Maybe that is normal for most active adults. But I would prefer to keep up the good habits.
What holds me back: Laziness. Sometimes I love to move my body. Other times, I hate exercising and can’t motivate myself to do it.
It is not that I want to be a perfect person. Perfection is out of the question. But I do not wish to live a mediocre life of complacency, without personal goals or dreams, sitting around and growing fat and unhealthy, accomplishing little and then hoping that my children will do better than I. I prefer to strive for excellence, to live the best life possible, and to show my children that with hard work, persistence, and dedication, you really can become the person that you wannabe. Even at the age of 37.