When I was 10-years-old, I made of list of everything I wanted to accomplish in my lifetime. And no, this wasn't a class assignment. It wasn't a form of punishment from my mom. It wasn't some new-age self reflection exercise I saw on Oprah. It was just me and the Type-A monster that lives inside of me.
Anyway, on that list I said I would be responsible, independent, successful and strong. I was going to be an attorney, journalist, news anchor, actress, psychologist, university professor and if all went well, Britney Spears and Oprah. Not Britney OR Oprah. Brit Brit AND Oprah. Let that sink in.
Talk about setting myself up for failure at an early age.
And here I sit, many years later, staring out the window at a squirrel tree-hopping outside my apartment. Now an adult. And yes, a failure of epic proporations according to my list.
I know what you're thinking. Aw, poor Lauren. Why would you think that?
BECAUSE LIFE HAS KNOCKED ME ON MY ASS AND I AM NO WHERE NEAR THE EXPECTATIONS MY 10-YEAR-OLD SELF PLACED ON MY SHOULDERS.
I thought I was going to kick ass and take names, take the world by storm. I was a force to be reckoned with and a warrior queen, hair blowing in the wind. The entire universe in the palm of my hand.
Well, whoops. I just dropped that bitch.
And shh... do you want to know a secret? I don't even feel bad about it.
I've finally realized that you can't do everything.
And even if you can, at what price? You see, there is always a sacrifice. If you're so busy chasing and dreaming and reaching and working, do you have any time left over for living?
While I appreciate where 10-year-old Lauren was coming from, late 20-something Lauren now has no more unrealistic expectations, no more being cruel to herself or feeling like a failure. It is time to crinkle up those old exceptions and throw them in the trash. Just kidding. Mom wants to keep them.
Anyway, I've decided to update my goal list. This one is simple and full of possibilities. I think it might be a keeper.
Lauren's Revised List of Goals:
Don't try to do everything. Do something. That is enough.
P.S. I still want to be Oprah.