I Think I Can

When I was little I wanted to be a marine biologist. This was obviously before I discovered my fears of a) interacting with animals and b) having to do science. I dragged my parents to the aquarium time after time so I could stare at all the jellyfish and stingrays and sharks and everything in between.  I was awestruck by so many new and different things. I loved the idea of discovery.

When I was little I wanted to be an environmental defense lawyer. Because I was clearly the kind of 4th grader who had every detail of my life planned out, step to step. I wanted to save the world, and I thought the best way of going about that would be by taking down big corporations who did horrible things to the earth and the people who live on it. I’ve never really grown out of the super hero mentality.

When I was little I wanted to be the president. I thought that it would mean that I could make whatever laws I wanted, and change the country to reflect real values and ideas, but I’ve learned that real progress is made in more indirect ways. It’s not that I don’t want to make a difference, it’s just I’ve learned new ways to do it.

When I was little I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to craft stories that meant as much to others as the books I read as a kid meant to me. I was (and am) well aware of the remarkable power that words can have to change lives. . I learned to read early, and pretty much never stopped. I devoured books faster than the librarians could find me new ones, confused teachers when I told them I had “read it already” and generally made better use of a library card then any parent would have expected me to. I wanted to create things that kids would treasure and love the way that I had treasured and loved so many books already.

I wonder if the little girl who had all those hopes and dreams and aspirations would be proud of the person I am today. I hope so. I’d like to think so.

For real though, the SECOND she announces her campaign
I'm gonna be applying for jobs.
I’m clearly never going to be president, but maybe one day I’ll help elect one. I wouldn’t even want to be a marine biologist anymore, but going to aquariums still excites me beyond reason. I’m not a lawyer, and my writing is mostly just for my own benefit and for those who already know me. I’m ok with all of that.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about complacency. About being too happy, or too fine with where everything is, and how that happiness can be kind of terrifying. If I am ok with where I am, does that mean I’m never going to get anywhere greater? If I feel good right now, does that mean I’m not going to keep striving? I hope not. I hope I can feel ok and still want to feel better and do better and BE better.

One of the scariest things about growing up is comparing where you are to where everyone around you thought that you would be, and where you thought you would be. It’s hard to judge yourself, and it’s even harder to have others judge you.

I don’t know if 6 year old Jordan would be impressed with 21 year old Jordan, but honestly, I don’t think I care. Six year old Jordan also pretended her toy dinosaurs were married, so why should she get to be the one to judge?

I’m not as naive as I used to be. I know I can’t do everything, and save everyone, and be a superhero, and a doctor, and an astronaut, and a mother, and a dentist, and a figure skater all at the same time. Only Barbie can pull that off, and I sure don’t have her work ethic. 

But I can do amazing things, and make incredible creations. I can succeed and inspire, even if I’m not the ruler of the free world. I don’t have to live up to my younger dreams, but I can create new ones, that I couldn’t even have imagined when I was little.

I just have to be confident and trust myself.

And I think I can. 

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