The Person I Want(ed) to Be

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard

Dance on the beach at Cape Tribulation, Australia

It’s such a simple thought.

Of course the way we spend each day is the way we spend our lives. Most of us look at a future someday as say I want to be the kind of person who… fill in your own blank. And then we continue on the way we are, not changing to actually be the kind of person who… We continue to imagine that one mystical day, in a far off, but maybe not so far off future, we will be that person

And it’s funny how I imagined
That I could be that person now
But that’s not what I want
But that’s what I wanted
And I’d be giving up somehow
How strange to see
That I don’t wanna be the person that I want to be

– from In My Mind by Amanda Palmer

We want to be a type of person in the future at some point, but as we grow we change who we are and who we want to be evolves as well. The things that are important to us morph and change. By the time we reach a point in our lives where we thought we would a certain kind of person doing certain kinds of things we realize that sometimes we’re trying to force ourselves into an idea of the ideal that no longer resonates.

Every time I dance my heart opens up and I feel whole. I feel like there is nothing better than continuing to dance until my body says no more. I want to be the kind of person who spends their life dancing, making a difference through dance. So I dance.
I sacrifice other things, travel, social opportunities, sleep. But I dance.

In the words of Amanda Palmer, fuck yes, I’m exactly the person that I want to be.

Maybe not exactly, but I’m the kind of person who is working to do all the things that I want, the things that matter. Realizing what things are really just something I’d like to say I do, and realizing the things that actually matter to me. And I think that is exactly who I want to be. I don’t want to be the same person for the next fifty years. I know that I want to be eighty and still dancing. I want them to take me aside like they did with Martha Graham and quietly ask me to not dance as much anymore. Maybe by then I’ll have wisdom to impart on a new generation of the people who move and shake society. I want to be the kind of person who is always striving to do the things that make me happy and letting go of the things that don’t. To be the kind of person who is strong enough to pick which emotions I spend my energy on and letting go of the ones that don’t give me something back. So that in that eventual someday, the way in which I spent my days is how I wanted to spend my life.


Author: Monica

punk rock ballerina. writer. adventurer.

4 thoughts on “The Person I Want(ed) to Be”

    1. I am too. It isn’t every day, but when it’s not I just remind myself that maybe if I’m not being the person I want to be maybe I should try to do something that person would do even when it’s hard. I think the hardest thing though is just letting go of dreams we had that don’t fit anymore.

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