I never got to accept my Academy Award, which made the acceptance speech I have spent hours practicing in the shower a complete waste of time. (Oscar, Grammy, Tony… I wasn’t picky. I just figured I would win at least one someday.) Of course it doesn’t matter that I can’t sing, dance, or act. Those are minor details. The point is I fully expected to have a stage to stand on where I could thank all the folks who had made my success possible. Obviously I would have been exceedingly humbled and shocked by my win. I would have felt awestruck and I probably would have gushed about the amazing company I was keeping. I would have been charming and the darling of the paparazzi. I just know it.
I never traveled the world discovering buried treasure and dinosaur fossils that would unlock the mysteries of the meaning of life. Once again, it doesn’t matter that I would never have done the actual exploring necessary for these accomplishments. I just figured it was my destiny.
I never fell in love. That strange love they taught me to expect in all the movies. I never had a guy chase after me in a rain storm just so he can tell me he can’t live without me. I never walked down the aisle in a pretty white dress, blushing with happiness and excitement to start off on my new life with my Prince Charming. It goes without saying I am not the kind of girl who hangs out in a lot of rain storms, but that should not totally erase this experience from my life. The prince should have known how to find me. I’m the girl who ducked into a building to avoid the downpour. I wasn’t that hard to find. Besides, he could have looked for me on Tinder.
I never became a famous movie editor. I was also never the White House Correspondent for a major television network. I have failed to research and find the cure for cancer.
Despite all these things I have failed to accomplish even with my secret knowledge that was who I was supposed to be, I have managed to do many other things.
I found a career that allows me to support my family.
I have three of the most amazing little men in my life that I love, and they know I love them.
I have met amazing friends who make me laugh and call me princess.
I have managed to find a social circle at home that loves me exactly as I am.
I manage to find new adventures and I have overcome so many fears. I have finally managed to convince myself most of the time that I am not completely incompetent and inadequate.
I have learned to stand up for myself and to be brave and embrace who I am. I have learned to welcome my femininity while still being true to my inner tomboy. I can rock red lipstick and a baseball cap. I can be exactly me.
I have learned relationships are messy. I have learned to have good friends means to be a good friend. It also means I can let go of relationships that no longer suit me.
Mostly, I have learned that I get to be me. Even if who I am changes on a day to day basis. I don’t have to refuse to embrace new ideas. I don’t have to maintain the status quo. I can be whomever I choose.
As far as the acceptance speech goes, I’ll probably keep practicing. You never know.