The last night in a conversation, my wife brought up Christopher Reeve and his Superman movies. I will go out on a limb and say I believe out of the four Superman films which starred Christopher Reeve, Superman I and II were the best Superman films to date. Reeve’s himself is rumored to have said that Superman II was his favorite…
It was a great conversation. It brought back a flood of memories of my childhood.
When I was a little boy my mom would keep a little kid’s journal, which would list some of the glowing accomplishments a little boy of five would have achieved: missing some teeth, got his first new lunch box for school, just started kindergarten, made a new friend, got suspended from kindergarten, AND what career aspirations a child of five wanted to be when they became adults.
For the record, I didn’t necessarily get suspended in Kindergarten, I was sent home for two days because I made my friends J.J. and Sam ditch class with me. We hid in the tractor tire on the playground and didn’t go back to class. Somehow this made Mrs. Link freakout… Really what happened was that J.J. and Sam sold me out to the school authorities and the Police—who were called to the school to investigate.
The main thing about the journal that I always looked forward to helping my mom fill out was the career aspirations section, also known as “what do you want to be when you grow-up” section. I looked forward to helping my mom fill this section out, because I had big plans; plans that I knew only I could achieve. And I wanted to share this fact with the world.
When I was a kid, I wanted to be…
I knew my plans and career aspirations were unique only to me. No other five year old boy on Southwood Drive, let alone all of Roseland, a southwest area of Santa Rosa, CA, would even dare dream of thinking. What I wanted to be when I became an adult was a two-fold project. First, I wanted to be Superman and then take the skills and superpowers from being Superman and turn them into becoming a Super-Assasin.
I had spent some time honing my Superman skills. First, I organized my thoughts and made a plan. I did push-ups, sit-ups, stared at my sister hoping my heat-vision rays would kick-in. I would practice saying “up, up, and away” and then jump off the couch. I even got the standard Superman uniform—Underoos…
I was set. The next thing to do was to put into reality all my planning, hard work, and training. So the day arrived when I had that opportunity. My mom was busy doing whatever it was mom’s did, my sister was down the street at a friends house, things were set…
I put on my standard Superman uniform—my Underoos, climbed the backyard fence next to the awning of my house, shimmied up the awning, and grabbed the power-line connector which was on the roof; “voila” there I was standing on top of the world, the roof of my house.
As I was getting ready to speak the magic words, “up, up, and away” and then jump, I mean fly off the roof of my house; my aunt, who will remain nameless, happened to just be getting out of her car, look up and see me. She casually yelled at me, Joey! What are you doing? To which I replied, “Aunt…..! Look at me, I can fly like Superman!”
No one else can ever be you…
That day my dream of being a Super-Assasin didn’t die, instead it was tucked away, reshaped, redefined, and redirected.
All my awkwardness that made up the little me, has been molded into who I am today. I was a creative, weird one at that I admit, who dreamed out-of-this-world and at times unusual things. I was and am an introvert, who can seamlessly interact with extroverts. In fact some people think I am a dominate extrovert, which I am not.
I loved to read books, create elaborately well researched, and historically accurate and well organized battles with my toy soldiers all by myself, but at the same time I also loved playing tag and pick-up games of football with the neighborhood kids.
I can be very messy and off the wall, but yet I like organization and structure. The creatives think I am like them, and the Type-A’s think I am equally like them.
I am a thinker and contemplator, but I can also demonstrate a propensity to make impulsive and crazy decisions.
How many five year olds do you know have the creativity to think they can fly by jumping off the roof of a house, but before they do, they systematically think through all the training rigors, weapons systems, and necessary gear, like the standard Superman uniform, before they actually attempt to make the jump… Yep. That’s what I thought…
This is me. I believe I was created to do some unique things in this world. Things that no one else can do, well maybe not exactly like me anyways. I was created to add a unique quality to my community of people. Something only I can bring to the group. I also believe this is true for all of us.
God has uniquely made you to be you.
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day. – Psalm 139:14 The Message
It has taken me awhile to embrace this fact and all these things about myself. The beauty of life is that there is only one you, so be yourself. No one else can ever be you. Yeah, you might need some reshaping, redefining, and redirecting, but there is only one you.
Seek to be you and only you. And then share it with others. If you don’t then something will be missing from the community of people you belong to, and they might never discover who they truly are.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you became an adult?