It has been said that we all idolize the people we adore and in some ways I think we never outgrow the little girl inside us who look up to our heroes as if they are some sort of superhuman. I’ve mentioned previously how much I look up to Taylor Swift (um hello check out this & this) and Blair Waldorf and newly Carrie Bradshaw but who do I look up to in real life…see the lady posing with her booty to the camera on the bed? That’s her! My Aunt Jenn! When I was a little girl she used to take me to have tea parties at the Queen Mary Tea Room, canoeing through the Seattle arboretum, adventuring at the Japanese gardens, she once even carried me on her back for an entire 5k run because I was distraught over missing the kids’ fun run. As I grew up we had more fabulous adventures through the cobbled streets of Florence, to the seas of the Caribbean, to the wilderness of Nova Scotia, to eating breakfast in front of Tiffany’s in New York city, to Napa wine country, skiing in Whistler, and most recently a girl’s week in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia.
Do you remember being a little girl and looking up to your Mom or Princess Aurora or Britney Spears and just thinking “When I grow up I want to be you” and wondering how a real live, living, breathing human could be so flawless?! I looked at my Aunt as the personification of perfection, she compiled all of the qualities I wished I could be and just made it all look so effortless. She had traveled the world, she’d rocked a pixie cut, she’d fallen in love, had a successful career and could light up any room she walked in to! I was simply astounded that the same woman who could tell you everything you could ever want to know about wine could also demonstrate the proper way to fold a napkin, to order food in France and could help dry my tears and mend my heart after any break up.
And then, I remember the Summer I realized that even my super human childhood hero was in fact…a real person. I remember listening to her recall stories from her college experience, stories about her fighting with her boyfriend, screaming as he cheated on her, throwing mail all over the apartment…and it hit me like a huge life changing epiphany even though I should have known it all along. She had been mad, she had been, even if for just a moment, “that crazy girlfriend“, the one I had been oh so many times! I realized that it extended past the “realm of girlfriend” and that maybe there had been a time she had skipped class to go shopping, or interrupted a friend in conversation or stormed out childishly in an argument…and suddenly my perfect person was tainted. And she was flawed and she was broken and I loved her even more.
Her humanness, the fact that she didn’t glide through life like the poised goddess I’d believed her to be made her even more iconic. I saw a woman who was everything I hoped to be one day but realized maybe she hadn’t always been that way and it gave me hope. It gave me hope that even though I’ve been the psycho girlfriend who throws papers all over the apartment, the member of the family who always storms out crying at dinner, the friend who sometimes talks too much, gets offended too easily, the birthday girl who forgets to send my “Thank You” cards on time that someday, some little girl could look at me like Princess Aurora or Britney Spears, the way I look at my Aunt.
When we’re down it can be easy to loose faith in ourselves. I look at my life thus far and see how little I have accomplished, not even a small positive impact would be left on the world if I were to poof, disappear right now. I see all of the mistakes I’ve made as bright as scarlet in the snow. I ask myselfL How could I be so short sighted? How could I have respected myself so little? How can I ever become the fabulous person I dream about growing into? I loose faith for a moment, the way I think we all do sometimes. But then I remember my Aunt, and I think to myself if someone so lovely believes in me how could I not believe in myself?
&I think we all need someone like that.
Who did/do you look up to?