My parents always told me I could be anything I wanted to be. Anything. In third grade I decided I was meant to be an actress or a singer. I got the parts in the plays. Then after watching the Olympics in the fourth grade I decided I wanted to be a diver. So I took diving lessons and quickly excelled. That got old and I wanted to be a teacher. A first grade teacher, just like my first grade teacher. When the air force came to school, I wanted to be a CIA agent and go through the Academy. Then I wanted to be an athletic trainer, a health teacher, a tobacco educator, a physical therapist, a public health analyst. They never said I couldn’t be any of these things. I didn’t want to be anything, I wanted to be everything. I’ve always wanted to be everything. A B is just a B, it is certainly not an A. Sometimes, even an A- is garbage, of course, since it was not an A+. One sport isn’t enough, you have to be in a sport every season of the year. And you have to be good at it. How are you going to excel in life if you don’t make the basketball team and the track team and the soccer team and the cross country team?
I want to find this spectacular first job right away, run a marathon and get my masters. All at once. Everything, not just anything. How is one supposed to find balance in life when the ones that succeed (the kind that excel far beyond average expectations), are the ones with stress-induced ulcers, too much money in the up-and-down (and therefore stressful) stock market and home at 7pm to barely put dinner on the table and then go to bed only to do work a 12-hour job all over again the next morning? That is not balanced. How, in my head, did I translate “you can be anything you want to be” to “you must be everything?” Where was that line crossed? And why, must I feel inadequate when I fail at not being everything?

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