What Will I Be When I Grow Up?

Something strange has happened to me, not completely unexpected and yet unsettling at the same time. I think that I have all grown up.

Top Secret Group, Hasamba

Remember when we were little, and our aunt, after squeezing our cheeks, asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up? I had so many dreams! I wanted to be prime minister and bring peace to the middle east, to sing on the stage of the Metropolitan, to be a famous piano player, a best-selling writer, a painter of amazing proportions. I wanted to get married (and stay married) and have four children and a house with fig and pecan trees. I wanted to be a journalist, and Spiderman (also Yaron Zehavi, the fictional teenaged leader of Hasamba who battled, in the 1940s, for Israel’s independence).

Now I’m forty, and all grown up. We could argue, perhaps, about whether middle-aged is an appropriate description (I’m going to take the devil’s advocate side). I have some white hairs and lots of laughter wrinkles, you know the kind. There were other signs I’ve been ignoring, like the fact that I have a house (one fig tree, no pecans), a boyfriend, two children, three dogs, seven chickens and one cat, all of whom I love. Or that my parents have both turned seventy already, my sister a successful pediatrician, my brother a game programmer, and my youngest cousins, the ones who are fifteen years younger than me, in the university pursuing their own careers.

But the truth is, I put all these signs on a back burner in my mind, because I was not ready to admit to one important fact: it is time to let go of some of my dreams and concentrate on one.

In this life, I will not be Israel’s prime minister. Or get a PhD. Or turn into a pianist or a singer at the Met. I will not become Spiderman despite the fact that we all, apparently, swallow a lot of spiders by sleeping open-mouthed at night. I could plant pecan trees, but a walnut will probably be better in the climate here, and there’s always my one fig tree.

Cover of White Bim

What I want to be now –not when I grow up, but now — is a writer. An author with readers who read my book, come to hear me speak, and send me emails. That is the one dream I have held onto from the first novel I read by myself (White Bim, Black Ear by Gavril Troipolsky) and all the way till today. And in order to become a writer, an author, I am willing to let those other dreams go.

Life is so often about letting go, but I hope (and I think somewhere inside me I know) that by letting go of these dreams today I am opening up a wider door to the one dream I truly love. Writing.

What do you want to be now that you’ve grown up?

Comments are closed.

Sigal Tzoore (650) 815-5109