I remember where I was when I said it. Summer camp. 1992. Cry night. “I don’t care what you all think about me,” I said to the group at large. “I believe in myself. I am going to be somebody.”
For the life of me I don’t know why I needed to announce that to our cabin. I guess I felt the chip on my shoulder of not being popular or not being understood or whatever adolescent thing I was going through at the time. I do know the feeling was very real. From some reason it still drives me today.
I’ve actually had the strange realization lately that many of the snapshots I have in my mind are from this period of my life. They seem to be the memories that I can pull up with ease and examine. This one sticks out to me though. It was also the same church camp trip where I drank a bottle of Louisiana Hot Sauce…we don’t need to relive that.
What does it mean to be somebody? Again, who knows why I felt the need to make the bold prediction, but I have to ask myself if I have lived up to it? Have I made something of myself? Are there more questions that I haven’t answered?
I will do my best to answer this in a few concrete ways. Yes. I am somebody. I am a child of God. I am a husband and father. I am a son and brother. I am a friend. I have a career that I love. I am respected for the work I do. I like who I see when I look in the mirror.
Did I know in 1992 the above would be my “Be Somebody” definition? No. I probably thought it had to do with being rich or famous. It doesn’t. It has to do with being myself and being ok with it. I had no way to understand the reality that this is all a journey toward being your best, authentic self. There is no arrival point. While we are breathing there is still opportunity to be more and do more than we are now.
Here I am, it is 27 years later. I still want to be somebody when I grow up. I am still striving. I still want to grow. The difference between them and now? I know I am somebody, but I understand it isn’t enough. I have to keep going. I have to keep growing. I also know I was somebody then too. Just a lot earlier in the journey.
Where are you in this journey? Don’t give up. Keep moving forward. Keep asking the questions. One day you will be light years from here, looking back with a smile on how far you’ve come.