I want to write something that gets lots of views and likes. I want all the comments to say how inspiring and brilliant I am. I want to check my Facebook every five minutes and see five new likes. Every five minutes.
And then I’ll be happy.
I want to post a picture of myself doing something different and also looking sharp. I want dozens of people to like it and post short, but adoring comments. Every time I check my Facebook I want to see at least ten new likes.
And then I’ll be confident.
I want to walk down the street and see my reflection in a storefront window. I want to catch myself off guard and notice how good I look from a stranger’s perspective. I will then proceed to walk down the street confidently, knowing what everyone else is thinking as they walk past me.
And then I’ll be attractive.
I want to say something funny timed perfectly to exactly the right people. I want them to laugh heartily and walk away musing to themselves how witty and charming I am. I won’t laugh, but I’ll grin smartly, acknowledging that it was humorous, but I’m not as amused.
And then I’ll be popular.
I want a friend to call me and tell me they need me. I won’t go out of my way and, with effortless wisdom, I’ll solve all their problems. They’ll say over and over again how I’ve helped them and I’ll respond over and over again that it was nothing. Afterwards I’ll think to myself, indeed, I’m just such a wonderful person.
And then I’ll be useful.
I want to go out to a bar and order a drink for myself and a friend. Then I’ll get the next round after generously objecting to splitting the tab. When we’re done, I want to leave a thirty percent tip in cash, handing it to the bartender in that classy, underhanded manner. We’ll wink at each other knowingly. And my friend will stand there and smile, feeling like I’ve got their back.
And then I’ll be rich.
I want someone to tell me they need a job at this company. I’ll casually mention that the CEO is a friend of mine and I’ll see what I can do. I’ll recount how once I hooked them up, that they owe me and really, it’s not a big deal. The people sitting around won’t react, but they’ll know. We’ll all be silent for a moment thinking about how connected I am.
And then I’ll be powerful.
I want to walk down the street and see a homeless person and give them a warm meal. They’ll smile at me and lift their eyes at me and thank me. I’ll smile warmly back and think to myself how beautiful this moment is. I’ll walk away feeling so good that my heart almost bursts and then text everyone I know what just happened.
And then I’ll be kind.
I want to walk down the aisle of an airplane and see someone struggling with their luggage. They’ll be too ashamed to ask for help, so I’ll simply motion toward the overhead compartment and lift the suitcase gracefully into it. They’ll smile and, without a word, slide into their seat. I’ll glance back, knowing they’re thinking about me.
And then I’ll be strong.
Will I ever notice my inherent self-worth?
Once, a talented photographer took my picture and promised to upload it to Facebook. I spent days anxiously waiting for it to show up. When it finally did, I was so disappointed. The angle, that look, the one I avoid and am so careful to conceal.
Later, I realized thousands of people see this angle every day and millions of snapshots in time are captured with this look.
I still haven’t tagged myself in that photo, but, maybe, when I do, I’ll know I’m happy.