Monthly Archives: September 2011

When I Grow Up, I Want to be Fabulous with Big Sunglasses


When I was a little girl I couldn’t decide if I wanted to be a librarian or “a fabulous lady with big sunglasses that rode on airplanes”. At the ripe age of 12, I added a third option of “work at Taco Bell”.

Now that being a grown up has caught up to me, I will tell you that I did have it all. My first job ever was at Taco Bell, I do work at the library… as a volunteer… and I have been known to spend some time on planes with big sunglasses.

Whoo wee! It should be so exciting to have achieved my dreams – the glitter unicorns, rainbow confetti and swirling pink clouds should be upon me. I’m sorry to report that was not the case. Instead, I’ve come to realize that I feel unfulfilled in my life.

In doing the work to understand how I arrived here, I was challenged to come up with: what character do I play in the movie of my life? It was an easy answer, almost instantaneous. I’m Katherine Banning from The Thomas Crown Affair. I remember seeing the movie in 1999, in the movie theater, and deciding, then and there, that this was my fabulous in big sunglasses muse and I was going to grow up to BE this character.

I haven’t seen the movie since, but it made such an emotional impact on me that I can still quote lines from it – “Damn, I hate being a foregone conclusion.”  This was something of a joke to my friends because I can’t quote any movies so they bought me a copy of it for my 30th birthday. It sat in the cabinet in the wrapper and I planned on getting around to watch it. I never did.

So when challenged to identify the character of my life, I fished it out, dusted it off and popped it in. I was aghast to learn that 1) I did an excellent job of growing up to be just what I wished for and 2) what a sad, unfulfilled life this character lives.  It’s an excellent foil – this woman is:

~smart, cosmopolitan, disengaged, homegrown, sexy, posh, sarcastic, arrogant, narcissistic, multilingual, showy, likes to win, grandiose, fills a room, a worthy adversary, tactless, manipulative, workaholic, emotionally distant – “men make women messy”, self made, temporary, driven, goal oriented, resourceful , insatiable, committed to looking good, witty, terse, wild, doubts in a happily ever after, distrustful, fabulous, intuitive of others, proud, lonely, gorgeous, distrustful, clever, well dressed and has an excellent strategic mind~

Oh crap.

Well, now I know what I’ve gone and built.

The time in my life has arrived when the fabulous woman in the big sunglasses no longer serves me. In an odd twist of fate, I have realized that I am happiest when I am of service. And service can exist in many forms – serving an idea, serving the poor, serving a company I care about, being of service in an emotional relationship (hint – this creates intimacy and emotional connection!). The new possibility I bring to my life is creating a space for others, not filling it and using my charisma to make an emotional connection with others so they can see where THEY are fabulous. It is these things that bring joy.

So I am pleased to report that, like Katherine Banning, I was not left at the end of the pier with a painting I chose on a whim. I did make it to the plane and got to finish the game knowing that winning isn’t the prize. Whoo hoo! I see the unicorns on this one!!!

Roll credits.

Here in the dark, I’m left to wonder – what character will I be next?