I’ve been thinking a lot about legacy lately.
Last October I turned 50, and it made me feel old. It made me start thinking about what I want to be known for while I’m still here and long after I’m gone. What do people say about me when I’m not in the room? What will they say about me when I’m a faded memory?
I try to live my life in a way that anyone who knows me is happy to know me. I know I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, even if it is served in a Wonder Woman mug, but that doesn’t stop me from trying to be the best version of myself every day. I make mistakes. I’m far from perfect.
I often come back to being Wonder Woman, but I’m far from being her. She’s sleek. I’m…not. She rocks high-heeled boots. I wear Crocs. Her hair is perfectly coiffed no matter what. Most days I at least brush mine. She’s bullet-proof. I’m vulnerable. She has a lasso of truth. I trust.
Superheroes are fun. They are a nice escape from reality – but they aren’t reality. We can’t live like them. We’re not faster than a speeding bullet or more powerful than a locomotive. We can’t fly. We can’t see through brick walls or read minds. But we can do our best to help others.
That’s what I hope is said about me behind my back. I hope that when I’m not in the room and someone says “Do you know Michelle?” that the other person says “yes – what a nice and generous person she is.” Because isn’t that what life is about? Helping others? Being nice? Doing our best?
Life can be very solitary. I spend a lot of time alone (yes, with cats…but still pretty alone). I could sit on the couch and watch TV. I could engulf myself in a book. I could sleep. I could do any of a dozen things, but instead, I choose to try to help others, whether that’s a stranger on Reddit who needs some CSS help, an organization that needs some marketing advice, or a friend asking for prayers. I do what I can to help.
I do like to think of myself as Wonder Woman, but in reality, I’m a little more like Polyanna. I believe in the good in people. I don’t need a lasso of truth, because I trust that people are who they show themselves to be. I don’t need bullet-proof bracelets, because I’m secure in my vulnerability. And I don’t need to be sleek and perfectly coiffed. I’m ok with bedhead and a plus-sized denim skirt. I’m ok with Crocs. I’m ok with not being someone else’s cup of tea. And I’m ok with not being perfect.
As long as I’m helping, making the most of every day, and living as my best self in every moment.
That’s a legacy I can get behind.
Your bedheaded blogger,