I have lived under the curse of potential my entire life. I’ve been bombarded with comments from people all saying the same thing: I can’t wait to see what happens to you! Will you still remember me when you’re famous? Seriously, I’ve had it. When someone says that to me nowadays, I roll my eyes and say, Yeah, me too. My reaction usually elicits some sort of Awww, hang in there type of encouragement. Maybe what I desire more is empathy over actual success.
If my life was going to be a Broadway musical (please God please!) the curtain would open, the orchestra would begin playing, and one-by-one several signs would light up all over the stage looking a little like Times Square, but it’d actually be downtown Nashville. The music would build to a climax as our hero makes his arrival down the middle aisle, through the audience, and when he arrives front and center, with suitcases in hand, probably wearing a Newsboy cap and knickers and an overwhelmed Golly, I’m in the big city now expression, he turns to face the audience and starts singing:
I’m gonna make it.
I’m gonnna do it.
I’m gonna make my dreams come true
With lots of hard work, and determination
People will quickly discover me
I’m gonna fake it
Until I make it
My big smile will see me through
Nothing can stop me, I’m on my way
I‘m gonna make my dreams come true
People will look at me and say
How did it do it?
He made it through it!
He made his dreams come true
It will be a grand celebration on stage and in the audience. Kind of like how excited everybody was as they were boarding the Titanic.
After that first song is over the hero holds his final pose just a little too long. He’s filled with confidence, but as the applause dies out, fear begins to creep in. Thank God he has a plan. He rips open his coat and proudly reveals a shirt that says Pick Me with an arrow pointing to his face.
I’ve lived my whole life hoping that someone would pick me. It’s funny the things that desire will make a guy do.
I’m a wannabe. Officially. That’s even what my license plate says. The term has an unfairly negative connotation to it, one which I hope to redeem. If someone comes to Nashville with a dream, and they are perceived as being a bit delusional, as if it’s possible to have a dream that’s a little too big, they are labeled as a wannabe, and usually dismissed. In contrast, there are people who come to town who are incredible beautiful and talented, and it’s determined that they could be a source of income for a lot of people, they are called artists. So in effect, a wannabe is someone who no one thinks they can make any money off of. Valueless. Worthless. Funny enough, In spite of the occasional, needle-in-a-haystack success story, both wannabes and artists are usually hard-pressed for cash.
So why do I want to label myself as a wannabe? Because I am a person who is continually striving and reaching. I want to dream bigger than what other people think is reasonable. There are so many things I want to accomplish, but it goes beyond just doing. It’s about being. I don’t ever want to settle for the ways things are. I believe that it is possible for me to learn and grow into more and more of the person that God wants me to be. Fortunately, my faith tells me that God is all about that, as well. When people ask me, What is it that you wanna be (they usually chuckle), I can say, There are a lot of things I want to be and do. I want to be a great friend, a great son and brother, a great writer, musician, actor, creative-type person. I want to be a great listener. I want to be compassionate. I want to be loving. I could go on…
When I can clearly see what my target is, I have an easier time aiming my arrow in the right direction.