Someone asked Ally this week what she wanted to be when she grew up. An innocent question to engage a child and far better than telling a little girl she looks pretty. But I quietly bit my tongue and shuddered. I think it would be a special kind of hell if a child knew what they wanted to be when they were nine. We are verbs, not nouns. If you think of yourself solely as a noun, you are putting yourself in a corner. And no one puts Baby in a corner!
I want to be, and I want my kids to be, people that do things and if they don’t know exactly what they are going to do next that is quite okay. Too many people think they need to know who they are and what they are before they act. Please, no. Writing, religion, life, art, creativity. None of it has to do with doctrine or belief. It’s about action. It’s about practice. Do the thing and then figure it out.
The writer Mary Karr was once asked to make a case for religion. Her response? “Why don’t you just pray for 30 days and see if your life gets better?”
I love that. And it applies to far more than just faith. It’s about the practice, the discovery, the action.
Be a verb, not a noun, girls.