At my pre school graduation every single one of us was asked to tell the audience composed of parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and family friends what we planned to be when we grew up. The answers ranged from firefighters to doctors to lawyers to dentists. Why our pre-k teachers were asking us what we wanted to be when we were barely old enough to pronounce three syllable words really is beyond me, but nonetheless, I responded by saying I wanted to be the first female president. If I had known what that meant, when I was just a four year old, I probably would have said “Anything but the president.”
And if it were four years ago, I may have said “I want to be a sports broadcaster,” but now I know exactly what I want to be, and that is a superhero. I want to be able to save the world one great cause at a time. I want to impact someone who then in turn impacts someone else, which thus results in a continuous line of impact.
I want to provide the world with a kaleidoscope of viewpoints. I want to make a change.
I think part of me first realized this when a teacher once told me that I was going to change the world. This was soon after learning that my college field hockey program had been cut from the University of Rhode Island. At that point in my life, I had completely believed that sports were the only thing that mattered and that if sports didn’t exist then well, nothing else did either.
The other part of me realized how much I wanted to make a difference in the world when I was exchanging emails with a newly acquainted pen pal on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. Instead of defining myself to him as an athlete or field hockey player, I told him that I was a writer and a traveler and that I had hoped to learn of new things of the places I was traveling, with his help, since he had traveled before as well. I wanted to learn more about the world so I could impact the world as it was impacting me.
In the last nine months, I have lived in New York City, wishing that I could help every homeless person to a piece of bread, and every child without an education to a simple math problem. I have lent my hand to people by opening the door for them even when they walked away without saying thank you, and I have given up my seat to strangers following a long day at work. I have made an effort to save the world one small task at a time, and at the end of the day I have felt both wonderful and inspired because of it. Since coming to New York, I have been changed. I may not have a full-time career just yet, but I know that putting the word superhero next to occupation is beginning to look more and more like the full-time job that I would like to take on.
And to be honest, while sports scores interest me on a “brain candy” level (as my tenth grade English teacher might refer to it)…saving the world just seems much more appealing.