By Liz Petrone
I did an interview this week and the interviewer asked me a question I’ve been asked before and always trip over: “What is your ultimate goal?”
I assume he meant writing-wise, since that was the interview subject, but it wasn’t specifically stated and I had to put a hand over my mouth to keep from shouting random goals out into the universe, like financial independence, bigger boobs, a faster split pace when I run, a walk-in closet, children that listen to what I say the first time I say it, the secret to my best friend’s killer lemon bar recipe, or maybe a car from this decade.
Eventually though, after thinking for a second, I said what I’m pretty near certain is the truth: “If it was only ever this, just what I have right now and nothing more, then that would have been more than enough.”
Part of me still struggles to admit this truth though, because of course I have goals and dreams. Just recently I’ve been letting myself whittle away hours of insomnia lying in bed and planning a book launch party attended by the likes of my new bestie Oprah and Glennon where waiters serve from big trays of bacon-wrapped everything and I drink just enough from the open bar to have incredible dance moves but not so much that I start pulling people aside and ugly crying about how much I love them.
But that’s just the stuff of silly dreams, and anyway I don’t think having dreams means I can’t also appreciate the forest for the trees. Because if it only ever was me here throwing thoughts onto a page and sharing them with you and you sharing yours back with me, what an incredible and wonderful gift having had that would have been, in the end.
And it’s not just the writing.
Take my parenting. I mean sure I would love to be better-so much better-at motherhood. I wish I was more patient and played more and served more nutritious meals and had the resources and the energy to take us to interesting and educational places and lessons and to get my daughter to stop wearing that one same stained shirt Every. Single. Day.
But if it was only ever this, if it was only ever me doing my mediocre half-ass best while serving up orange powder macaroni and wearing last night’s pajamas and yesterday morning’s makeup, wouldn’t it still have been the most amazing thing I’ve ever done, hands down? Wouldn’t it still have been full to bursting with incredible moments of breathtaking beauty? Wouldn’t it still have been the truest love?