Reinventing Yourself…

I remember my plans for college. I was 18, and things were going to be different from high school. I was going to be “one of Those girls” who wore cute outfits and just seemed to have it all together. It was going to make for a huge change from my “jeans-and-a-sweatshirt wearing, homework losing” former high school self! I couldn’t wait for the first day of classes.

It didn’t go as I’d planned from start (when I confidently sat in a classroom with my notebook ready, only to discover I wasn’t due in that particular classroom for another day), to finish (when a very put-together looking girl pulled me aside after my last class to tell me–privately, thank God–that I had my skirt on backwards). The next day I was back to my jeans and sweatshirt.

The first time I had ever heard it put that someone had “reinvented” themselves was used to describe Madonna. It totally captured my imagination. I became giddy at the thought of becoming someone completely different. And I knew just who I wanted to be–Lara Croft: Tomb Raider! Exploring exotic locations, fighting off danger at every turn with a sassy swish of my long braided hair, discovering ancient treasures. How cool would that be?

I discovered very quickly that turning myself into Lara Croft wasn’t practical in my life. Exploring exotic locations didn’t fit into my schedule of PTO meetings and parent/teacher conferences. I didn’t have the energy to fight off danger after spending my day teaching kids how to read at the school I worked for. I couldn’t sassily swish a long braid because I could never get my hair to stay in one for longer than five minutes. I found myself making do with discovering dinner from the depths of my freezer instead of  unearthing ancient treasure.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my life, and am pretty pleased with what I’ve been able to do with it. It’s just  that the power to “reinvent” myself seemed so elusive to me.  If the Material Girl could do it, again and again, why couldn’t I? I found myself looking for a book, an article, a person…something or someone to explain to me how the average person would go about reinventing herself.

Enter LL Cool J, rapper, actor, co-star of the NCIS: Los Angeles. I love LL Cool J. He is the only reason I will watch Deep Blue Sea whenever it’s on. Going Back to Cali? I’m there! And he has one of the greatest smiles in the world.

So when I saw him on the cover of January 17th’s Parade magazine, of course I had to read the article. And then I re-read it. And read it again. All for one comment of LL Cool J’s:

Reinvention isn’t only for celebrities or actors or musicians or athletes–reinvention is for all humanity. All of us should strive for a newer and better self. Just constantly take our lives to the next level.

After reading that, the idea of  reinventing myself seems not only do-able, but easy. Something I have done every year of my life. Even if at times my skirt is on backwards, and my treasure hunting is limitted to digging in the freezer.



  1. […] About Reinventing Yourself… […]

  2. Bobbi said

    I love this train of thought, Wendy! You’re right, you don’t have to be rich and famous to grow and change.

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