Remember the words “wannabe” and “poser” from Junior High? Defined as, “a person who tries to be like someone else or to fit in with a particular group of people,” these are derogatory words that imply dissatisfaction with self and weakness of character.
But what if “wannabes” are just inspired? They see something worth replicating and they take steps toward self-improvement.
I’m constantly surrounded by people I’d like to emulate. I wannabe a bendier yogi like one of my local teachers who’s borderline contortionist. I want to do African dance like a teacher in LA who performs on stages and in music videos, and who can handle any choreography. I want to write books as vivid as Jodi Piccoult. I wannabe as friendly as that lady who remembers everyone’s name after only one meeting.
So I replicate these women as best as I can in order to learn their craft. I’m not trying to be them; I’m learning their skills through mimicry. I’ll never get to their level but I’ll enjoy all those hours of practice. I wannabe the best. But I fit somewhere in the spectrum between the best and failure.
“If you can fail at something you don’t want to do, you might as well try something you do want to do.”
That quote shaped the career of Jim Carrey and was said by his father upon being fired from his accounting job. He never wanted to be an accountant in the first place but he wanted security for his family. Jim decided that if there was a chance for failure at anything, he might as well fail at comedy.
We should all be happy to be wannabes if it gets us to improve ourselves enough to “fit it” at a gala event with the elite of that sector.