September 23, 2018

The Impossible Question

Soon, they may ask you what you want
to be when you grow up.
And it may seem to be an impossible question
so when they do this, I want you to think of
anything and everything
you have ever wanted to be.
Doesn’t matter if it’s been at school
during career week or during times
of make believe.
If you’ve ever wanted to be:

a tie-dyed cat with a spot like Jupiter’s storm with wings for toe nails,
a field of talking flowers that speak a language made up of all the languages to have every come across the Earth: a word taken from each language,
a mind-reading super detective who saves the day until there are no more days to be saved
a bread baker
a skipper: by ship or limbs
perhaps a human with the abilities of a chameleon, not to be confused with a chameleon itself
a time traveler who likes to spend their time spanning time and weaving ages together by creating times of their own in which they fly in a plane above the United States before anyone had so much as touched the soil, back when the green was blinding and the waters sang their crystal song,
or a leaf dancing through it all, even as it falls,

I’m telling you, if you’ve ever wanted to be it, you can be it,
so be it.
It doesn’t matter how impossible a dream it may seem, it is yours so long as you promise one thing:

when they ask you what you want to be
when you grow up, you must tell them that they’re asking an impossible question,
not because you want to be so very many things or because you have no idea what you want to be,
but because, simply because, you intend to always grow up.


Hannah Arin is a junior at Pitzer College pursuing a double major in religious studies and philosophy.