Types of People I Wish I Could Be

Something I’ve noticed about getting older is that figuring yourself out can be a mixed blessing. As the years have gone on I’ve become more sure about who I am, but this discovery hasn’t been without some regret. There have been a few times that I thought I could will myself into being a different kind of person, but I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that I won’t. Here are some of the “types of people” that I am starting to accept I will never be:

Camper: Good lord, do I hate camping. I hate everything about it. But it’s kind of not enough that I hate camping; I hate the fact that I hate it. I want to be an outdoorsy person, and for years I tried to convince myself I was, but I’ve finally stopped trying. So, I’m sorry, camping. We’ll never be friends. You’re just too dirty and too hot-or-cold and it’s just too hard to do the things that are easy when you’re indoors. Oh, and also I usually have to go to the bathroom at least once in the middle of the night and I prefer for my biggest hazard on my way to the toilet to be stubbing my toe on a corner or something. Not being attacked by a bear. Or a zombie. Or a zombie bear.

Numbers person: I’m a word nerd, which isn’t necessarily exclusive from being a numbers person, but in my case the twain don’t meet. I dread figuring out the bill at restaurants, even more than a normal person, and I’ve probably lost a thousand dollars over a lifetime of saying, “Oh, let’s just split it,” even when I know I owe less. Also, despite my teenage self’s assertion that it this would never happen, I do find that math comes up in conversation often enough that it’s embarrassing. For example! Having two different dates and knowing how many days apart they are. I am terrible at this.

Early riser: I don’t have a lot of trouble getting out of bed in the mornings, because I go to bed at a decent hour every night, but I still don’t like mornings. To be more accurate: I resent them. It’s their fault I have to stop sleeping. It’s their fault that five days out of the week, all I can think about from the moment I open my eyes is, “Work, work, work. Gotta get to work!” It’s their fault I have to pretty much tear myself away from under the covers and my space heater of a sleeping husband. Maybe if I were an early riser I would have well-styled, dry hair when I walked out the door, or I’d actually get to fit exercise into my schedule, or I’d just feel like there were more to my day than working. I’d love to not have to back-load my day, where I have to try and get everything done between getting out of work and going to bed.

Handywoman: I yearn to be the kind of person who can fix or build just about anything. In addition to saving money, I’d also enjoy the pride and satisfaction of doing something with my capable hands. But this has just been a non-starter since day one. My parents were so non-handy that they just paid a neighbor (or, later, a professional) to fix things. So I never learned by watching, but I also never learned by doing, because things just got done. Now I’m married to the handiest guy ever and it’s dawned on me that the cycle of un-handiness shall continue. Sigh.

Traveler: I actually don’t believe anyone when they say they like to travel. No one likes to travel; traveling is terrible. It’s visiting other places that you like. But I’m actually kind of “meh” about even that. A couple I know just got back from a total outside-the-comfort-zone adventure trip to Thailand and Cambodia. As they showed me their travel photos, I nodded politely while I made a mental list of all the things I would rather do than go where they went. It’s nothing against those countries; it’s the distance, the cultural differences, the difficulty communicating, the stomach bug and/or food poisoning they both got, the “little mixup” that almost got them stranded in China. I guess the desire to travel–particularly to far-flung places–has to include a healthy sense of adventure. Which is apparently (sadly) something I lack.

How about everyone else? Any “type of person” you have finally realized you aren’t, even though you wish you were?


32 thoughts on “Types of People I Wish I Could Be”

  1. I wish I was crafty.  The highlight of my life has been having my art on the wall in 2nd grade.  I think my teacher just felt bad for me because I didn’t understand the project instructions and did something weird.  I am resigned to the fact that I cannot DIY to save my life.  I can barely sew a button on to my clothes properly.

  2. Oh God, I wish I was a morning person. They all seem so much more productive than me. I also wish I hadn’t inherited my Dad’s need for  11 hours of sleep every day.

    I wish I was funny, mostly when I make people laugh, it is because I am or have done something ridiculous and really dumb.

    I’m not a traveler either, and I don’t regret it. I’d rather spend the money on books.

  3. I wish I were the type of person who could tell stories.  I have the one-liners down but I can’t make people laugh with a story.  I envy my father a lot for that.

    I also wish I were a go-getter.  My anxiety prevents me from doing a lot, including going out and trying to get a position I would love, or from applying to schools I want to go to.

  4. I wish I could be handy, mathematical, non-insomniac, and the kind of person one automatically likes. Alas. I never used to be a campy sort of person, but then I realized I ‘ll never be able to get a job in the “real” world, so I joined the renfaire. I miss the short duntainsstance to the bathroom sometimes, but otherwise I like it. Especially living in the moo

  5. I wish I had one of those type-A personalities and was always on top of my shit. I also wish I made friends and conversed with strangers more easily, and was less of a social banana. (Banana, you ask? Can you think of a more awkward fruit than a banana?) I also wish I was more confident and carried myself better, and knew what to do on dates. Being a morning person would also be pretty great.

    Honestly and above all, though, I wish I had some kind of non-fatal or otherwise awful magical power or talent. A useful one, though.

    1. I feel compelled to share that I’ve always wanted the ability to pee and poo silently.  I’ve given some honest brain time to this and if I had three wishes they would be, in order: 1) end world poverty, 2) peaceful coexistence of the world’s religious groups 3) ability to pee and poo without a sound.

  6. I actually am everything on your list except for early rising. But I give major credit to my parents for the camping and handiness. Especially the handiness.

    I definitely want to be the “at ease in a new social scene” person. Actually, I’ll settle for “at ease when shopping.”

    Moving to NYC makes me really wish I were great at navigation. I’m not bad, but not great, unless I plan things out.

    I’ve also really envied my sister’s, I guess poise is the word? She just looks very elegant and effortless all the time.

    And I want to be a steady stream of witty one-liners.

    1. The best thing about NYC is that once you get lost enough times, you’ll have it down. Until then, there’s google maps. Before I had a smartphone, I’d draw little maps in my notebook and instructions about where things generally were. Brooklyn, though, is a bit more difficult.

  7. I am a (sort of) hardcore camper/hiker/backpacker type, not as hardcore as my younger brother though, who spends almost every weekend in the mountains doing something… but hardcore.

    But, due to spending a lot of time outside in my teen years and being a giant hippy I cannot apply make-up or dress up in a convincing manner. These skills (and not my outdoorswoman skills) would really be something that would serve me well professionally. I wish I had those. And I wish I was good at math.

  8. Camping is one for me.  I keep thinking maybe someday I’ll be a camper.

    And spontaneous.  I AM NOT SPONTANEOUS.  The thought of spontaneity, even the THOUGHT of it, makes my hands start to sweat.  Still, I have a picture of somebody lovely who is willing to do anything at the drop of a hat.

  9. I wish that I could walk into a random bar and by the end of the night, be friends with half the bar. My sister has this ability and I’ve always been so jealous of that.

    I’ve also always wanted t be able to sing well. My grandmother had the most beautiful voice but she did not pass it down to my side of the family.

  10. I wish I was a person who could restore old cars.  And I fully intend that I will – someday – be this kind of person.  Unfortunately, I have no experience with even basic car maintenance, and at the moment, no car to practice on.  So this is a goal I’m going to have to postpone for a good long while.

    I wish I was a person who could get by on 5-6 hours of sleep a night.  My aunt is this kind of person.  She gets SO MUCH done in her day, and still has time to relax and read and watch TV and cook awesome meals.  Unfortunately, when I am stressed or sleep-deprived, I get migraines and chronic headaches, so this will never happen.

    I wish I were a person who could naturally sing and dance well.  I can sing passably when I have something to match my voice to, and that’s as good as it’s ever going to get.  I’m a decent dancer, but I don’t have that innate sense of and control over my body that really great dancers have.

    Most other things fall into the “car-fixing” category – I feel confident it’ll happen someday, even if it takes a while.

     

  11. I’ve always wanted to be a musical person.  I would love to be the person who can walk into a room that has a piano in it and just play something off the top of my head.  I tried playing guitar for a time and even ended up playing for my church camp for a summer, but I’ve never even been able to read music and just can’t make that leap to being a musical person.

    1. My brother is this person to the nth degree.  He can pick up an instrument he’s never played, and within 20 minutes he’ll be playing a recognizable song.  I’m mostly just really proud of him and impressed (after all, he loves music more than I do and works harder at it than I do, so it seems fair he’s more talented than I am) but every now and then I get hit with the envy, because it’s pretty cool.

  12. Sometimes I wish I could be one of those people that everyone just loves.  Like one of those Rory Gilmore ciphers.  But I’m too verbal and manic and I have too many ideas at insane hours.  I had to learn that being universally likable sometimes comes at the cost of never saying much of substance.

  13. I would for once like to be fashionable. Instead, I’m very plain. I can’t mix patterns, I’m never up to date on the latest fashions, my boobs are big so I can’t wear most trendy shirts, and I’m short which rules out pretty much everything for the bottom half. I’m basically a walking GAP store.

      1. I’ve found some from the GAP and a couple from Old Navy though this is rather hit and miss. I generally have to buy XXL shirts in a button down style because of the gap between buttons. It just happens that GAP and Old Navy are two of only a handful of stores that do sizes like that. I’ve also bought a few pretty silk ones from Lane Bryant but my favorite ones have come from an Australian store called Sportscraft. Their shirts cost a fortune and the fabric is usually high maintenance but they sure do fit right and look good!

        1. Have you tried Coldwater Creek?  I’ve had to return some shirts b/c they were too big in the chest.  I’m in my 30’s and can find lots of age appropriate clothes there (they have tons of sales plus coupons if you get on their mailing list).

  14. No one likes to travel; traveling is terrible.

    Not true! I actually really enjoy the being in a car/on a plane/in an airport/on a train portion. I actually like that sometimes better than the destination. (I do a lot of reading when I travel and do some of my best thinking then, too; everything I submitted as part of my graduate admissions portfolio I wrote somewhere between point A and point B. I realize this is a little odd.)

    That said, I often wish I was socially confident. You know; the kind of people who strike up conversations with strangers that feel natural, the kind of people who know how to issue invitations that people actually respond to, the kind of people who venture into new situations with a smile on their face and a bevy of generic-but-engaging topics to discuss just ready on the tip of their tongue? I hate those people, because I am not them.

    1. ARE YOU ME?!?!?!

      I am so productive when I travel, I love sitting on a plane because there is literally nothing better to do than read that book for class that I’ve been meaning to for ages!

      I also wish I could just chit chat comfortably with randoms. I’m trying really hard to get  better at it, although the one time I really thought I was on to something, the people were trying to make me join a cult. So you win some you lose some!

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