When I was a child, I wanted to be the president of the United States. I also wanted to be Judy Garland or a classic film star. I wanted to be an astronaut for a long time, and a fighter pilot, because I love the power of those fighter jets, and I wanted to go into space.
My dreams now are all about making a difference in the world where I find myself. None of the things I dreamed as a child came true, because I discovered other strengths that led me down other paths.
So, now I dream about my children building fulfilling lives with people to love and who love them, work to do that is honorable and gratifying, and dreams that give them hope and strength for life’s challenges.
I dream that my students will build that same kind of life.
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I hope some of my students become wildly successful. I want them to far exceed my teaching or accomplishments. I’ve been so fortunate to have brave, determined, funny, talented, surprising, passionate students to work with over the last 20+ years. They are a legacy that is more about them than about me. They are the ones who had to be brave, take risks, achieve excellence. I am honored by their influence in my life, and that is enough.
I see new horizons for myself and my family that I would never have seen without recent events that will usher me into a new adventure. I am eager to see where those horizons lead.
And I hope that my end of life, when it comes, will come without much physical pain and suffering after a full and productive life… because I am afraid of how suffering might change me. And yet, I have learned that life doesn’t always go the way you dream it will. A lesson that I am learning, yet again.
Bethany Ann Larson, 2011 & 2020