Emily wants to be the best. At everything. It seems to be working for her, and I'm happy for her for that. (I worry about her some, too, but I'm an old guy -- I worry about all the kids in libraryland).
I'll confess, I have wanted to be the best medical library director in the world. But that wasn't really by choice -- it was more a matter of obligation. When people like Judy Messerle or Bob Braude or Sheldon Kotzin or Lois Ann Colaianni or Thelma Charen or Sam Hitt took an interest in me, took time out of their lives to invest energy in me, well, then, I've got to spend the rest of my life paying them back.
There isn't, of course, any way to know whether I'll ever achieve that (or even what it actually means) and on any given day, despite my sense of obligation, the quest seems a little silly. The deeper obligation ends up being to my dad and, finally, to myself. It's that lookin' at yourself in the mirror every morning thing. There I am, paunched and hair-tousled and never figuring out what to do with my beard and the bags under my eyes turning into satchels and I can deal with all of that. But did I do my best yesterday? What can I do better today?
These are the conversations that I have with the boy in the mirror.
When I was a kid, I wanted to change to the world. Over the years, my focus gets smaller and smaller. For the people that I work with, I want to be the best boss they've ever had. For Lynn I want to be the best husband, lover and companion she's ever imagined. For Marian, I need to be the best example of what a man friend can be. For Josephine, I need to be the best.