Some days I say I’m going to be a writer. Not the kind who wears sloppy buns withhairsticks and a beaded eyeglass chain around her neck, and sits and types allday with a cat on her lap. I want to be the writer who travels to Namibia, WestAfrica, and lives in a village for a few months and writes about life there sothe rest of the world can glimpse this hidden place. I want to be the writer wholistens to the grief of Afghani women who wonder why no one ever asks them whatthey want. I want to hear beautiful and tragic stories and tell the world what weare doing right and what needs to change. I want to write words that impactpeople; make them cry or laugh or shudder. Some days, though, I just wantto curl up under a blanket with a bowl of popcorn and watch the latest Brad Pittmovie. Some days I want to be an artist. Maybe the kind who lives in astudio on the fourth floor in a Manhattan apartment building with only a mattressand a refrigerator with pears and peanut butter. Or maybe one who sits on a sunnyporch filled with exotic plants, listening to New Age music and dirtying herhands at a pottery wheel. I want to lay canvases out on the floor and splatterblues and reds and yellows across it, but not before meticulously planning whereeach splatter should go and its size and shape and color. I want to draw bitterwomen and fearful men, and let my portraits tell their stories. I want people tolook at what I create and remember it for an hour, a week, orforever. Most days I want to be the lead singer in a rock band, wearhalter-tops and baggy pants, and dye my hair pink. But then I remember I can’tsing. And then I want to be a writer again, because by using my own wordsI can become an artist or a rock ‘n’ roll chick, or anything else I wish to be.And in my own words I can leave this world for a moment if it becomes too noisyor crowded or scary. I can fall in love when I’m lonely or be loved when I’mforgotten. I can talk to that someone I miss or change a part of the past Iregret. I think maybe it’s freedom I want above all else. And I think thatwriting is a good place to start.