Coming to grips with the fact I'm never going to be a Jedi
As a child, I collected toilet paper tubes. When I noticed a roll was slowly winding down, I’d casually slide in and grab it. These cardboard tubes sat in the corner of my room, tucked behind my bookcase. Eventually, I had enough of them and I taped them all together, using masking tape (it worked best). The next thing I needed to do was “borrow” a few of my sister’s sticky text book covers — remember those? They like, stuck to the book in order to protect the hard cover, and my sister had them in red and blue. Perfect. I’d wrap these book covers around my giant toilet paper tubes, because obviously, I was making my own lighstaber.
I grew up in the 90s, before the Star Wars prequels were a thing. I can’t remember the first time I saw Star Wars, but I’m going to guess I was seven or eight. The prequels were still a fear years away, and back then, there weren’t entire aisles of Star Wars toys at Target. I was also a seven-ish year old girl, and my mom made it clear she didn’t necessarily want me playing with a giant (fake) light sword; even if I found one, no, she wasn’t going to buy it. She frowned on the fact that I was making one myself.
Whatever. I made the lightsabers anyway — plural, because I made my best friend one. And then I put on my pink bathrobe (with elephants on it) and ran around, waving my toilet-paper lightsaber tube around in the air, pretending to be a Jedi. Wish I could say I grew out of this phase by age ten, but honestly I probably grew out of it for real maybe a year ago. Just kidding. I still want to be a Jedi.
As an adult, I still find myself lost in daydreams, thinking, “man, I wish I could be a Jedi.” That’s not something regular adults do, but now with all this Star Wars hype everywhere you look, I feel like this is a safe space to talk about it. I’m also willing to wager I’m not the only one who thinks about this often. The fact is, while other kids wanted to grow up and become firefighters, and teachers, and doctors, and ballerinas, I had my sights set on joining the Jedi Council, like a rational child. As a rational adult, that’s still my dream.
Growing up, I got it in my head that becoming Jedi was a possibility, and thought it was actually going to happen to me. I began to attribute my lightning fast reflexes to my high Midi-chlorian count (note: a completely fictional made up word), and once actually told my doctor that. She thought I had stuttered, and I went to repeat myself with “Midi-chLORIans,” but stopped short. Was it a truly delusional thought for a tween? Yes. But it didn’t stop me from trying to move things with my mind (to this day, still doesn’t work) or stay on target (same). I grew increasingly upset that my parents never sat me down and told me I was going to study abroad at the Jedi Training Academy on Coruscant.
So I began training myself with my toilet paper lightsabers, just in case I was recruited last second. You never know when you’re going to be needed for battle on one of Endor’s moons.
Eventually, I accepted the reality that I was never destined to be anyone’s padawan. Just kidding! Even as an adult, I find myself wishfully thinking there’s still a possibility I’ll become a Jedi. Honestly, stranger things have happened in this world, and you gotta keep dreaming big, right? Even though I have to remind myself every night before bed that I won’t wake up in the morning a Jedi, I’m not going to give up hope. Not losing hope I’m pretty sure is one of the underlying themes of Star Wars.
Simply put, like many other kids (and adults) out there, the Star Wars movies hit a chord inside of me, and I’ve never been able to shake it. Truth is, I never want to shake it, so this means that there’s always going to be a little part inside of me that’s super bummed I’m not a Jedi. Like, a lot bummed. Like, if someone knocked on my door right now and told me I could be a Jedi if I left with them right away and left everything in my life behind, I’d go. So if you’re ever like, “huh, where’s Rachel?” it means this dream of mine has come true and I’ll send you a postcard from Yavin. I hear it’s beautiful this time of year.
Years later, I think my mom would even be cool with this career choice. She’s come around a lot in the last few years. For high school graduation she bought me a lightsaber. One of the really fancy light-up ones, that makes noise. But you never forget your first.