I Was Going To Marry Vanna White

When I graduated high school in 1987, marrying Vanna White was part of my five-year plan.


I remember writing that in one of those memory books that graduating seniors are often gifted.  The only other two goals I remember documenting were that I would be driving a lamborghini and making my living as a successful author. Can you guess which of those I was serious about?

That’s what we do, isn’t it?  We get these crazy dreams that we’re too embarrassed to even acknowledge.  But once in a while we muster up the courage to float a trial balloon and see if we can get even just one person to say, “Yeah, I can totally see you married to Vanna White!”  Or maybe even, “Yeah, I read that thing you wrote. It didn’t suck.”

Is it just me?  Am I the only one who likes to downplay my BHAGs or bury them in the middle of a to-do list?

  • Clean gutters
  • Change oil in car
  • Write a best seller
  • Fold towels
  • Sweep the garage
  • Google Vanna…

Friends, we need to be proud of our BHAGs!  We have them for a reason!  They have been imprinted upon us!   I PROMISE YOU that someday the science of genetics will advance to the point that they will find a BHAG gene within all of us.  And when studied under a super-duper powerful microscope, we will all be able to read our individual BHAGs the way you read the back of a cereal box today.  Things will be so much easier then, but don’t let the current state of the science discourage you!  Get started now!  Just remember that the point isn’t necessarily to achieve our BHAGs.  The point is to pursue them with vigor.  You’re always going to find something of meaning along the way.  And you’re always going to be an inspiration for someone else.


Some of the goals I had when I was 18 are with me still at 44.  I’ve never really been a “car guy” and thus never really had much interest in owning a lamborghini.  And I’m content with how things have worked out between me and Vanna.  But that book thing…man, it’s still there, even as some of the motivations behind it have changed.  I don’t necessarily want to write a best seller (but wouldn’t complain if I did).   I want to write something that touches people.  A beautiful read that changes how people think and feel about something.  And perhaps most importantly, I want to inspire my children and others to do the same.

Tory – you CAN be a psychiatrist!

Chloe – you CAN play first base for the Bandits!

Quinn – you CAN pitch for the Cubs!

Others – you CAN ____ !

About six weeks ago, Louise Caiola and Rebecca Hamilton came into my life and said to me, “Yeah, I read that thing you wrote. It didn’t suck.”  They validated my book BHAG and I want to pay it forward.  So, can we start a conversation here?  Please boldly share your BHAGs in the comments section below.  And please lift and encourage everyone else who dares.  

That’s all, folks.  Now, talk amongst yourselves…



Filed under Ethan Merrill Rempfer, Hearts Left Behind, Loss of a child, Stillbirth, Uncategorized, Where The Broken Lie

8 responses to “I Was Going To Marry Vanna White

  1. Erin

    I want to host SNL. 🙂


  2. I was going to marry Parker Stevenson(Hardy Boys), be a pharmacist by day, a concert pianist by night and live in an “A-Frame” with three kids. But upon looking up BHAG, I realize that I seem to be lacking one. Erin, that is a cool BHAG. What inspired it?


    • Only Shaun Cassidy had cooler hair than Parker Stevenson.

      Laurie, you are definitely someone who has pursued her BHAGs and I’ve always admired you for that. Parker Stevenson doesn’t know what he missed out on!


  3. I’ve had a lot of BHAGs along my life….I was going to be the Pope (the little fact that a girl couldn’t be a priest was not going to deter me…), then I planned to be President (you may notice a pattern to the BHAGs of my young life). At the end of high school, I wanted to be a pediatric oncologist, travel the world and find a really smart and funny man (have left the first one behind, still working on the last two). My current BHAG is that I would really, really like to someday own a home for at-risk youth (a safe place for the many, many children to whom foster care is not an option because people don’t like to open their homes to teens) and with that I want to create a scholarship program for teenage mothers. You know, just do something little to improve the world….


    • When you were younger, was one of your BHAGs to always have some super-sized BHAGs, Amy? Because if it was, I’ve got some good news for you…

      I love your current BHAGs and when you accomplish them, you can count me in as a contributor to both.


  4. Getting a blog audience can be tough sledding. Thanks to all of you who continue to support me by reading the blog, commenting, and sending your positive thoughts and messages in other ways.


  5. Pingback: Hi, Coach Derek! | Derek Rempfer

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