It’s nearing the time of year again when I look at my life and ask, what do I have to show? The big three-three is on the horizon. Just over a month away. So as I sit here, under my crocheted afghan, slowly hunting-and-pecking my way across the keyboard (no I still haven’t learned to type correctly), I wonder why it is that there needs to be something to show at all.
There are, of course, those great milestones in life, where you’re lost in a euphoric cloud of ‘look at me’s and ‘hey, guess what’s: first steps, loose tooth, driver’s license, whathaveyou. But once you pass 21? It’s a steep slope downhill, right?
I didn’t utter a single ‘look at me’ when my first gray hair sprouted. In fact, I ripped the bastard out by the roots. Probably cried. Ate some ice cream. Cut to a few years later, and my eyebrows are growing in white. MY EYEBROWS.
So let’s say, when I began this journey into adulthood, or whatever approximation of adulthood I’ve managed to pull out of my ass over the years, I had no idea that, at 32, I’d be unemployed, carrying two mortgages, and sitting in front of a computer writing about all of it. Of course, when I was beginning my journey into adulthood, it was the early 90s, and my relationship with computers consisted of poorly finished Mavis Beacon typing tests and the unrivaled thrill of the AOL dial-up noise.
I thought, by now, that I’d be off somewhere in the world doing these amazingly fascinating things.
Heading into high school, I just knew, KNEW mind you, that I wanted to be an English teacher. I love books and writing and words and sentences and speaking English. It was such a perfect fit. Until I actually figured out that I hate children. And teachers, they are around A LOT of children. Whole classrooms full of them.
So when college hit, I’d changed my focus to Psychology. Because crazy people are fun, right? In theory only, as it turns out. It took 4 years, $40,000, and one too many late night trips to the ER with a suicidal client to really put that into perspective.
But from that I gained experience. Or at least enough experience to make a name in the retail sales market. Which is nothing to brag about, unless you need a job, and it’s the job you have. It’s a noble profession, but it’s not for me.
Nope. Me. I’m a writer. Have been the whole time, but it’s taken me this long to figure it out. No one ever said I was quick on the uptake. (Least of all Mavis friggin Beacon)
So when I look back on it all, I realize, that it doesn’t matter where I am. I got here. I’m alive. I’m writing. That’s what I have to show.
That, and some gnarly white eyebrows.