You know what’s always scared me a lot more than the thought of death has? Mediocrity.Being just like so many of the people that have the audacity to call themselves alive even though a very important part of them died long ago. It died when they bought into a system that was broken and a dream that was never theirs. It’s not buying into someone else’s dream that kills that vital part of them, it’s being made to believe it was theirs to begin with and then realizing it wasn’t after it’s been deemed over or they realize its not like they thought it would be that gets them.
Another thing I’ve sat around and feared on a regular basis is to turn 35 years old and find myself managing a Mayfair Family Dollar and just as I sit pondering when I settled for settling, as I stock the cereal as I argue with a 19 year old employee about the finer points of customer service and just human decency in general, in will walk that teacher from High School that assured me that was exactly where I would end up. She won’t have to say “I told you so” because that condescending, smug and stupid looking smirk she’ll have on her face as she passes will say it for her.
Or Even Worse, I wont be managing the Mayfair Family Dollar, i’ll just be working there. Arguing the finer points of customer service and human decency in general with some asshole just like me. That’s not to knock anyone who has taken either of those paths. There is nothing dishonorable about either position. I’ve just never been a big fan of being on the receiving end of “I told you so” smirks from people who make careers out of killing the parts of kids that matter just because they let someone kill whatever dream they had when they were their age.
Family Dollar is a fantastic place to go for bargains on off brand iced tea and bathroom cleaner but I don’t want to work there. I’d work there to feed my kid if I was put in that position but i’ll tell you what, that’s actually literally exactly what would have to happen for me to work there. You’d have to kidnap my child that doesn’t exist and make a really weird and off putting ransom call informing me you were going to starve my metaphorical child unless I got a job at family dollar. Because that’s also the only way I, or anyone else could only be left with those two options. That’s an unreal ultimatum that the general public wants you to believe in and be afraid of for their benefit or own deeply seeded reasons you shouldn’t concern yourself with if they won’t.
You are not your mistakes and don’t have to live with bad decisions that you probably didn’t even make to begin with when you were 19. People believe in all sorts of things just for the sake of believing in something and that’s fine. Just make sure you actually believe in it. I define happiness as the pursuit and maintenance of the life you want for yourself and those you care about without shitting on someone else’s right or ability to do the same. Cutting people down, including yourself and spreading unhappiness like a disease with a fair amount of money in the bank or your pocket has never equaled happiness and doesn’t fit my definition of success. At least not the kind of success I want for myself and plan on achieving.
By the way, I failed my drivers permit test today. The written part. So maybe nothing I say is valid and you should just do what your parents did. Or maybe I’m going to go pass that test Tuesday and get a good looking Spanish girl’s number on the way out and everything I touch is magical. I don’t know, either are possible.
Thanks for reading.