When I was younger I never enjoyed answering the ubiquitous question:
‘What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up‘.
Any time I was asked this question I’d take a look at the adults in my life; my Grandpa operating a full service gas station for over 40 years and then spending the last few years of his life struggling to keep it open, my hardworking step Dad milking cows twice a day 365 days a year, my Mom the CPA never seeing her family for months at a time during tax season. As much as I loved them I never wanted to be them.
As I aged I fought valiantly to hold on to whatever youthful debauchery and juvenile pursuits that the cruel mistress we know as life hadn’t knocked out of me. Yes I piled up the degrees – an associates in travel and tourism, a bachelors in accounting, a MBA with an information technology concentration – but even those hard earned pieces of paper, which in theory should tell me what I want to be when I grow up, didn’t do the trick.
Children were conceived and hearts were broken on this decades long and still continuing journey of self discovery. One of those hearts, a very dear friend that I would not hesitate in calling ‘The One Who Got Away‘ reached out to me after years of silence when a family tragedy struck. This heart and I have had several periods of extended dating that have always ended intentionally or not with me being the bad guy. Once we reconnected and began talking the words flowed freely like we had just had our last date yesterday. Conversations about life and it’s meaning intertwined effortlessly with concern over each other and our families. I could also sense her feeling me out. What I do for a living. What kind of car I drive. What kind of apartment I live in. During both of our runs at love I had always chased the almighty dollar and all the false trappings of status that accompany the big bucks so she understandably seemed taken aback by my answers. Instead of hearing that I was a high dollar IT contractor, owned a new BMW, and lived in a McMansion on the northside she heard that I have a stable if unspectacular paying media job, I drive a 2002 Explorer, and I live in a shithole apartment on the southside. After a few more very enjoyable hours of chitchat about the trials and tribulation of our individual lives she ended our conversation with ‘Charles Robert Dillon, I hereby present you with your Adult Card‘.
Ack! Take it Back! I Don’t Wanna Adult Card!
But sure enough, the indicators of my possessing an Adult Card are all there. It is one thing to modify your politics and beliefs as situations warrant but it is quite another to have a 180 degree swerve in what you stand for accompanied by a burning passion in those beliefs. Yes, my white hot hatred of bananas still exists but so does the heretofore unknown belief in charity and philanthropy and a desire to make my local community a better place. This entire metamorphosis is very confusing to me, I mean what kind of good conservative Republican with an MBA turns his back on the fine and upstanding (court decreed) corporate citizens of our country like Wal-Mart, Progressive, and Chick-Fil-A? Where as before I would have taken a very laissez-faire approach towards such wonderful educational television programming such as Honey Boo Boo, now I will scream from the top of the highest mountain that this deep fried pile of excrement disguised as a reality show is leading the charge towards the complete and utter destruction of our society. During this years devastating drought I was only half surprised not to hear some politician imploring us to use Brawndo on the withering crops, because everybody knows it has the electrolytes that plants crave.
Hold on Rob… step down and back away slowly from the soap box. This post isn’t supposed to be about what my beliefs are but about how completely invigorated and excited I feel about my purpose in life now that I have a personal manifesto firmly carved into my psyche. All this because somewhere along the line I acquired an Adult Card.
The drawback to finally owning my very own adult card is that I guess sometimes one must make decisions that are a complete and utter slap in the face to your inner child. That wonderful woman I spoke about earlier was back in town a couple of months ago. She wanted to see me. My inner child started jumping up and down and screaming like a sugar deprived kid abandoned in the candy aisle. Every fiber of my being ached to see her again, to hold her, to experience the absolute euphoric bliss we feel when we are just hanging out being ourselves. Somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind that darn Adult Card activated and reminded me of no matter how noble the initial intentions, our hanging out together always ends with me devastating her.
I declined her offer.
I think it has finally hit me. It’s not
‘What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up‘
‘Who Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up‘.
I still have absolutely no idea WHAT I want to be when I grow up, but I have a very firm grasp on WHO I am and intend on truly enjoying this ongoing evolution of Rob.0