What do you want to be when you grow up?
I’m assuming most of us are still reaching for whatever it was we decided all those years ago. I know I haven’t gotten there. If I had, I’d be a high-powered lawyer, dressed head to toe in my own couture during the week and dancing backup for NSYNC on the weekends. Now that I’m somewhat grown, I realize I definitely do not want to be a lawyer. I couldn’t even make my way through an English-Literature degree, let alone Law School. But if I thought my rotund body could manage it, and if they were still a thing, I’d definitely hang on to that whole backup dancer thing.
But of course I’m not donning spandex and gyrating dangerously close to Justin Timberlake. I’m sitting on my front porch having just jumped back in fear of a giant raccoon that sidled past on the sidewalk. He seemed pretty sure of his life. No deep existential questions burning in his post-post-post-adolescent raccoon head. Just a confident swagger and top notes of locally sourced, organic garbage in the air. He’s not worried about falling short of expectations for a raccoon his age. Will he ever get married? His child-bearing years are coming to a close. He should get serious about that baby-mama hunt before it’s too late. Should he settle for a she-raccoon he only sort of doesn’t hate spending time with? Or is “the one” out there somewhere? Is he too lazy to find her? He has his own stuff going on. He’s on the garbage trail, after all. Maybe it’s her who should find him. What if she already has baby raccoons? Is he ready to be a step-raccoon? Will that be enough to fulfill his animal-urges to procreate? What if he can’t find enough nutritious garbage to feed an entire raccoon family? What if he wakes up one day and hates them all? What if NSYNC finally reunites and calls him up to be a backup dancer?
Up until recently, I thought I was on the right path. Even though I’ve basically sat down in the middle of that path, I still have a hard time coming to terms with my failure to reach the end. But then again, maybe I’m at the end. Maybe the end of the path is just terrible. Nobody warns us that being an adult is going to be the worst. Sure, we can set our own bedtimes but if we’re not careful we’ll end up being more of a zombie when we go into the job that we hate where we make too little money.
Oh, money? Sure, you make your own money. But you have to spend that money on dumb stuff like rent, groceries, crappy cars (and subsequently, new parts for those crappy cars), gas, medicine, etc. I’m so old, I’m now spending money on vitamins. VITAMINS. I should stick within my means and buy cheap beer to save money, but my old lady stomach hates cheap alcohol. I get a poor people headache if I drink well vodka. But I have to go out, right? How will I ever meet anyone and “settle down” if I don’t go out and spend the money I barely make? I won’t. I’ll have to hop on Tinder and swipe left all day just to get to the one bearded man who doesn’t look like he just lumbered out of a dense forest. Or even worse, I’ll have to get a lame, non-destructive hobby like – gasp – running. Gross.
This entire rambling piece is a result of having to just clean my house. I hate having to do things. I just want to not do things. Unless it’s my idea, in which case I’ll procrastinate for a few weeks and then sort of do that thing. My landlord is feeling the same. She doesn’t want to do the landlord thing anymore so she’s putting the house on the market. Evidently, someone is coming by to look at it tomorrow morning. I found out about an hour ago and whined like a little biatch to my neighbor before dragging myself inside to sweep, vacuum and dust. Because I don’t want to. And I especially don’t want to have to. Anything, really. I don’t want to have to go to work. I don’t want to have to set an alarm clock every day. I don’t want to have to investigate the “Check Engine” light in my new car.
I don’t want to.
But, I’m a big kid. And I guess that means I have to. Which is the opposite of what I thought it would be when I was a small kid. I’m a little mad about it.
So what was my original question? What do I want to be when I grow up? A writer. But also…