Everyone was young once. It was nice being young. Being young meant not having responsibilities. It meant days of playing tag, red rover, and selling lemonade for a measly quarter. There were no weights on our shoulders and we were okay with that. We let mommy and daddy deal with all that grief. We let them double check the checkbook and we let them drive us around like personal chauffeurs. Being young was awesome. There isn’t a single thing I can come up with that put a sour taste in my memory of being young, innocent, and wet behind the ears. If I could go back to then, I would. We all would. It’s sucks growing up and if anyone back then told you how awesome it is to be a grown up, they lied. Being an adult is nothing like I thought it’d be. This isn’t what I was promised.
I had dreams when I was younger. I had all these things I wanted to do. Some people wanted to be firemen and some of my friends wanted to be astronauts. I didn’t aim that high. I aimed lower and wished for careers and lifestyles that would fill my child sized heart with glee and giddiness. I wanted to be so many things. I never wished to work at a grocery store. I was 14 and wanted money. I wanted to buy things, like toys and candy. Before falling into this job (which is now my career), I wanted to be zoologist. I liked animals. I had the wildlife treasuring box. I learned about so many animals and with that green box in possession, I was introduced to the biggest snake alive, the anaconda. I am glad I didn’t choose that career. Today, I hate birds, spiders, insects, cats, and dogs. Hate is a powerful word but I really just don’t care for animals anymore. Some may be cute and adorable to look at, but I will not cuddle up next to a baby kitten or lie down next to a panda. I liked our family cat, Kitty. She was awesome. SHE DIED! SHE DIED!
I wanted to be a stuntman. I wanted to be a priest. I wanted to be a comedian. I wanted to be an actor. I wanted to be all sorts of things but none of that panned out. I am not blaming growing older on the fact that I was never a priest, a comedian, or a stuntman. I blame myself for not acting on that. A priest would have been a bad thing. I don’t have faith and the thought of Jesus and God filling my heart and mind, makes my head spin. I am not a huge reader and when it comes to reading fiction, I don’t think I would like the Bible. I even tried reading, The Book of Mormon and that is just as hokey as the Bible. All those careers paths were possible. We’re told that we could be anything. We’re told that if we put our minds to something, we can accomplish it. I just never tried. The whole being a priest thing was maybe because I was an altar boy and we got to spend a day at Worlds of Fun because devoting your Sunday to God gives you access to roller coasters, water rides, and other rides that spin you around. I am thankful that I never did become a priest. I would have been horrible at it. I bailed on church over a decade ago. I am not a church person. I am not a religious person. I am better off sinning than trying to work my way into heaven. But, yeah. When I was little, I wanted to be a man of the cloth. It seemed cool. Cause nothing is cooler than a priest. Some of them even kick ass for the Lord.
As for being a stuntman? I like to think I am indestructible. When I was little, I like to spring into the air and then roll down the hill. I would tumble, rolling, twisting and turning my body in all sorts of positions. I thought that if I was going to be a stuntman, I better get a head start. I wanna be ready when they ask me to jump off a building or run through a blaze of fire. The idea of being a stuntman went poof. Not sure why. All my dream jobs do that. But unlike the other jobs I wanted, this one I still do dream about. I would like to be a stuntman. I think my job helps me practice for it all the time. For example, I will be hanging from shelving at work and I’ll climb shelves that aren’t meant for climbing. I will do all sorts of crazy things that will piss off OSHA. I am not saying my job is unsafe. I am saying that I am unsafe because I have the mindset that I am safe from any danger. But if I ever had to climb a ladder as a stuntman, I would need my own stuntman for that. I don’t like those death traps. Ladders scare me. Those are scary. I have yet to break a bone or sprain an ankle, wrist, or any other part of the body that can be sprained. I guess I should knock on wood. I don’t want to walk into work tomorrow and trip over my two feet. That will just ruin my streak of not breaking a bone or spraining something. But I won’t knock. I haven’t yet and I am okay. I still climb shelving and laugh at how dangerous it truly is. Maybe I’ll grow a pair and finally make this dream of tumbling down a hill a real career.
Like being a stuntman, I dreamt of being in the industry. I wanted to move to Hollywood and become an actor. I acted in high school. I like to brag about it but I did star in a high school play when I was still in grade school. That should get Spielberg calling. It was always fun. Like being a comedian, can I act on stage or in a movie and not choke? I did just fine in school. I acted and enjoyed all the plays. Once school ended, I never tried. I just let that dream of acting slip away. I wouldn’t ever star on the silver screen. Like the stuntman, the zoologist, the priest, and others, I never advanced and never tried to make the dream of being more than just a boy from the midwest into somebody.
When I was young, I thought I was funny. I don’t think I even was. I couldn’t tell a joke and really now, I can’t. I am better at writing out jokes than actually telling them verbally. I wanted to be that guy. I wanted to be like Seinfeld. I wanted to be a comedian because, well, I am f**king funny. If you don’t believe me, then take this pun for example.
I impressed my mom when young by putting my clothes away. Now 33, and trying to impress the ladies, I’m still putting socks in my drawers.
That’s some funny s**t right there. I like puns. But being a comedian means I’ll have to take center stage and I don’t like crowds. I’ll get stage fright and would choke up there. Funny that I could act in school plays without a sense of doom but when I had to read a report in front of my science class, I stuttered, froze up and failed that project. So, anxiety and stage fright basically ruined my chances of being a punny comic. Another dream I had crushed. All those wishes I had when I was young never happened. I never put in the effort. I ended up working at a job that I got only to get money for video games, clothes, and food. It was not going to be my career. I was 14 and all I wanted was money. I never expected that I would still be here. I had so many dreams but I fell into a job working at a grocery store. It’s nearing 19 years and I am still here. I could have left a few times but never acted on it. I was making decent money and the thought of starting over and possibly being paid less, scared me. I was getting older and I was starting to need certain things, like food and clothes. I had to buy this stuff myself. My mother wasn’t going to use her money when I am making my own. I am not saying I hate my job. I am just saying this wasn’t on my list of careers I wanted. I never thought about working a grocery store when I was a kid. I wanted to be a comedian and make people laugh. I wanted to be a zoologist and work with animals. I wanted to be priest to get closer to God or maybe ride the Timber Wolf a few more times. I wanted to be an actor and a stuntman. I wanted to journey to Hollywood and charm the world with my great acting and tumbling capabilities. I never did any of those things. Instead, I work at a grocery store. It’s not glamorous like Hollywood or fulfilling like a life of celibacy and devotion to God. It’s none of that but it is fun.
I may not have picked the career I wanted but I do like what I do. I am not complaining about my job. It’s a job. It’s my career. I wanted to be something else though. I wanted it to be great. I wanted it to be something grand and not just an hourly job that sends me home in dirty clothes and foul odors. I may still have a chance to turn things around and possibly achieve one of my dream jobs. I could move to Hollywood and hopefully after a couple of years busing tables, I’ll hit it big and star in a huge movie like, The Human Centipede. Or I can just sit here, nursing this beer and mope to myself that I never act on my plans.