Friday, May 29, 2009

Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks.

I remember when I was a kid and my mother asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up, I told her I wanted to be a stand up comedian. I think I was about 6 or 7. This was during the golden age of television with all the variety shows and Carol Burnett on all the time. I just thought that would be a great job. My mother promptly squashed my childhood dream by saying, "No, you can't do that. You'll starve to death." How many parents do that? "I want to be a policeman." "No, Jimmy you'll get shot and killed. Pick something else." Seriously, how much does that suck? Well, if my mother were still alive, I think that she might be happy if I was doing stand up. At least, I wouldn't be so fat then. She was always hung up on my weight. I'd tell her it's the stand up comedy diet. She'd be pleased I was finally thin. It's been over 30 years and I still remember that conversation. I still would love to do stand up comedy but I'm way to chicken now. My mother believed that I would literally cease to exist if that were my chosen profession. That I wouldn't be good enough to feed myself. That if I did that, I couldn't even get a job a McDonalds to feed my food habit. Way to squash the dreams of your only child Mom.

The next incident with my mother was when I told her I didn't want to go to college. That was even less popular than the comedian decision. This happened when I was 12. All I remember is there being some sort of atomic explosion in my home and I was told I was going to college, there was no option, no choice, that was that, shut up, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Now, my options were limited. I could go to college, it just had to be in state. I applied to several and got accepted to several. I pretty much had my pick. SOOOOOOOO, I chose the one that my mother was dead set against. I wanted one that Mom and Dad couldn't just drop in on me. It had to be far enough away for my comfort but close enough I could drive home if I wished. I chose a private university that was STUPID expensive instead of the state school that my mother wanted me to attend. All her friends daughters went to the other school. I should go there. I didn't want to go there. There was no way in hell I was going to be convinced that I would go to school there. So away to central Virginia I went. Off to be a psychology major. Wait, I'm not a psychology major??? Why the hell not? Because I won't be able to eat. Great.

OK. I'm out of school and doing absolutely nothing related to my major. In fact, I'm really happy doing nothing related to my major. Everyday I look at my degree on the wall and smile about it. I appeased my mother by having a business minor, so I could eat. Needless to say I'm doing nothing with any portion of my degree. I'm actually happy about that. At this point in my life, I wouldn't want to be a psychologist nor work in business. I like testing software. I get to break things for money. I get to do puzzles for money. What could really be more fun than that?

However, I'm really finally taking part of my life and really doing with it what I want to. I'm not worrying what people think about my decisions. I really don't care. All I know is I'm trying to do what makes me happy. I want to enjoy life. You only get one go at it. You've got to make it count. Right now, my life is a lot more fun than it's been in a very long time.

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