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Saturday, December 31, 2011

The 2012 New Year: Advice for the Young at Heart

Chapter 16 of My Life and Times at Purdue University

A friend on Google+ posted this as a call to action, or resolution, or escape from that worn path:

I've been thinking a lot lately about what I'd like to change about my life, and what steps I can take to implement those changes. I generally do this anyway, whenever I start feeling like I'm unhappy a little too much. One thing that I do not do is wait until January 1st to implement these changes. I just don't get that mentality--this is my last cigarette ever! I'm gonna eat another pig in a blanket, and tomorrow we diet!--and I think that if you genuinely crave change, your excitement will keep you from procrastinating.

But of course, excitement is a fleet-footed creature. It's one thing to say "I'm going to get a new job" and another to subject yourself to the indignities of the process--online applications that make you manually type in all the information from the resume you just uploaded; leadership personality tests that ask you the same question six different ways; receiving a phone call, as you iron the blouse you agonized over choosing, that the position has been filled and your interview has been canceled--but why do I give up so easily? A new job would probably make me happier than anything else right now, so why do I allow myself to shrug my shoulders and continue clockwatching?

Perhaps I should set a resolution after all. I clearly need to kick through this wall.

If you need me, I'll either be thinking about why I procrastinate, or trying to decide whether I'm Very Somewhat or Somewhat Very on yet another personality test.

My uneducated response:
I can understand it all too well. I've work at about 20-25 different places in my 25 years of punching a clock, or showing up to do projects for people I know do not want to be there either. I've taken personality tests offered by the US Navy (scholarship app), Lear Corporation (cool printout), and two other places.

Since I scarcely know you, or what is the bothersome feature in your work (besides work), I suspect you'll change careers another 4.7 times during the next 20.2 years. You might conceive 2.1 kids, or forego that route, and put $151,578 more dollars in your pocket over that same time span.

The resolution is just another dream. But dreams have payment options. You must pay plenty into them, sacrifice some other route, and know that your sunk costs may infuriate someone you tend to say you love/like, but obviously they don't get what you are after and don't love/like you quite the way you want them to back.

At a younger adult age, with an IE degree, I had four goals: nice car, nice home/condo, good job that met the lifestyle, and a well, a smoking hot wife was what I wanted, but would have settle for a B- looker with DD boobs. (Hey, I'm a guy.) That said, I have no real estate, no car now (head gasket on one, repoed my moms), a freelance writing gig with FREE being the op word, and absolutely, not even the slightest tickle of a woman wanting me for a steady eddy, or a fuck buddy to soothe either her woe-beggotten trek, or the damn-good-n-rich living large existence.

So, zero for four. I should be miserable.

But, not really. Of those, only the woman would be a plus factor to the current course setting I have. Sure, I will work soon enough. But if I get so desperate...I'll find a way again to do something menial and relatively worthless to survive. Since any a-hole can entertain with words, a song, or a cool new app put up for the world at $5.99 per download, my current skill sets probably won't make a dent into my dream of being a writer that gets to do projects around the world. Why I came back for college, part deux.

So, no losses are insurmountable. The fucking existence we lead generally does not end with or begin with a job, a car, a big screen hi-def, or a semi-steady sexual encounter that you do taxes with yearly and claim kids, if you want, separately. I yearn for when I could play baseball all day, eat spaghetti dinner with my mom, and watch the Wonder Years hoping shit would be better for me in my then dream pursuit of a cheerleader I fell for in high school. Alas, the damnest thing: I wasn't popular, or a stud enough athlete, too short, also, and I talked funny too (as a hillbilly from Tennessee tends to do).

The moral is: do you. Whatever the fuck that is to you - be it. Write, build cabinets, play music, fix cars, entrepreneur something, watch Captain Kangaroo and make it a game too, I don't care. The time we got is short. You got plenty more on me because you are smart, know the story, and don't have a pecker that leads you astray like I have been led to the cliff, and fallen to a presumed death by ejaculation/masturbation. I keep on climbing back up, but I don't have a killer plan either. 
I write - editorialize, I'd say - my whole life. Shakespeare at least (if we believe he wrote EVERY thing) was productive. Sonnets, plays, fucking crap no one seriously could duplicate, even now. We just steal his ideas over and over and over until generation get-over-yourself forgets whomever came up with it in the first place. As you've noted, in your posting Andrew's take of The Police song When The World Keeps Running Down, that's a talent too - pirate and innovate. Do that if it doesn't land you in the fucked-in-the-ass prison. (Oh yeah, did a tour of duty in the pokey too. Didn't have Notorious B.I.G.'s legal team to get a "not guilty." I was stupid, not criminally minded. A much much longer story, if you can believe me so far.)

2012 Resolution: try for that dream and build it one day at a time. Might take 5-10 years but you will be better off, you will have really learned how you do you, and likely, will not know fuckers like me exist. The truest test of your payments to your dreams...someone else will really notice, support it, and that dream becomes a fucking reality I hear about on CNBC with Jim Cramer screaming, "Buy! Buy! Buy!" And your now-snobby ass can give me the advice.

Happy New Year! 
And Keep At It!
That's my advice to all of you out there between 1 and 92.
Again, Happy New Year to all of you.
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