I Took the Scenic Route

growing-up.jpg

That’s my explanation on how I arrived to where I am now. You could say I struggled getting out of the gate. Instead of picking up and getting back in the race, I turned and left the stadium. I figured there would be another race to enter later. I decided I would waste a little time. Kick the can down the road and stretch out “growing up” about as long as I reasonably could.

I wasn’t a very good student in high school. I graduated, but barely. I had some good friends though, and occupied my time in their company. No responsibilities and a low level of maturity defined these years. If I were feeling poetic, I would call them my Deep Sleep years. But I’m not feeling poetic. I ignored what I should have been doing. You know making it in life, planning ahead, accomplishing things.

Sure, I worked but that’s all I did as far as that goes. I certainly would not call it a career. I wasn’t interested in a career. I was interesting in living, making memories, having fun.

I was one heck of a person to know and be around. I certainly had more than my share of fun. I excelled at running the roads, living for the weekend, making enough money for beer and gas. I got handcuffed a couple of times — nothing major; nothing that stuck. Just small town rowdiness. You know, boys being boys. At least that’s what we told ourselves. But man the stories…

I didn’t let anything affect this philosophy I had on life during this time. I was a serious student at doing what I wanted. It was easy breezy, low drag and no concerns.

When I said I ignored what I should have been doing doesn’t mean I wasn’t thinking of the inevitable day. I told you, I planned to kick the can. I just ran out of road, though I always felt the can was still in good condition to kick some more. By the way, I kept that can just in case…

I had plenty of people along the way who reminded me, tried to wake me from my Deep Sleep.

“What are you doing around here? You could be doing anything you wanted.”

“There’s better ways to make a living. Better places to live besides here.”

“You got it backwards. You should be out learning the world, doing more with your time. That way you can enjoy it later in life.”

I knew that. But I also thought, “Why not enjoy it now and later.” Besides, I just wasn’t ready.

Alas, as the friends started disappearing one by one, airbrushed out this part of my life, succumbing to the dragging current of life, I realized the party was ending. I was not happy about this but even I knew life has stages. And there is such a thing as missing the bus. It’s best I get a move on. I decided to make a change. Change is the only way to describe it. Any other move I took would have meant me repeating myself. I burned every bridge and peed on every tree. You could say, I outgrew the place.

That was all years ago. Could I have done things differently? Sure, I could have but that would mean things would be different now. It’s not like I didn’t have an idea of what I would someday become. I just took my time until I was ready to put that idea into action. People assumed just because I wasn’t in a hurry with life, meant that I had no direction in life. I let them think that. I was slow rolling. I’ve covered a lot of ground and seen a lot of things in my short life. Not every turn was by design, of course, but I’m the one who took them. I enjoyed my long way around the place.

I stretched out growing up when others thought it was written somewhere that you had to abandon it on this date, on a certain day, rather you wanted to or not. Well, I disagreed.

I was right. About the race, I mean. But there wasn’t another one. It was the same one we’re all in. I learned it doesn’t matter when you started. Just run like crazy when you decide to enter it.

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