When I Grow Up

I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.

This has been a problem for most of my life. In elementary school, when we had to draw pictures of what we wanted to be when we grew up, I would stare at the paper for most of art class, and then would try to throw something down with about 15 minutes left to go. Coupled with the fact that I can’t draw to save my life, my pictures did not receive a place of honor in the middle of the bulletin board. I like to think of myself as a fringe artist, in that my pictures were always on the very edge of the board so as to not distract from the kids with talent. Of course, the zenith of their artistic expression probably peaked around the time they went through puberty, whereas my own artistic abilities are still manifested in the fact that 25 years later, I’m still a band nerd. Choke on that, paintbrush jockeys.

I suppose I really shouldn’t complain. I have a good job as project manager in a world where many of my friends and colleagues are looking for work, some of whom are much more qualified than me. I’m not going to identify those people by name, because I don’t want my employer to seek them out and replace me, but you know who you are. In truth, I do my job very well, but I don’t know that it’ll ever be more than just a job for me. After all, no one tells their 1st grade class that they want to be a project manager during show and tell. At least I hope not.

Someone far wiser than me once said, “we all have to grow up sometime.” I think it might have been my grandfather. However, I don’t necessarily think that’s true. As I write this, I realize that I’m a 32 year old man, sharing the thoughts that are bouncing around in his head, waiting for his friends to get home so that we can play video games online together. What does it really mean, to grow up? Where exactly is the point in our existence in which we become a “grownup?” When did this blog post become an existential study in what goes in in Peter Pan’s mind?

Maybe one day I’ll figure out what I want to be when I grow up. So far, I’ve eliminated artist, lawyer, and NFL Quarterback. I have not however ruled out a career in Arena Football, so long as everyone on the other team promises not to hit me. Hopefully one day I’ll have an epiphany, and I’ll see clearly like Johnny Nash.  Until then, I’ll keep doing my job, playing my bass clarinet, and drawing pictures that will never, ever make it to the center of the bulletin board.

By the way, my name is Andy, and this is my new blog. Thanks.

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