In a former life there would have been nothing to do this weekend except attend my niece's third birthday party, eat some ice cream cake, and sit in front of a computer screen yelling at the virtual cards dropping in favor of someone that was not me. Those days of free-time and want of such mindless time are over, thanks to the awakening of sorts that repeats every day. Some people hate the fact that they HAVE TO go to work and feel it's an obligation versus a chance or a learning experience. It took my thick head several years of self-loathing while swimming in depression to see that the numbers on the computer screen are not what a job is about.
It's the people. Watching, studying, and ultimately learning from their experiences and chatting about their daily lives help me figure out what I wanted to do with my own course. Was staying in a safe, mindless data-entry job until I hit 65 in the cards? My past self was ready for that. No life at home to speak of, might as well stay with status quo and end up with the 14 karat gold watch and retirement cake while 100 people I've barely met sit in uncomfortable chairs spilling over my "career" of plunking numbers into Microsoft Excel boxes.
Safe. But not life. No, life is working 4:30pm to 3:30am on a Sunday (go check that out at the PokerStarsBlog if like such poker recaps) because there are friends to visit in dark casino bars and VIP rooms that momma doesn't need to know about. Life is playing softball in the rain and mud with co-workers to see them without their corporate masks and fake smiles on, and hoisting a macro-brewed beer after losing terribly but enjoying the day of getting out to the field and being an 11 year old with an oversized jersey and underdeveloped arm hoping dad will decide on treating the family to Angeno's after the game again. Life is studying to learn more about the work field that chose you so data entry becomes data analysis and the rusty academic gears shine a little light in an otherwise grey economic time.
There is no end game. No more searching for June 24th, 2039 to get that sheet cake from Byerly's with "best wishes on retirement" splattered across it and a most likely passed around card with scribbed "enjoy the golf course" notes written within. Afraid of reaching that point of being shoved along and not striving to make the top tier traveling team as I did in my youth, never chancing disappointment, never willing to say "yes, I'll do the extra work" because of something that happened in elementary school is stunting growth and making excuses for a life path that only one person can guide. Not control, no one controls their life, many aloof self-important people with titles and lofty egos may think so (see Big Ben Roethlisberger for an example). No, you can guide yourself to places, much like returning to school may lead to a better, more rewarding job in my field of choice. It's not your dream job, but it's mine, and I'm happy to the fact that I did not end up like this guy below when my degenerate side could have easily slipped into a black hole of mindless gambling:
Check out this link from Intevention and a child prodigy turned into a $5 blackjack gambling addict that blew thru $500,000 by age 25.
Watch the facial tics while he plays and the inability to control himself. This is someone who TAUGHT pre-meds at the age of 18 and was well on his way to obtaining a PhD before I had even thought about doing something other than Cyndi or hitting lead cashier status at the bullseye. The above video on Gabe's addiction to gambling didn't sway my wanting to sit down with Mr. Pai Gow, Speaker, and Otis this June at the Gold Coast somewhere north of 4am sipping on greyhounds and trying to get the ice queen pit boss to ship some free breakfasts our way. In fact, it made me want to work even harder toward making that happen.
Because watch the casino clips. Watch the clip at the end with the barren apartment. Watch how self-centered this prick gets when mommy won't bail his ass out of debt again.
Something I used to be years ago, curled up in a blanket of insecurity and unwillingness to try to stretch. I may have been married for nearly ten years and a sperm donator for over six but feel like it's only been a few years since I became a husband and father. If Gabe teaches you one thing, take away this: talent can only open doors, turning the knob, opening the door, and walking thru is up to the person who poured themselves a bowl of Frosted Flakes and fried up some bacon and eggs this morning because they were hungry.