Not "back", just never gone and usually have my head stuffed in a textbook, directions on how to nuke dinner, or playing the ridiculously addicting Call of Duty: Black Ops late at night. Despite being a self-named gamer, I have never seriously played a first person shooter game since Castle Wolfenstein and even then it was nothing more than a fun diversion to my usual game playing on the Diablo series.
Well, I learned a lot in the past week. Drinking a third of a handle of Captain Morgan in three hours almost proved disastrous as pictures have popped up from last weekend's ice fishing tournament that I have no memory of. All I remember is laying down eating the best turkey and pepperjack cheese sandwich known to mankind while staring at the two moons of Mars, then waking up the next morning with thigh bruises, a hard hat, and a sore neck. If I didn't know better I thought someone shipped me down to Key West for the night with a construction crew.
On the academic front, thanks to the readers here I have made peace with MR. APA with fifteen different letters after his name. A little aside however as I was trying to understand his grading policy, I finally got him to admit what he was really looking for. After asking about a course-long research paper and what the requirements were on length, girth, and thrusting motion he responded "I am not interested in the content, only want to see if it is in APA-approved formatting".
Jaw meet floor.
Yeah, my efforts to polish a paper to make these wingtips shine, I was being told to get my shinebox and stop fretting over a few sentences and just put them in the box correctly. As I've repeated several times while going thru this academic journey to capture this allusive degree, my motivation is not the piece of paper (although its a nice side benefit much like getting paid to write about poker). Its the learning. I enjoy it. For the years between being an eager corporate beaver looking to impress and bypassing those dark years of my head injury, leading to where today I refuse to sit around watching life go by any longer. Wil Wheaton who is known to type readable words and make a funny via podcast once every era, recently felt the need to clarify calling out some slackers on twitter
"If high school was "boring" and college was "too hard", don't complain about your "dead end minimum wage" job, twentysomething."And followed it up with this gem:
"On the other hand, if you're one of those kids who told me to go fuck myself, get off my lawn and go back to school. Work hard, because nothing worth doing is ever easy, and the more knowledge you have, the more options you have, so you won't have to spend your life in a dead end job that you hate. Trust me, you'll be glad you did. Maybe not now, maybe not in a year, but some time in the Mysterious Future when you're feeling cranky at the Damn Kids Today you'll be able to shake your cane at them with authority."
Bravo Mr. Wheaton, here's your shiny gold star and Magic: The Gathering 5,000 card set for $1,000,000 (but could you kick in the $14.99 for shipping and maybe the million as I'm $999,950.27 short) as you described my worthless ass a few years ago. Unmotivated, unrewarded, looking for a hand-out, and not seeing what I had which was an incredible support system of friends and family and doing nothing by sitting on my ass singing "Nothing Else Matters" on repeat while plunking away at keys to whine about it.
Call it finding yourself, call it a revelation, call it admitting that your parents were right. Just don't call it in anymore and try to make something of yourself if you don't like that person in the mirror. And especially don't turn around to other to bitch about it, your self-motivation problems are not theirs. I have found thru this blog and others I read on a daily basis that people are glad to help if you have a plan, a goal, an end-game. No one is going to click that PayPal donation box if you don't write, why expect them to give a handout if your daily routine consist of sitting outside of a 7-11 ala Jay and Silent Bob wondering how you got there.
Bad luck happens, I know I've taken my share of bad variance, but I refuse to give up until my body can take no more. Hopefully those twentysomethings Wil mentioned take a look at themselves, and notice there's a reason why he's got the cash (if you don't, I suggest going thru his blog's archives).
It's called hard work (if you read his blog, my mind is BLOWN at how busy he is and that's coming from someone who starts his regular day at 4:30am and gets home from the library/kids activity at around 8:30pm).