What do you want to be when you grow up? That’s a question we all heard when we were kids, right? Well, did your answer match up with the reality of the now? I know mine didn’t at all. I suppose not that it’s a bad thing, I guess, but it’s a question that started to think about a little bit more this morning thanks to an episode of Bertcast I heard. For those of you who don’t know which pod that is, it’s Bert Kreischer’s podcast, and Bert Kreischer happens to be the guy who’s college life was made into the film Van Wilder thanks to a Rolling Stone article which named him the number 1 partier at the number 1 party school in the country. Homeboy is legendary! Hell, he’s THE MACHINE for Pete’s sake! Anyway, I first stumbled upon Bert on his short lived yet awesome show on Travel Channel entitled Bert the Conqueror. The guy would travel to places and would get on crazy thrill park rides, jump off things, etc. It was an awesome show! Hell, I didn’t even know he was a comedian or was infamous because of that Rolling Stone article from about 1997 or anything. I thought he was just another dude on the travel channel. It was only until later when he came out on a few podcasts I listen to that I found out that he was a stand up and had that wild past and all that madness. Anyway, back to his podcast, homeboy posted up a pod a few weeks back where he read the Rolling Stone article and a few things about it stuck out to me. One, Bert lived in the now. He did then and does now too. Secondly, he never wanted a regular job. He knew he would be goofing off or something. That really got me thinking. Did my life really end up anywhere near to where I had hoped it had? How many people have really had that happen to them? I’m sure the 1%’ers kids have, but I’m talking about the normal everybody person.
It makes me wonder at what point I settled for the life I ended up with. There are so many way-points where things could have changed but didn’t. The better question to ask is why is it that we are to decide so early as to what we decide what we want to do with our lives? 17 and 18 year old me is not the same person I am now at 35. I’m into different things and although the career choice I had back then is something I’d still want to do today if I would have done it, so many other aspects of myself have changed. I guess that’s called maturity, but still, having to commit to a life at such an age is a wild concept to me.
I keep thinking back to what ended up being a critical story in the Back to the Future trilogy. It’s the one about Marty crashing into that Rolls Royce, breaking his hand, getting sued by the Rolls Royce driver, giving up music, then spending years feeling sorry for himself. I keep thinking, when was my Rolls Royce crash? Lord knows I had it, but what exactly was it? If I want to be honest with myself and put things out on front street, there have been at least 6 wrecks with a Rolls Royce in my life. Holy smokes. I’m a professional demolition derby driver! My dumb ass doesn’t learn. WAIT! I take that back. I learn and I find new ways to wreck into a richer’s car. Those bastards LOVE to get into my way and they love their lawyers. On the bright side, I don’t feel sorry for myself anymore. It’s either that or i’ve gone deaf to my own bitchin’ and moanin’ about it to myself. I’d be safe to say it’s the latter.
I can only imagine the possibilities if my life had taken the turns I should have taken at all those different points in my life. I could have been a railroader by now, or not just be getting out of debt, or living in Vegas working at one of the hotels there, be married possibly with kids, hell… lots of different things. Would I have been happier? What would have happened with my self esteem? Would I at least have any by now or still be deep in the red? The possibility are endless! But alas, those are in alternate timelines. We live in this one and I’m here now.
Now, I know some people will give me an ear beating and tell me crap like “Oh, don’t feel so bad about yourself!” and they may be right, but I would by lying if I said that I don’t have just a touch of jealousy for people like Bert who had no direction in their life and stumbled upon fame and a touch of fortune because of blind/dumb luck. In the same breath, I gotta think like Bert and live in the here and now. Who cares about the past? Honestly, I don’t. It’s only when I ponder things like I did in writing this out that I do. Think about the future? Most of the time when I do that I find myself getting disappointed in hoping for things that 99.765% of the time don’t come to fruition. That’s life though, man. In the beautiful and immortal words of The Dude when he’s talking to Tony the Chauffeur, “I can’t be worried about that shit. Life goes on, man.”