Later this month, my oldest will graduate from high school. With lofty goals and dreams for the future just like every 18 year old. Not knowing that the dreams he has right now are completely delusional. I know this because all 18 year olds are delusional.
First of all, they're 18, technically a legal adult, but they're not actually adults. Because adults pay their own car insurance, health insurance, utilities, phone, food and rent. And that's the minimal list. The more extensive list includes deodorant and q-tips. Because hygiene. Which means most people don't reach adulthood until about age 30. Or even later. And some never even get there at all.
I was no different from any other 18 year old, other than the fact that I had a really sweet mullet and looked like Jeff Buckley's twin brother. Yes, I said brother because I was a huge tomboy back then and I had no chest to speak of, so I was mistaken for a boy quite a lot. Also, because I dressed like a boy back then. Which might be why my dream when I left for college was to get a business degree then move to New York City and open my own men's clothing store. Getting married and having kids weren't a second thought. No. And nope.
And then I went to college.
But, that summer before I did, I met a guy. Yes, I still looked like I drove a Subaru. But, I didn't. Not that there's anything wrong with driving a Subaru, cause there's not. But now, two of my big plans changed overnight. I wanted to get married and have this man's babies. I know it's gross, but that's life. Also, the gross part is over and you can open your eyes and keep reading now. My big plans didn't even make it to freshman orientation and they were already defiled!
Who am I?
The thing is, who really knows themself at 18? All I knew was I was still going to college for business so I could pursue my dream of living in a concrete jungle, as my mom used to say. It was only after my sophomore year that I finally figured out that I hate business. I hate selling things. I hate money. And I hate numbers. None of these things interested me at all. Which became really obvious after I failed an accounting class. There's no better teacher in life than failure.
So, everything I thought about myself was a lie.
But, I had to come up with a major. And fast. Then, I thought about all the classes I really liked and came up with Political Science. The best thing is, there's no actual science in Political Science. Also, no math. Which is secretly why the US doesn't have a balanced budget. No one in politics can do math. It's not a prerequisite. All you need are ideas and words. And you don't even have to be accurate with those. This is how I got a degree in something I hate. Because I found it horrifically fascinating. I may as well have a philosophy or liberal arts degree. It's that useless. Which must be why I went on to get a master's degree. Obviously, I didn't get one in English Literature, cause I had to look up whether you capitalize master's degree or not. And then I went on to start two additional degrees I never finished. Because if I had my choice I'd be a student forever.
But, you've gotta graduate sometime.
And get on with living your life. You're gonna screw up. You're gonna doubt yourself. You're gonna realize you can't run away from problems or numbers. That there's no perfect job, no matter what it is. And you're gonna be depressed about all of those things and all your myriad of failures along the way. But, none of these things define you. You do. By what you put back into the world. The truth is, it doesn't matter much what you do, as long as you do something in your life that fills your soul. So, share, give, create, inspire and love. This is what you're here for. And when you come to this realization, that's when you've truly graduated summa cum laude into adulthood.