At some point we all take a look at our day jobs and think: “This is not who I am. This is not me.” We think whimsical thoughts about what we should be doing with our lives. We fantasize about all the wonderful things we could be and how we could change the world if we changed our jobs. We could astronauts, cowboys, engineers, truck drivers. We could be so many things other than what we’re doing right now that if we had the chance to do would make all of our problems go away. A famous musician, a doctor, a lawyer, or an Indian Chief. We take a step back and ask ourselves how did I get here? We wonder what could have been.
We start thinking about it and then it won’t leave our minds. Our fantasy job turns into an obsession until we finally tell our significant other, “Hey, I’m going to go in tomorrow, tell my boss exactly where he can shove it, and walk out. Then, I’m going to go right over to the bank, mortgage the house, and start my own business! I’m going to be a photographer!” And our significant others just roll their eyes and sigh under their breath and say, “That sounds great, honey. You can do it,” knowing full well that we can’t. They’ve heard it a million and one times all with a different desired profession. They’re so damn supportive that they never say what they’re really thinking, which I assume is something like, “Oh goddamn! Would you give it a rest already? You’ll never tell your boss to shove it and you’re too smart to actually go mortgage the house because you know I’d rip your legs off if you did and really, a photographer? Last week it was a baseball star and before that it was a space cowboy astronaut rancher superhero! For god’s sake just deal with your job and shut the hell up like the rest of us!” But of course they’ll never tell us that because they know they’d kill our dreams, even if only for a week.
We go to work the next day dreaming of what we’d do if we could until something more important comes along. The washer breaks, or the dog needs shots, or the car blows it’s transmission. And then we sit and start the process all over when our minds are cleared from the mundane ups and downs of human existence.
We stare out our windows wondering what could have been. We think about why we even took this job in the first place. We wonder why we never learned to play the electric guitar or how to juggle or even how to make moonshine. We come up with the perfect jobs for us in our heads for that moment and we spend the rest of the day thinking about how we could achieve our dreams of being an drunken clown in a rock band slamming out ACDC covers and what bars we would play at and what costumes we would wear and how we would dance up on stage.
We think these things because in reality we have never really gown up. Inside we are still 5 thinking about all of the possibilities of being an adult. Even though we can be drafted to kill people and buy beer and cigars and don’t have to show ID to see an R rated movie, we are all still children. We have no idea what we’re doing. We’re still waiting for that moment that we realize that we are grown-ups. Unfortunately you don’t just wake up being one. Well, maybe according to the government. So until I wake up being one, most of my dreams will continue to start with, “When I grow up…”.