I roll out a phrase from days of yore because I actually did have a sudden realization at some point in the last 48 hours or so. I have mentioned before that at age 36, I have more or less got everything I ever wanted out of life…albeit with the caveat that some stuff I got I didn’t realize I wanted, and some stuff I thought I wanted it turns out I didn’t, and that I had some of it and have since lost it again.
But what occurred to me was that there actually *was* a point when I had gotten everything I ever wanted in life (to that point), and it was summer of 1989. I had:
* A car
* A kick-ass summer job (law firm, if you must know, beats the hell out of the produce cooler)
* A crew of friends, of the sort that would take ten years to start replicating elsewhere
* A girl that was crazy about me. More than one, actually, but it’s a long story, and it ends with one of them 1200 miles away and the other regenerating and not in a good way
* A GPA that AP classes had finally driven above 4. (I don’t know if it was still like this when Technically Cool was there, but in my day – in addition to wearing an onion on our belts and spending nickels with bees on them – the GPA of the entire senior class was publicly posted like it was the AP football poll, on a very regular basis. Despite my best efforts, I never managed to get above #7.)
* Back-to-back state championships in Scholars’ Bowl (one unofficial, one decidedly NOT), an MVP trophy from the Auburn invitational, and the knowledge that the captain’s chair was waiting for me in September.
* Prescription aviator shades. (Seriously. Coupled with the shorts, which I’m not proud of – we were still in the Daisy Dukes back then – I looked like a poor, poor, homeless man’s Grow Your Own Hunter S. Thompson Sea Monkey.)
And most of all:
* The knowledge that in a little over a year, somebody was going to pay for me to leave home and go to COLLEGE, where the sky would be the limit and I could finally do what I’d been waiting twelve years for.
See, back then, the future was nothing if not the perfect storm of possibilities. Anything at all…there was no limit to what could potentially be around the corner.
Now, almost twenty years on, most of the blanks have been filled in. Some of them are pretty damn good, some of them I wish I could go back and fill out differently, and sadly, some of them got crossed out for me. And I wonder if the fact that there aren’t that many big blanks left to fill in tends to make one anxious about what finally will go in them.
Also, believe me when I say that a period of extreme introspection and being kind of antsy is a very very bad time for your financial institution to unexpectedly screw with you. Three-ring-binder-jockeys will quickly get pulled off their phone script.