Life is Unremarkable
When I was 20 I thought I’d be married by 25, have a college degree, a job I liked and maybe a kid or two. Maybe a cool car. A nice house. I thought every weekend would be exciting, most nights would be enjoyable and the rest of my existence would be filled with parties. I saw life as a series of big events, a steady stream of highs, a timeline of notable occasions.
It’s not like that at all.
It’s mostly filled with questioning, trying, failing, waking, working, day-to-day activities, vacuuming, dishes, doing the laundry, sleeping and perpetual motion. For most people life is unremarkable at best.
Growing up I had a lot of questions and not many answers. I didn’t know people who did anything that I wanted to do when I grew up and I didn’t meet anyone who could suggest a career path until I was 25. So after high school I floundered. I worked at a car dealership, an Olive Garden, for a construction crew, at a bar named Chuck’s, for a landscaping company, at a golf course, as a camp counselor, convenience store clerk, a coach, a sales dude, a cold-caller for a mortgage guy, a campground helper person, I volunteered, I was a front desk fella at a gym (“Hi! Card please. Thanks! Enjoy sweating.) and I tutored some kids at a local school.
Then I finally figured out I wanted to be a ad copywriter so I took out a massive loan, went to advertising school, created a portfolio of work and got a job in Indianapolis. It was one of the first big things that happened, but it turns out it was just a job. Nothing remarkable. Just work. And I drank way too much while spending years at advertising agencies to enjoy most of it.
Along the way I dated a few people, thought I’d maybe marry one of them, but never seriously considered proposing. Then I met the right one, got married and the concepting, creating and executing of the event was mostly stressful. It was not joyous. It was not like the movies or what we see on Instagram—life is not like a movie. Life is not a staged photograph. On our wedding day, I spent about five hours spinning in circles talking to a few hundred people in short spurts. Sentences were rarely completed before someone else jumped in.
“Hi! Good to see you, yeah, no, for sure, let’s…”
“Hey! Thanks for coming. Hope you enjoy the…”