Have you ever felt like you're playing a supporting character to your own life? This sort of reminds me of a line from About a Boy: "The thing is, a person's life is like a TV show. I was the star of The Will Show. And The Will Show wasn't an ensemble drama. Guests came and went, but I was the regular." But what if you've just sort of taken the side plot of your own life? Waiting for it to get good. To get reinvested and rescripted. A bit more comedy, drama, entertainment. Waiting for your life to begin. That Colin Hay. Love 'em or hate 'em, he can be dead on sometimes.
"When I awoke today, suddenly nothing happened.
But in my dreams, I slew the dragon.
And down this beaten path and up this cobbled lane
I'm walking in my old footsteps, once again
And you say, just be here now
Forget about the past, your mask is wearing thin"
I've written about this sort of thing a few times. In different ways. In my old footsteps once again. Here we are again. Waiting for my real life to begin. Does it begin in the tortured years of middle school? In high school, when all I was focused on the future? Or now, when The Future is Now, and suddenly I find myself 25. Sort of wandering. I expected to find my life starting when I graduated, then when I found my first job, then when I got engaged. Then when I quit my job. Now I'm wondering if marriage will be it. If not then, then when? When I have kids? When they head off to college?
I suppose there's lots of Life waiting for you out there. But your achy joints pull at you, your exhausted body slowing you down, telling you to put it off for another day. There's bills to pay and work to be done, right? So we'll have none of this "Real Life" Stuff. After all, isn't that Real Life? Mediocre, toiling. An uphill battle of trying to balance work and home, bills and savings. Life is boring. Admit it. There's such a small percentage that go out there and grab it. And the rest of us hate those people. Look at them! Living their dream, living "The Life"! Ha. Like it's real.
The most adventurous thing I've done in the past year was quit my job. But man, was that sweet. Like Christmas all over again. It was my new lease on life. Fresh feet! My Brilliant Feat. I wouldn't have to wait much longer for my real life to begin now I was out of that crazy/unquaillifed bosses, dead-end job. I was onto a bigger and better life. New Year's Eve. Could there be a better way to kick off 2011?
"Any minute now, my ship is coming in.
I'll keep checking the horizon
And I'll check my machine, there's sure to be that call.
It's going to happen soon, soon, soon
It's just that times are lean."
Any minute now, right?
"Don't you understand?
I already have a plan
I'm waiting for my real life to begin."
Any minute now. Any minute now, life is going to start. What's the line in that John Lennon song? Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. I feel like life can take you down one path, turn sharply and veer down an unpaved side street at 90 miles an hour, laughing maniacally at your terror. Unless you take control of the wheel, you're just the supporting player in your own life. Meh.
But that's the way it goes sometimes. You're a kid, hoping to come out unscathed and grow into an adult. You take the college path or not, and meet yourself in your mid-twenties, bewildered at how you came out with a degree, a job, and a fiance. Despite it all, things sort of worked out. But maybe not in the way you plan. You still carry those secrets, scars, bad memories. But you're okay. Halfway to a functioning adult. But maybe not in the way you plan.
Meanwhile, where the hell is this going? Nowhere. Everywhere. Mindless babble from a Jenni on a Sunday night. Here today, gone tomorrow.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, I'm waiting for my real life to begin because I see, or at least want more from my life.
"On a clear day
I can see, see a very long way."
An average life is more than I expected for myself. It was something I'd wanted: The job, the husband, the house, future children as weird as myself. It's an average life, but really, is that so terrible? Which undermines this entire post. But still. A happy home, a job you can tolerate, the family vacations, friends and lots of family. It may be average, but it sounds pretty good.
After World War II, the desired life was the spouse, kids, house and a job with retirement. That was the life to have. Now American society and media is pushing this ultrahigh end life style (and ultra unattainable)and life of entitlement, cars, clothes, stuff, the unattached life of random lovers, parties and money. The Average Life is just that. Average, and therefore undesirable. For me, I'd like to have the family, and the house. I'd like a job that I love where maybe things just aren't so hard for me. I could do without the struggles while still working hard.
"And you say "Be still my love,
open up your heart, let the light shine in"
Don't you understand? I already have a plan
I'm waiting for my real life to begin."