Pink Houses

Now that I know what I want to be when I grow up, I think this blog will be about that process. I thought this blog was going to be full of posts about how I still haven’t figured out what I want to do yet, day in and day out, same old tired story, and maybe I’d throw in some motivational YouTube videos that I’d searched in hopes of figuring it out, maybe some links to the Purpose Fairy website, maybe I’d write some posts about how I’d decided to get a master of science degree to become a nutritionist, but then a month later I’d decide to go to nursing school–so that I could become a traveling nurse, because there is such a thing, and that way I could travel around the world as a nurse—but then a month after that, after I’d invested hundreds of dollars in taking nursing classes, I’d realize I actually wanted to become an addiction counselor, because I have real-world experience in that area—and my blog would be all about this discovery process. This would go on for a year or until my blog fizzled out, whichever came first, and my blog and I would fade into oblivion. I’d continue working at the grocery store, and eventually decide to move into a trailer park in Florida where it’s warmer and more affordable.

Living in a trailer in Florida wouldn’t be so bad. I’d have everything I needed, a roof over my head, a simple job providing necessary goods, food and shelter. Maybe I’d find a blue collar man, like an electrician, who also provides necessary services to the community (not sex, but electrician… stuff), and in his free time he plays music. At night we don’t waste our lives in front of the mind-numbing, soul-sucking television—instead, I water our potted herb garden (it has to be potted because you don’t really get a lot of land when you live in a trailer park), while he serenades me with songs he writes about the human condition, One Hundred Years of Solitude style, but in song form. Together we cook dinner, of organic groceries I got on discount from my grocery store job, and afterwards we make passionate love. Then after that we cuddle with our dog who we’d taken for a walk before all of the herb-watering, organic dinner-making, song-serenading festivities began. We’d save our money so that by the time we retired we’d have a little plot of land, an acre or so, where we’d build our own little pink house, except it wouldn’t be pink, it would be turquoise. And eventually I’d write a book, and maybe I’d even get it published, and it would be about daily blue collar life, your everyday average Joe, an insider peek into the lives of my co-worker friends, who each made it in her own way, this American dream.

But it turns out this blog won’t be about that. Unless no one hires me. In which case, back to the blue collar idea. But let’s suppose someone does hire me. Maybe it will be Lone Star College in Houston, Texas. There I will inspire young minds to pursue their dreams through plays like Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun and poems like “The Tyger” by William Blake. But also more modern, pop culture, hipster-esque books, like those of Chuck Klosterman, who I haven’t read but by then I will have, because when you have a book entitled Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, how can you not appeal to an 18-year-old male audience in search of that same thing we’re all in search of (perhaps some of us more than others): love, peace, and making sense of this world we live in.

And I’ll live in Houston, inspiring impressionable minds, Dead Poets Society style, except no one commits suicide, and my students will love literature, and those who don’t will grow to love it, and they’ll feel so moved by my powerful, heartfelt teaching style that those who are struggling will come to me to guide them on their journey. In Houston I’ll live in a cozy little houseboat on the bayou and I’ll spend my nights listening to CCR songs while cranking out personal essays about life on the bayou inspiring young minds, and there I’ll meet a fisherman/artist who recycles junk into beautiful yard art of the functional variety. He even lives in a treehouse that he built himself—not just any treehouse, but one featured in Better Homes and Gardens. We’ll split our time between his treehouse and my houseboat, and in the summertime we’ll go wherever the mood takes us, like Greece, Thailand, or South Africa, and eventually we’ll get our own little plot of land so that we can grow a vegetable garden and get a dog, and some goats and chickens.

So yeah, my life could go in one of those two ways.

The cynic in me says this will never happen. I’ll find that dream job and the man, but then I’ll get fired or the man will die, or worse: neither will be what I’d anticipated. The students will hate me, I’ll be terrified of getting up in front of the room, they’ll be more interested in pursuing sex, drugs, and cocoa puffs than actual love and dreams. Meanwhile this so-called man of my dreams will be all those things I want him to be in the beginning of our relationship before it’s too late and I’ve married husband #8, thinking this time will be different, because really he’ll spend his free time doing what seemingly every other man in America spends his free time doing: playing video games or watching sports while eating hamburgers and joking about sex to whoever will listen.

That’s a third direction where my life could take me.

At some point I’ll finally realize that life isn’t about what happens to you but about how you perceive it to be, and that life is happening right here, now, and not in some distant future that probably will never happen. I will get a job and it will have its pros and cons. I will get a man, or two or three or eight, and they will have their pros and cons. Times will be good and times will be bad. Hopefully I’ll continue to write about these times, but if I don’t, that will be okay too.

Enjoy this video by John Mellencamp, because “cleaning up the evening slop” is… what we all should aspire to?

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