Although I had an article on here not too long ago regarding the aging process, this past weekend found me revisiting the thought as I found myself doing things that I, as a younger person, would probably have cringed at myself for doing.
You see, after a couple years of taking our brand new van to the shop to have all sorts of random things fixed (luckily still under warranty), my wife and I decided to go about getting ourselves a new vehicle, you know, before the warranty on the van ran out and we were stuck having to pay for all of these things out of pocket.
In our searching, we were looking for two main things, space and gas consumption (less, not more). Turns out, those fancy new crossover SUVs just so happen to have both going for them. After hemming and hawing for what felt like ages, but was closer to a couple days, we ended up going with a black Mazda CX-5. We would have preferred one of the options that wouldn’t make us look like we were gangbangers, but, well, this was the only one they had in the manual transmission…and we like us a manual. Strike One.
Add into that the fact that as a part of my current career-realignment strategy, I had an interview yesterday (no, I didn’t get the job…I’m over it already). The interview just so happened to be for a position with a company that develops software for Apple products. Strike Two.
Monday morning also entailed heading off to a parent-teacher conference for my daughter to hear about all of the things that she would be doing in her class for the year, as well as a minor amount regarding how she’s been doing so far. Strike 3.
Because we had the conference right away in the morning, there was no chance to brew a pot of coffee and take it on the road with us, meaning I would be without caffeine when heading into this adult activity. Starbucks was the only drive-thru coffee shop near the route. Strike Three.
And, of course, I had to be all snazzied up for my interview on Monday. Fat mogul in a tie equals Strike Four.
I’m more than out.
As I drove in my brand new black SUV, sipping the remnants of my Starbucks coffee, straightening my tie, on my way to an interview with a company that creates things for Apple users, I find myself cringing. I wouldn’t quite call it a panic attack, but I also probably wouldn’t quite call it not that. In the matter of a few seconds I realized something that I hadn’t realized very well prior to this moment. I’m old.
Young me loved the counter-culture. I was always much more willing to drive a complete POS vehicle in order to show how I was separate from the crowd. Starbucks, although they make a delicious caramel latte (I cringed at writing that phrase), was a company I long avoided doing business with, mostly because of the fact that they were too popular. I didn’t want to be that person who flashed my brand in front of everyone, trying to look cool because of what I was consuming (I still don’t, but I do like coffee).
My black SUV, although a very responsible car choice, just looked too damned much like the gas guzzlers every person on the planet couldn’t wait to get their hands on a few years ago (they’re probably still popular, I really don’t know).
And Apple… I’ve owned two Apple products in my life. An iPod shuffle, first generation, back before every device on the planet, including your toaster, could double as a music player. The other was an iMac I bought used for something like $20 and never took the time to set up. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s still sitting in my garage. I respect old Apple. In fact, I used to love the idea that The Woz was sitting in his garage putting things together by hand (you know, back before I was born). The company was a heaping pile of counter-culture back in the day. Now it’s a producer of equipment that costs a ton more and can honestly do a ton less. What they do they typically do well, but I like to have me a little freedom with my hardware and even more with my software.
And a tie? Sheesh… Not just a tie. I looked good. Presentable. I looked like I belonged in that outfit.
These pieces all added up to one thing. I’m old. When I started working at the place in which I’m currently employed (and it looks like I will be for quite some time to come), I knew I was selling out. Little did I know what they would look like six years later. In what feels like the flash of an eye I’ve gone from being that guy working at the little Mom and Pop photolab whose pants seemed to always be full of holes, to, well, everything I’ve just described above.
Don’t get me wrong. I feel incredibly blessed. My current employer has allowed me a very comfortable life and is allowing me to give my children a brighter future than many other job options I had available six years ago. But it’s a shocking thing to notice all at once, especially seeing as I spend most of my days as a sellout working from home wearing whatever clothes my children picked out for me in the morning.
I still love to support the little guy…but I’m quickly finding that me and the little guy have very little in common nowadays. Unless you want to start talking about my life as an author….
Anyways, speaking of writing, I’ve got a ton to do. This week away from my job has not been nearly as productive (word-wise) as I had intended it to be.
Have fun out there!