Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Do what you did when you were six

Face it: when you were a kid, you had boundless passion for stupid, simple things. Running through the sprinkler, playing in the mud, singing and dancing while dressed in a curtain, pretending to be a musical Caesar...the list goes on. However, the more celebrity "Where did they come from" interviews I watch, the more I hear "I was doing this when I was six," be it singing or dancing or acting or just being an all-around ham. This idea occurred to me a while back, but I'd forgotten about it: for all you quarter-life-crisis people, think back to what you liked to do when you were six or seven years old. If you're stumped for a career path and are tired of wearing your fingers to nubs doing traditional jobs that your family thinks are cool, forget all that! Go play in the mud! Remember that lady who was in the Columbia sports outerwear commercials? That's what she does for a living. Or go run thru the sprinkler! Somebody out there gets wet for a living and is loving it, be it in the ocean or checking the level of pollution in a land-locked lake. Sing, dance, scream your lungs out! Let go of what you think you OUGHT to be doing and just do what comes naturally.

What about me, you ask? I remember getting home from school and making a beeline for the Atari 2600 and 800XL. Sometimes there were fights between me and my brother as to who got to play what and when, but those were the heydey of cooperative gaming. Remember Bruce Lee? So what if I always had to be the fat Sumo guy. I got to kick that hooded ninja into all sorts of perils.

The point is, I played a lot of video games, wrote ludicrous stories, and had to go to piano lessons at 3:15pm sharp. We forget what makes life fun when we grow up and try to do "grown up" things, only to find they're really not that fun.

So you're saying, "But I'm stuck in this shit job I can't stand cuz it pays the bills!" Well, while you're cruising the help-wanted ads, you can still have fun. Bring a frisbee to work. Tickle a co-worker. Scoot around the office in your wheeled chair. Bang on the desk and say, "We're not gonna take it!" Play Solitaire on your office computer and try not to get caught (you all do it with Instant Messenger now anyway). Goof off and make it fun. You don't get a second time around at any of this.

Now you're saying, "This guy is NEVER this optimistic. Is he high?" No, and I didn't get laid, either. I just believe that good will and enthusiasm are infectious. Get out there, make someone laugh! There's nothing better than having people smile in your direction. Make up a new word, like "fartcock." Recite lyrics from really old songs that you KNOW everyone remembers but won't admit to. They'll look at you weird at first, but sooner or later you'll become that cool person they all look to for amusement. Shit, it works for Asher, doesn't it?

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