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Growing up and progressing in life...

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Mar. 5th, 2007 | 12:21 pm
mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
posted by: ironpaw in revicon

Click on the cut for some tired introspection on growing up and progressing in life.

You know, sometimes I wonder what I'd have turned out like if I had LEARNED early on what I know now.

Thinking back, I was a very introspective child. I was "self-aware" at an early age, and had a defined sense of my own individuality and existence. A miss-conception that I had well into my late teens was that adults were the result of some sort of miraculous metamorphosis, some great creature that I would one day turn into. When I woke up one day and realized that I WAS an adult, I realized that it was an inaccurate image. Being a grown up was not something you turned into when you reached a certain age, it was something that was worked for and indeed something many adults never achieve.

The next thing I wish I had learned early on was the equivalency of work and effort to achievement. All my life I had adults telling me "You're an exceptional kid, you can be anything you want to be!" I actually had a teacher pull me aside one day and say "I've never said this to anyone, but I truly believe you could be President one day. When you do, remember who inspired you, okay?"

That's all fine and dandy, but I never caught the more important lesson: Yes, I could be anything I wanted to be, but I had to achieve it, I had to work for it and earn it! Unfortunately, I lived much of my childhood and teenage life expecting these things to fall upon me (as I was told they would) and not learning how to take the small, dedicated steps to become what I truly wanted to become. Perhaps this lesson was presented to me in passing, but it went over my head and even the words can't lend themselves to the UNDERSTANDING of the concept, and that is certainly part of growing up. Of course, I had a father that would say "well, if you want something, you have to work for it! Earn the money and buy it!" However, the effort was lost on me at the time. I understood it not so much as "effort = getting what you want" as "I can give you what you want but I don't want to so I'm going to be difficult and make you work for it." It took me a long time to understand this concept. Ed was probably the most instrumental in helping me learn this, and I truly wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for the years he acted as my big brother and got me caught up. For that alone, he truly deserved to be my best man. Even if he did disappear during the reception. ; )

So anyway, now I feel like I have a grasp and growing efficiency on some of the fundamental concepts of this life. I'm 25, so it bloody well took me long enough. In any event, as in most every job I take on, there's a point where I get comfortable enough at the basics that I want to move on. I NEED to move on. In life, I feel I can sufficiently navigate the groove. I can pay the bills, I can move from state to state, I can apply for jobs, I can stand in line at the DMV, or BMV, or DOT or whatever it's called where I am currently living. Yay. So now, how do I leave the groove and begin to make my own mark? This is the next step. I doubt I'll ever be president, but I think I've learned the lessons needed to proceed to the next step. Many people are content to cruise through life in the groove, collect the goodies, build the house, raise the family. For me, I put in a year a job and the wanderlust kicks in. I've done a lot of [interesting] things in my life. I've been a journalist, I've been a cop, I've been a funeral director, I've been a surveillance operator, I've been an surveillance and access control engineer, I've been a Satellite Communications engineering team member. Each job has had something I've liked about it, each job has helped me grow; whether in technical skills, social skills or simply the skills needed to deal with life. Unfortunately, nothing has roped me in. Nothing has been my calling. I miss certain aspects of all of them, and I feel as if aspects of all of them ARE my calling. However, I put in my year, 2 years, 3 years and I am off looking for something else. And now, in life, I am off looking for something else. Now it's travel. It's been my life's dream to travel. I've gained the skills and the experience to, perhaps, make that dream possible. But what happens when I tire of that? In 5-10 years I hope to have lived on 2-3 different continents and visited several others. Is it possible? From the things I've learned, and God willing, I believe it is. But is this going to satisfy me? I actually doubt it.

Believe it or not, I fully remain open to whatever leading God wants to do in my life. I wouldn't be where I am without Him, and I DO feel like I'm in the flow of where He wants to take me. Quite often, when people express a dissatisfaction with life, the answer is simply "God". I believe this is true. However, from where I stand, I AM trying to be open to the Lord's leading. My life, my career, my direction (as always) is up in the air. Cheyenne is just another stop, just like Indiana and Oklahoma and Washington and California and anywhere else I've been. If God has somewhere else to lead me, I really am open to His leading. But thus far it hasn't been in something entirely devoted to Him. Perhaps I just need to learn something else I'm not getting, I dunno...

So back to my introspecting... I do wish I had learned a lot of the lessons earlier. I'm watching "Goof Troop", simply because it's on, and I've gotten off work and there's nothing ELSE on DiSH... I remember watching this when it originally aired, I'm sure, and at the time I must have been exactly the age of the characters in it (11). Why did I miss the morals and the lessons so many people try to teach us at that age. Parents, cartoons, mentors... watching today, I see many valuable lessons that simply flew over my head at that age. If I had seen them, took them to heart, perhaps I would be farther ahead in my journey to master and overcome, perhaps I COULD have become president.

As it is, I do feel like I'm behind. I'm an satellite earth station tech trying, TRYING to be inherently worth enough to score a job in Australia or the UK or the Mediterranean or even Antarctica. All in all it's just the next step to learning how to step out of the groove and achieve, perhaps in the end, fulfillment and greatness. Will I be unhappy if I stay in the groove, if I never move beyond this? I don't really know. I imagine that I'll always be searching though. My own restless spirit won't allow anything less.

I have a number of younger friends that show a LOT of promise. One of these has founded the Revicon community here on LJ (forgive me for being too lazy to code that name). Unfortunately I am at a loss as to how to effectively express the lessons I have learned thus far to them. Even so, have I learned enough altogether to be able to assist and encourage their growth so that perhaps they, younger and more hopeful, can go where I may be too far behind to go? I don't know. It went over my head, or I was too stubborn to truly understand it when I had the chance. Perhaps only experience can impart the vital lessons of life. If that's true, then perhaps I'm NOT too far behind. If so, only the next step I take can reveal the path I'm on.

In conclusion, I just want to express to those younger than I that if they want to explore their full potential, there are a lot of clues out there that can lead them to where they want to be in life. There is also a lot of advice from people that have MISSED the boat. Only discernment and a wise heart can successfully pick the grain from the chaff. For those that have successfully navigated past this point in life, and feel they've obtained those valuable and rare answers to many of life's questions; I'd encourage you to share and encourage in ways that would have been relatable to you at a younger age. If we can't be the president, perhaps it would fulfill us to be a stepping stone for someone who could be.

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Comments {2}

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from: wildflower1129
date: Mar. 6th, 2007 12:44 am (UTC)

I also have often felt like I'm far behind others in certain areas, if only I knew then what I know now, things would be different! Sometimes introspection can be a curse. But overall I'm slowly realizing that lessons have to be learned "the hard way" through experience for me. It's only by overcoming difficulties, through personal effort, that we can truly learn, grow and be fulfilled. And don't forget, you're still young :)

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Stoker Bramwell

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from: stokerbramwell
date: Mar. 6th, 2007 04:03 am (UTC)

Man, you are preaching to the choir.

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