Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Toys 'R Us, anyone?

When you're a kid, people ask you: what do you want to be when you grow up? I've never had a really good answer for that. On more than one occasion I thought I had an answer for it. When I was younger, my answers were the normal kid answers. I wanted to be a pilot like my dad, I wanted to be a cop, a fireman, a soldier and a superhero.

When I grew up a little my answers changed a bit. I had more realistic, if not vague, goals. I started school studying Business Administration, but had no idea what I wanted to do with that degree, or even what I could do with it, but that didn't stop me from forging ahead one whole semester in pursuit of this goal.

When I came home from my LDS mission, I was talking with some friends and we had decided to move to Arizona and pursue our fortunes. Education was important to me, so I insisted we move someplace near a college or university. We learned that Arizona State University was a short drive from Phoenix and thus it was settled. We were moving to Arizona. Why Arizona? Why not?

After checking the tuition rates and realizing that I would be an non-resident student and would pay double for tuition, I shot that plan down. A short time later, I decided to change my major and my post-college plans to that of the field of Criminal Justice. This path lasted for all of a year and a half until I changed my major, yet again, to Psychology. At this time, I was "pot committed" (beware the link soft-hearted people). I finished my degree in Psychology, but couldn't settle down.

I planned to be a police officer in Phoenix, because I wanted to be a cop and I wanted to live in Arizona. Nevermind that my entire experience with Arizona consisted of a short stop in Tuscon (?) for a day (maybe two) when I was about 8 years old, planning a move with my friends years earlier, and hearing a song I now know is by Mark Lindsay, aptly titled "Arizona". The chorus of the song is all I really knew (and know) and it goes a little something like this: Ar-i-zohona (something, something), Ar-i-zohona (something else, something else). Profound lyrics.

After my brief foray into the police hiring process, I decided it wasn't for me. I felt lost. My life's plan of almost three years, the longest to that point, was gone. I didn't know what to do or where to turn.

It was this point that I started getting creative with my plans, and it hasn't really stopped yet. I wanted to buy a motorhome and a couple waverunners and move to Lake Tahoe and live in the motorhome and rent the waverunners to tourists seeking summer fun. When winter came, my plan was to buy some snowmobiles and do the same thing.

I wanted to own a dive shop and be a SCUBA instructor/tour guide in Hawaii taking people to old wrecks and WWII relics under water. Nevermind the fact that I'm not a SCUBA Dive Master, not SCUBA certified and have never actually been SCUBA diving, a dive shop in Hawaii was the plan.

These are just two examples of some of the more 'creative' life plans I've had. You'd think that now that I'm a college graduate, in a solid career and a graduate student in a program attached to a fairly prestigious college in a well known university, I'd grow up and settle down a little. Guess what? I'm still thinking and scheming for my life plan.

In recent weeks, I've wanted to live on a houseboat on the Great Salt Lake, be a flower farmer in Hawaii and have a ranch in Texas. Give me a couple of weeks and I'm sure I'll have at least one more plan.

I'm a stage in my life where most people would consider themselves "grown up", but I'm far from being grown up. Is there a rule that one has to grow up? I sure hope not, because that's one thing that is definitely not in any of my plans.


BeatlesDiva said...

I say never grow up! And if you plan on doing the scuba shop in Hawaii I'd visit you every year. I guess that's more scary than anything.

Seriously though, who says you can't be an adult and have a fun filled Peter Pan lifestyle. Heck, I have a credit card from Toys 'R Us. It's one of my favorite shops.

I'm sure whatever you have planned next in life will be great!

Ryan Booher said...

Great post Jason. I think its fun our expectations for ourselves. Life happens in largely unexpected ways than we anticipate. Maybe its just another way we recognize that from an eternal perspective (even if we are 90 yrs old) that we are still infants trying to make grown up decisions. My life has followed a similarly strange path but in the end that is what makes life interesting and exciting. Thanks for the post.