Friday, June 14, 2013

The Great Game-Change

When I was a kid, I used to think adults who said they still didn't know what they wanted to be when they grew up were liars. Or at least just kidding. I mean, come on—Adults are Grown-Ups. Synonymous. Grown-Ups, thought my childhood self, are finished. They have real life jobs that they picked out special when they went to real life school, and now they work and that's it. And they do what they want. Game over.

Granted, my childhood self saw this somehow as both less of a downer than it seems (Game over? How...depressing) and also fantastic—a life goal. To pick a Job (capitol J!) and ta-da!, the rest of your life basically unfurls before you, ripe for the living.

Then, the strangest thing happened.

I grew up.

And the game changed. Suddenly my "Adults have it all figured" strategy wasn't working anymore because my adult self began regurgitating those funny things Grown Ups used to say: I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

And I discovered there's a lot more to that than just an oxymoron. There's fear, kind of. Or maybe that's just me. But a fear like, what if I never figure it out? What if I spend the rest of my life perplexing children by being this bonafide adult who hasn't picked out an adult life yet? Anxiety. What if pick the wrong career? What if I end up back in a lecture hall, drooling mindlessly over lecture notes praying that my purpose in life will suddenly flash before my eyes during another text-laden PowerPoint.

I never wanted that for myself. When I was younger, teachers, people like that, would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and it was okay that I didn't know then—I was six, or ten, or twelve, or whatever. But now I find myself having those conversations again, in a way, and I'm often at a loss. I'll meet someone new, commence small talk. And, of course, school comes up.
And this is how it goes:

"Oh, you went to A&M?"

"Sure did."

"What's your degree?"


"Oh, cool, so you want to teach?"

"Really not."

Ok, so that's an awkward way to wrap up that exchange, I know. But it's true. Yes, I have an English degree. No, I don't particularly want to teach. But that's always the conclusion people reach, and then I start questioning things. Should I want to teach? If not, should I have majored in something else? But there wasn't really anything else I wanted to major in. So what am I doing? What will I be doing?

And the stress returns.

But folks, here's what I'm learning the older I get, and maybe 26 isn't old, but it's older than I was when I first started college, and a lot has changed.

I think it's okay to not know. I think it's fabulous if you do, and I know people who were blessed with a gift and the passion to go for it and the incredible luck to know exactly what they want to do now that they're "grown up". But for all of those people, I know just as many that are still searching, seeking, learning. Trying to find where they fit, taking stock of their skills and natural gifts and looking into the marketplace of jobs to see where their niche is.

And that's okay.

I used to think once you picked, that was it. You take a job, and by golly you'd better love the crap out of it because that's The One. The Job. The end-all/be-all mystical career you will climb ladders in for the rest of your life.

I don't think that anymore.

Sure, it's ideal. And if you've got it, congratulations! That's brilliant.

If you don't, don't panic! Don't shy away from things you're unsure of because What If. Because the thing is, it's a job. If you hate it, you don't have to stagnate in misery. You can bow out, pop another bit of experience on your résumé, and try again.

Because I do believe that eventually you'll find it. And you'll transcend your childhood "I dunno" and find your adult "I do know" and you'll be satisfied.

And if you aren't, you can continue to baffle people by telling them you still don't know what you want to be when you grow up, exactly like I've been doing.

And you can keep looking.

Chins up, friends. Your place in the world is out there. If you've found it, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, you will.

Until then, embrace the journey, accept the challenge, and don't stress yourself stupid trying to measure up to any other Grown Up out there.

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Little Bit of Geekery

Well guys, guess what. Today was both E3 and WWDC. Playstation and Apple announcements all in one day. My tech-obsessed and nerdy self really can't handle much more excitement.

Let's face it, I game all the time. In fact, I'm usually gaming when I should be doing probably anything else. Like, say, writing, or keeping my blog up to date. (I feel the shame.) I've been so excited for any whiff of news about PS4 since rumors first surfaced that a new console would be out soon.

All the months of being teased and tempted with blogger speculation and general whispers finally culminated in tonight—Finally, we know what PS4 will look like. Now if only I could get my hands on one right this second...

And the games! Oh, the games that will be coming out soon, not only for PS4 but also on PS3. I really can't even... There's simply not enough time in my day for all the play I want to do.

Yeah, I'm pretty stoked.

I'm 50% excited about PS4, 50% distracted by the Watch_Dogs ad in the background.*

And then Apple, you sly dog, announcing iOS 7 at WWDC this year.

If you guys have followed my blog for awhile, and a lot of you have (THANK YOU, you folks are fantastic), then you know I love Apple. Any and all things Apple. It's what I grew up using. The only kind of computer I've ever owned. And when they hit the cell phone market? Well, all my days of switching SIM cards when I got sick of whatever phone I currently used were over. From the second I picked up the original iPhone, I was hooked.

But okay, I admit, some of the new phones out there that aren't iPhones have been starting to look pretty nifty. The thing is, like I said, all I use is Mac. iPhone seamlessly moves between my iMac and my MacBook Pro, and everything is where it should be, and my calendars sync, and my iTunes—well, you get the idea.

And it's just like Apple to announce something that completely obliterates any piquing interest in any other kind of phone just as that little tickle of stagnation hits. See, upgrading from iPhone 4 to iPhone 5 didn't feel like much of a change as far as the operating system. But iOS 7 look to be a serious reimagining of iPhone's OS. And I honestly love everything about it. At least as far as I can tell from this video.

Now if only I could get a solid release date for iOS 7. Then my tech-brain would be satisfied.

As it stands, I'll be content eagerly waiting on both counts!

*Copyright, all rights reserved to Sony. No infringement intended.