Tuesday, April 14, 2009


As we transition from children into adults, most of us go through similar phases. The phases of discovery, rebellion, re-discovery become part of what makes us the adults we become. Each phase brings with it a little more maturity of body and mind. Yet each experience is totally unique to each of us. Where we were raised. By whom were we raised. Small town, big town or all around - each and every one of us goes through similar changes but with the specific backdrops tweaking that experience and folding it into the character we ultimately develop as adults.

I was no different. I looked at the life of my parents and told myself, "Not me. I am going to follow my path, not theirs" I then actively sought a life completely removed from the traditional professional trades both sides of my family had been involved in for generations going back hundreds of years. I was not going to be a doctor, a lawyer.........a boss. I would carve my own way. Yeah right.

I did start out on a different path. Out of college, I pursued the blue collar life of an over the road truck driver. And for 8 years, I lived out of a suitcase and collected hundreds of hotel room keys. I saw things. I did things my middle class family would never have dreamed of. Yeah, I was showing them.

I had not considered that the value systems I had been exposed to as a child would eventually win out. At some point while pounding the highway between point A and Point B, I had a revelation. I was damn sick and tired of being on the road. I had had it with being alone. The time had come for me to leave this life of truck stops and clothes smelling of diesel fuel. I wanted to sleep in the same bed every night. Suddenly the idea of settling down became important to me.

I had become what I vowed not to become. I know it was no small satisfaction to my parents that they had been right all along. I just had more rebellion in my belly to work through before I understood that the Life they had been grooming me for was going to happen no matter what I did to fight it. It would be great to say I beat the system. But I didn't. I just put off the inevitable a tad longer than others might.

And now after almost 30 years of domesticated existence, I sit here waxing nostalgic about the Life I left out on the super slab somewhere. I could go back to it I guess. Trucks still operate the same as they did many years ago. But no. I have made commitments and promised myself to other endeavors. I am in a life long relationship that requires my attendance and focus every day. And even though it is a struggle sometimes, I have no regrets. What I have, I built for myself. Both the good and the bad.

See Ya...................

(511 / 7021)


Gary ("Old Dude") said...

you and Sinatra----you did it YOUR way!! the main thing is are you happy?? (not to be confused with contented)

Demeur said...

I don't think it's so much rebellion as it is our very make up. We are the one who must have control of our situation. For you as it was for me it was the freedom of the road,the exitement of new places. But when you wake up in the middle of the night and wonder what state/city you're in because all the motels start looking the same. You wonder. You dig deep and wonder if there is meaning in what you're doing and if there isn't more to life than jamming gears. So off the road we went but our very nature hasn't changed. We still must have control however little. We were the Lone Rangers of our time and we didn't need Tonto.
You think about the road but it is now just memories, something to tell the grandchildren. But the most important thing is "are we having fun yet?" We picked our ruts carefully. We can change jobs but we are still the same because where ever you go there you are.

BBC said...

Our journeys are confusing.

BBC said...

Our women are even more confusing, I've decided that they are not worth it.

"A misogynist is a man who hates women as much as women hate each other." - HL Mencken

Randal Graves said...

I probably would've ended up where I'm at considering I had no idea what I wanted to do besides things that didn't lend themselves to paying the bills.

PipeTobacco said...


A very interesting essay! The paths we take are indeed unique. In my own case, while I did not have the type of "rebel" drive to not conform like you describe, in my own manner, I did strive along a unique path very different from either of my parents, neither of whom were of a scientific mindset. In this way, I think I too may have "rebelled" in a way.

It is interesting to think how our lives would have been shaped differently if we knew at the ages of 15-30 what we know about ourselves now. I do not know if I would have pursued the same avenue in science that I have, or if I would have chosen another discipline. I *do* feel that I would still have pursued being an educator, and perhaps still a professor, but the subject matter *MAY* have been something different. Not because I do not enjoy my specialities in biology, but because I see so MANY MORE possibilities of subjects I could have pursued that also are exciting.

And, even though it is not generally in my makeup, I *do* wish I would have had a few of the more rugged (perhaps what society would label as "foolish"?) adventures in my youth to recall. Perhaps along the line of backpacking through Europe, or being a roadie, or something similar.