Stage 5 of 5… I watch as the blue screen counts down a disk recovery? Or the end of my life? Who can tell?
Â I sip my latte in my office/storage closet and listen to Fergie while re-imaging a hard drive. The life of an IT man… it isn’t glamorous, but it pays the bills. This job is not what I expected to be doing when I grew up, but who actually does what they say they are going to do? When the teacher asked in first grade, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Hands shot in the air and children smiled with pride, girls always responded with teacher or nurse, the boys usually say, “Fireman”Â guess whatÂ I said… wait for it, wait for it…Â “Preacher”. Talk about a kiss ass. I mean, I was only 6 or 7 and the principal asked me this question in front of my parents. The principal at a Christian School. I was already schooled in the fine are of BS and AK (bull$hit and ass-ki$$ing) and even then I knew what I was doing. For years I think my mom thought I would actually fulfill that statement, I think for a while I did too. It would not have been unlikely, it was actually even probable, however, lots of things happened growing up that diverted me from that holy path.
I think part of it started when I quit the 9th grade and started home school. I use that term loosely as for the first year my sisters and I didn’t go to school. We started to, and then we didn’t. It’s all very complicated, I just remember telling everyone that the reason I was behind in school was because our house burned down in 1990 and burnt up all of our school books. Lies. Bold faced ones that people believed. I think I even started to believe that one. The truth of the matter was this – my parents knew we were smart and that formal education beyond what we already had was probably unnecessary. We could read and write and do math brilliantly, is there anything else left to learn in school other than what an orgy and ecstasy are? My parents didn’t think so. (They were mostly right).
Now that was glamorous. Home for hours at a time with nothing to do except watch tv and eat french fries with ketchup. I remember when our house burned down I was sort of excited because it was something different and I was tired of the same old routine. When I wasn’t at home I was working at a horse ranch. My life reeked of manure and was extremely depressing. When I recall memories of this time everything is cold and gray, like a film shot with a blue filter.
About my career path, I can’t blame my parents. They worked ridiculously hard and tried to give us everyting we wanted. My mom would work multiple jobs, they were youth pastors, and church-goers. They gave everything they had to support us and the ministry and so with that you would think that I would have ended up as a pastor, isn’t that what being a pastor is all about?Â Well, no, but back then I sure thought it was.
The Pentecostal Church of God was small, very small, possibly smaller than the house I live in now. Okay, maybe not that small, but close. I think when full it would hold around 250 people and the pastor sure wasn’t getting rich. I used to wonder how in the world a pastor could survive on a salary from a church that size? I guess God did provide, but to me it didn’t look like much.
“Not much” seemed to be a recurring theme in my life. We always got by, but it seemed that we were always scraping by. I vowed that when I got older I would not struggle like my parents did. I’ve been mostly successful, but I’d never be where I am at today without them. Time and again they came through for me and I was harsh sometimes looking back wishing that things had been different. It’s foolish to waste time on thoughts like that.
I expected so much more out of myself as a kid and so much less as I get older. As a kid you dream dreams, you fantasize, you don’t live in reality. I wanted to be a rockstar so that one day, like Toby Keith, I could sing, “How do you like me now Bi-Atch!?”Â I added in the bi-atch! part of course because we all know that was the original lyric.
In 5th grade I already knew I was a rockstar. I was bold and I sang accapella in front of the 5th grade class in the Liberty Christian gym for the talent show.Â The song, incomplete in it’s entirety, went something like this…
“I wonder how it makes you feel when the prodigal won’t come home, I wonder what it’ s like for you when he’d rather be on his own, it must be like another, thorn stuck in your brow, it must be like another, lost friends broken vow, it must be like another, nail stuck in your wrist, it must be, just like… just like Judas Kiss!”
I’d never even heard the song before, I had only heard my rockstar friends sing it in 2nd or 3rd grade when they were teaching me. Some of my buddies and I were going to start a band and this was our first song – not written by us mind you, just memorized and performed by us – I thought that’s what bands did. We rocked.
I still can’t believe that I got up in front of everyone and sang this at such a young age, I mean, I’ve always loved a stage, but back then I was picked on mercilessly for having a high voice and being so sensitive. Cruelty is something that I think you learn before BS and even AK. I think you learn how to be cruel right out of the womb and then for years your parents have to beat it out of you – some parents succeed, others don’t.
So here I am… I’m not doing what I thought I’d be doing, I’m not a rockstar or a preacher, my job isn’t glamorous, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be…
G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S… flying first class up in the sky, popping champagne, living the life…