You know that time in your life where every little boy wants to be a policeman or a firefighter? Yeah, I don’t. My reasoning? Policemen get shot. I mean, I know I was little, but I wasn’t an idiot. I’d seen the news. It seems every other day it’s about some tragedy that happened TO the police or some tragedy that the police couldn’t prevent. Now, this isn’t to say that policemen don’t do good work, but seriously, why would I want to do that? Sure, you get the whole hero thing, but that usually comes at the expense of some self sacrifice. Firefighters were the same deal. Firefighters go INTO burning buildings when everybody else is going out of them. I mean, doesn’t that seem like a clue to anyone else? Because it did to me. It was then and there that I decided that I was not going to follow in the footsteps of most of the kids around me. While they were getting shot at by bank robbers and drug addicts or running into burning buildings, I had no idea what I’d be doing, but I knew I’d be far away from there.
In 2nd grade, we were asked a new question just about every other week. The goal was to get us to think critically, and have us write down our answers and a picture to help explain our answer. Well, it just so happened that one week’s question was, “Would you go into space? Why or why not?”. Our “Question of the Week” was pretty much always something along those lines, something that had to do with the lesson plan that was going on and, as I told my teacher, it was typically 2 questions of the week so the title of the program was a little misleading. Well, being the precocious little scamp that I suppose I was, my answer was something along the lines of “No. Because in space there is no air. With no air, no one can hear you scream if the spaceship blows up.” The accompanying picture was flurries of orange and yellow for the flames.
I used precocious before, but I’m not sure if that’s the word I meant to use. Sadly, the English language doesn’t seem to have one word that means “I was covering my own ass.” I was the “anywhere but here” kid. I was “anything but that.” Sure, it was weird and even a little guarded for a kid my age. Of course, that’s something anyone who knows me knows that I’ve since left behind. And after all, think about it. How many kids wanted to be cops or firefighters or even astronauts? Alright, now think about how many of them BECAME cops or firefighters or astronauts? Don’t get me wrong, I know that some of them did, but let’s look at those stats. I can tell you those odds probably aren’t that great. Sure, I was probably the kid that knew for the longest time what I DIDN’T want to do, but I was also one of the first kids to know what I was passionate about, and what I needed to do to get what I wanted. I mean, isn’t that worth the price I paid as a kid?