Friday, August 31, 2007


I often hear people say, "I've been real busy - but that's good."

Busy is good, they say.

I disagree. Busy sucks.

When I first started this thing called the “real world,” I had more time than I knew what to do with. My "work" days were pretty stress-free, probably because I didn't have a whole lot of work to do. I played a lot of video games, took long walks around the neighborhood, strolled home to nap and watch Maury Povich over lunch, and brushed up on my ping-pong skills.

That gravy train lasted 4 ½ years, believe it or not. I didn’t bank a whole lot of coin at that gig (some friends were pulling 2-3X my paltry salary), but I was rich in other ways. I had lots of time to drink, think, and write. And I was a fucking blast to be around...or so I imagine. At least that's the way it appears when I thumb through old photos.

These days, I don’t have a whole lot of time to drink, think, or write. Most of my time is paid directly to the exchange for a slightly more lucrative role in corporate America. There’s always a trade-off, I suppose. I wouldn't say I'm a blast to be around anymore – more of a muted bang, or a faded pop. Just loud enough you can almost tell I was once someone alive.

I celebrated another birthday just a couple weeks ago and came to the startling realization that I was missing an entire decade of my life. 10 years vanished. Can’t get those back. I don't regret them – they were what they were. But I do wonder sometimes if, perhaps, I could have been a whole lot more than I am today had I been able to focus on something – anything – productive.

Instead of investing so much time in fantasy sports, what if I had spent years analyzing trends in financial markets?

Instead of spending so much of my hard-earned money at the bar, what if I had been paying off student loans and credit cards?

Instead of clinging to the security and comfort of low-paying jobs for which I am grossly overqualified, what if I had challenged myself to do something far more adventurous and rewarding?

Instead of spending all of my free time playing video games, what if I had continued playing guitar, perfecting and adding to my collection of under-exposed acoustic pop masterpieces?

Instead of sleeping in every morning, what if I had got up just a ½ hour earlier to do a few push ups and run a few miles?

Instead - I am what I am. And 10 years vanished like they never happened; the unspent creativity swelling inside and strangling me like the swollen fingers of visceral fat taxing my vitals.

The Oasis refrain, “go let it out” echoes somewhere inside.

Maybe I should, I think.

Maybe I will.

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