This Is It

There are no do-overs, just like there’s no crying in baseball. You start at GO! and you never pass by again, if only you knew then what you know now.

You were much better looking than you ever thought you were. You look back at the pictures and marvel how skinny you were, your flaxen hair, you wonder why that person was so insecure.

You wanted to be popular but now you realize that’s not your personality. You don’t want to be phony and you’re not a member of the group and you don’t like to diss people, all you are is you. You had one close friend, maybe two, it’s been this way your entire life, own it, it’s all right.

Where you were born and who were your parents counts. Opportunity depends on it. But the truth is there are many pathways for the disadvantaged, assuming you do the work. The best colleges and universities are need-blind, meaning if you get in and have no money they’ll pay, but the truth is the entitled don’t want you to know this. All that time you wasted watching TV and posting on social media could have been used to get ahead.

Everybody’s got an interest, it’s up to you to follow it. Playing it safe means you’re never gonna get where you want to go. Be a dentist and you can buy tickets in the front row, but you can never get backstage, which is fine unless you want to be backstage, part of the action, because you live and breathe it as opposed to wanting to boast about it.

Not that where you went to college matters. It all comes down to you baby.

And they don’t prepare you for what comes next. You’re supposed to find a job, doing what you have no idea, you’ve just got to pay your bills, and maybe your student loans. And you can waste five or six years figuring it all out to find that you’re on the wrong path, and then it’s too late to change.

Kinda like having a family and children and a house and a car. No one told you to do all that, if you want to pursue your dream you’ve got to sacrifice. No one wants to sacrifice in America anymore, that’s someone else’s job.

And it’s true half of getting ahead is showing up. You’d be surprised who can’t. And if you’re not a kiss-ass, work alone, because organizations are all about kissing up. People like to be flattered, and it’s a veritable network of relationships and just doing your work is not enough. If you’re not looking for a new job the minute you start the old one the joke is on you.

As it is if you don’t go to college. It’s an entry fee. People just want to know you have a diploma. Find a school, figure it out.

And if you want to take the path untrodden…be prepared for hardship. If you’re lucky you’ve got parents who will support you, otherwise you’re gonna realize it takes money to survive. The corporations don’t only make billionaires, they force people to be poor. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer and the poor can’t pay their bills and since they have no money, politicians won’t listen to them. It all comes down to money, never forget that, it’s the great motivator, what gets people interested.

And the truth is your career won’t keep you warm at night, which is why you should have a spouse and children but they push you onto the hamster wheel. I know, it’s a conundrum. That’s the essence of life, everybody keeps telling you how to do it, you feel inadequate, and it’s not until you’re old and tired that you realize no one had a better idea than you, they were just faking it, or bullying, you could have competed, or maybe you are now.

You can’t do anything you want, you can’t be a basketball player if you’re 5’5″, but people will point out players who were but ignore them, trivia knowledge gets you nowhere unless you’re on “Jeopardy.” The record company doesn’t want an employee who knows music history, they want one who can get their record on the chart!

But you can find your niche. But know it’s a jungle out there. You’re on your own.

And don’t marry someone if you think you’re gonna get divorced, the aftermath is too painful. Then again, the most perfect marriages break up, because you don’t know what happens behind closed doors, and those who don’t argue…someone is holding their tongue.

And it becomes overwhelming. And you’re too young and then you’re too old. You get carded and then you don’t. The older generation runs the world and then the younger one, it never seems to be your time.

But you don’t know it then. You’re either a slave to the grind or barking up trees with no limbs. It comes down to people. You’ve got to know the right ones. Sometimes it’s only one. Spend time with losers and you too are a loser. Not that everyone poor or going nowhere is a loser, being a good person counts for a lot, but a lot of the losers are delusional or sour grapes, they’re gonna make it, they would have made it, except for…

But we’re all animals at the core, and we’re here to reproduce, and your children will make your life worthwhile, assuming you pay attention to them.

And if you don’t have children your career has got to work.

And you think your life is in front of you before it’s suddenly behind. Your parents die and then friends die and then you realize it’s you next. All the things you were gonna do, the places you were gonna go, it’s too late, time’s up.

But you don’t know all this until it’s too late. You’re drifting, and then you’re hanging on for dear life.

Some people will tell you the truth, but you don’t listen, you only realize their wisdom in hindsight.

Like your health is everything… Meaningless when you’re in your twenties, everything when you’re over fifty.

And speaking of meaningless, life is, achievement is, it’s all a game that means nothing. You can keep playing it, believing if you win you’ll be respected and feel better, or you can hew to your own desires, assuming you haven’t been so brainwashed you don’t know what they are anymore. People tell you what to do all day long, it really comes down to what you want to do.

And nothing happens if you don’t take action. You’ve got to engage.

And the path to where you wanna go is fraught with danger.

Then again, Julia Child didn’t make it until she was in her sixties, or was it seventies, or fifties…it doesn’t matter, because she’s not you.

And speaking of not being you, stop reading the business books, the self-help books, because you’re not Ray Dalio and you’re not a standard patient.

You’re just you. And they don’t want you to be you. So you’re fighting your whole life to be you.

And then you realize at the end it’s all about moments, laughs, good times, doing things for others…nothing makes you feel better.

But you don’t see this in the media. And in the internet age you can see everybody striving and you believe you’re doing it wrong, you’re not.

Everybody’s got their own special gift, respect others and find yours.

But time keeps rolling. Try to keep your eyes open. Try to capture your own personal zeitgeist. You only go around once, reincarnation, all that hogwash was created by people who were scared, who couldn’t believe this was it, all of it. But once you embrace that it’s one and done you’ve got a new perspective. Funny how life is. There are rewards in being a member of the group, but also restrictions.

Life is a riddle, you’ve got to figure it out.

Accept you’re gonna do so too late.

But that does not mean you should not keep keepin’ on, trying to solve your own personal puzzle.

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