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...over-educated and under-experienced, or so they say...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Target Practice

I have never really asked them, but I'm pretty sure one of the worst scares I ever gave my parents was when I dropped out of college somewhere around 20 to go pursue a music career similar to Jenny in Forest Gump, except I kept my clothes on and actually played in legit venues.  I was a classically trained musician, both vocally and instrumentally, and I was one wild and rebellious Pastor's daughter -- come on... that part alone meant I should've been a rockstar, right?  Give me a moment to think about it and I could create a long list of Pastor's Kids that grow up and horrify their father by moving into American Show Business (Grace Jones comes to mind).

Anyway, I dropped out of college and trolled around San Diego and Los Angeles and picked up gigs and odd jobs and odd friends and odd substances and odd stories and experiences and eventually I made my way back to college until I met Hope's dad and dropped out again to embark on what could be considered "screw up" number two.  The problem is... if it's really a problem at all... could these decisions really be considered a screw up?  It's a bit like that "meant to be" thought I had a while back, I'm not sure anything is actually a "screw up" anymore than I'm sure anything is truly "meant to be."  (here I go talking in circles again)

There's a young man I know, excellent friend of mine, the younger brother I never had, and he's getting ready to embark upon what some of his friends and family members consider a potential failure and "screw up."  He's thinking outside the box, not taking the traditional route, and preparing to leave the US with next to nothing in his pocket for a potential job somewhere in Germany and the potential promise of graduate school abroad (key word there being potential).  All of this, to some of the more influential people in his blood line (aka: parents), seems like an irrational pipe dream, but from where I'm standing, I'm saying take your two Euros and run.  And while you're at it, have your parents talk to my parents because I think my parents would've much preferred that kind of "pipe dream" compared to my Joan Baez stint on the beach, smoking a doobie with a homeless guy next to me, enjoying the sunset from my spot on the wall next to the board walk.

There comes a time, as parents, when we have to let go.  I love Hope more than anything in this world, but at some point between 18 and 20 something, I need to let go and let her fall on her face and let her feel defeat and let her feel triumph and let her become the woman she's supposed to become.  As much as my college drop-out moment probably terrified my parents and sent them into a state of deep prayer and supplication to the Lord above, they had to let me do that.  They had to let me go and experience life and learn what was wise about my decision and what was completely asinine about my decision.  They had to trust that all would be well.  And you know what?  All was ultimately well.  I'm not sure I'd ever take back that hippy chick moment of mine.  It was one of the best experiences of my young life, even as scary as it may have been at times.  It is a part of who I am now, and adds so much to the way I view certain aspects of people and life in general.  And this young friend of mine..., I have no doubt that he will achieve great things in his future.  Will it happen as soon as he hits the ground running in Germany?  I have no idea.  But is hitting the ground running in Germany a necessary part of his journey?  I am absolutely certain.

Someone once said to me, in a deep discussion of fate versus chance, that life is more like a moving target.  You aim in one direction and the target may be lying in the opposite direction but somehow you still hit the bulls-eye every time.  I don't know if that's the right way to think about life, but it's certainly a nice way to think about it (particularly when you're about to step out into uncharted territory with a bunch of nay sayers in the background).  Trust your judgment, trust your journey.  There are wrong turns, but you can always navigate your way back to the right path.

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