Everyone has an Elvis story.
And they'll always preface it with BPB&J, or APB&J (before and after he found peanut butter) Don't believe me? Ask you Mother, or better yet- your Grandma. Elvis gave everyone a piece of jewelry or a Cadillac at some point.....or maybe that's just my family and maybe they're all liars. Either way, I know this is true because My Love and I just spent four hours drinking whiskey, smoking Carlton 100's and eating Chinese takeout with my grandparents while we talked stories. Serious, serious stories. Elvis, Fats Domino, gambling and The Mob all made appearances. Like every good story, naturally. And then we talked life, standard dirt roads, apartment homes, grandkids and bar stools...
My grandparents didn't meet until they were in their late forties and here they are with, what seems to be a LIFETIME worth of experiences together- good and bad, rags and riches. Where many people in their forties are settled into their lives, their kids, their careers and so on....or at least that's what you assume will be your fortysomething self. You assume, the stories will lessen, the routine will settle, the bank accounts, the savings and the assets will start growing and things will just.....float. Comfortably. You'll resign to the fact that "this is my life". But in reality, LIFE if you're living it, will continue to give you stories...... beyond living vicariously though TV, your children, or your "younger you."
Whether it's today and you're 25, or you're 18- you're 50 or you're 32....when we feel stuck, or feel like... "this is it" or when we get all angsty and 20something like and start babbling on about not wanting to resign to the "real world," we just want to travel and dream. We just want to be heard and successful and fuck-god-damnit-FREAK OUT......
..... There's a moment, when we have to stop. and realize, we can push that little hypothetical "reset" button and try again, because the tape on the stories that you have at the end of your life doesn't stop running.
We can start over. Quit. Move. Sign up. Flee. Blog it out. Break up. Let go. Apply. Nothing is DONE. We are creating our stories EVERY DAY, whether we're in Tahiti, or bum fuck random Midwest. Whether we're living some "fancy" entrepreneur existence, or we're still trying to get a fucking job.... when it comes down to the end, when you're under the weight of your comforters, sipping a night cap and thinking "how the hell did I get 70?" all the bullshit we busy our frenzied typing fingertips, worrying and cluttering our minds with won't matter.
Live more by living NOW first.....right?
As I sat there listening I thought, this is what every failure, every broken down truck and every year spent doing the hard, skin drying, back-acheing labor and dirty work is really for. This is what every "what am I doing with myself, this is not 'THE PLAN'" moment is for. When you're IN IT, when you're a month late on your credit card bill, you can only buy the generic brand and the elastic on your underwear is literally hanging by a thread- it's hard to see any of it as worth experiencing. You sort of just want to punch someone in the face, or cut people off on the highway, rather than say "Thanks for the memories."
Sure, its the glamorous stories that you envision telling, but what makes the sweet sweeter is the fact that you've tasted some bitterness too.
What we should strive for is having a dash of humor, a no-bullshit attitude and the foresight to see that nothing is permanent. Nothing. So, when we're all flying high to every peak there is a down slope.....or we wait for a helicopter lift hoping we don't freeze our tits off first.
It's hard not to get to caught up in "wanting to live." Wanting to be out, wanting to meet more people- have more friends, have more experiences, more work....more....everything. While we're so busy busying ourselves with the "need" to live more, we don't realize that we're already living some of the stories we'll relish telling later on.
So yes, do I want to travel more and DO BIG THINGS ALL THE TIME, do I want more interesting twitter updates about what airport I'm in, what amazing accomplishment I have, what "Life List" goal has been crossed off and what awesome-new-person-i'm-omg-bffs-with-fml ....yes, yes I want all that- and I fully believe I am experiencing that now. But, I'm gonna be good knowing that small or large- Elvis or Bob from the Last Chance saloon will give me stories worth telling.
One more thing, since contradiction is my middle name, next to awesome and well, since I have NO SHAME and time is a tickin'- I was nominated in a few categories at 20Something Bloggers for the 2010 Bootlegger Awards, Vote here and I'll virtually lick your face. If your face tastes good.
What's your FAVORITE "little moment" today.....?