Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Is It Fast Enough To Drive Away

When I was about 23 I half lived with E and half lived at home. I had my own apartment but when I found out it was an illegal apartment and the town was cracking down on those, I had to get out, so that was the arrangement. We never officially moved in together and E had a roommate, but that is where I spent most of my time, with E.
He lived about 30 minutes from where I worked and I would have to make a horrid commute every day on the NJ Parkway. The parkway has toll booths and a sketchy at best design of where to go if you have cash or tokens (no ez pass at the time) and it could be a miracle if you didn't get into an accident crossing 345 lanes to get to the appropriate one.

One particular day I was waiting in the famous NJ traffic at the toll booths. I stopped and looked around me, the men and women in cars around me, all seemed so old and so miserable. It was like an out of body experience, I could see myself in my car going to a job I didn't really like, just like all these people I didn't want to become.
I had become one of them. I had become and adult.

As a child you glorify being an adult, you can eat whatever you want!
You can stay up late, buy your own clothes, go anywhere at any time and you can drink delicious kahlua and milk drinks!
Then you become one and realize people need kahlua and milks because after paying bills you want to kill yourself. Sure you can stay up late but then the next day you hate your job more then usual.

I don't want my kids to wake up in traffic and realize they are doing the opposite of what they always wanted to do.
I don't want them to have to stop at the tolls, I want them to always drive on a long open road to everywhere.

6 comments:

  1. Funny, I bet our parents had the same thoughts about us.

    While I don't despise my job (just some people in it) I"m still not doing what I want, what would make me happy...
    I think I have to change that in order for my son to see it's actually possible to be happy.

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  2. I'm very lucky, though I had SORT of a similar experience.

    I grew up in (and still live in) a TINY town of 5800 people that is 20 minutes from downtown Ft. Worth where my husband works (he LOVES the drive after living in So Cal til he was 35). Anyway, my dad and I were at the highschool track one day when I was about 16 and I said I couldn't wait til I was out of school. He stopped walking and stared at me like I'd sprouted horns!!! He said, "Kris, all you have to do ALL day is go to school and hang out with your friends. Why the HELL are you in such a hurry to grow up?" I thought my dad was so stupid that day. I'll never forget it. I can still remember what he had on, what the sky looked like that evening... even what the air smelled like. (but it always smells sweet out here that time of year, I have to admit that).

    Anyway, now that I'm "grown up" I know what my dad meant. I think he's probably the smartest guy around.

    And btw... get the hell outta dodge if you have to sit in traffic like that. My parents live three blocks from me. There is no traffic, almost no crime (unless you count getting tp'd by your teenage kids and their friends on Friday nights after football and basketball games and I don't have to worry about what my kids are doing when I can't see them. Because everyone in this town knows eachother and we SURE AS HELL call eachother when we see our kids doin' stuff they shouldn't be. Life in this part of Texas is good!! Come on down!!

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  3. Kristi,
    I think about moving to the south a lot, a slower, nicer type of live but I am a Jersey girl through and through, I don't know how I would fit in.

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  4. honey, my neighbors are from England. That's be beauty of the South... everybody fits in!!!
    But I understand what you mean. When Craig and I met (we met on the internet-crazy, I know) I finally decided to move to California to be with him. My kids were 8 and 10. I cried when I passed the "You are now leaving Texas" sign. Because in my mind Texas is a state of mind. A year later when he asked me to marry him I told him no because I had to get back home. Needless to say, we're home and I'm married to him. He LOVES it here and if he doesn't, he's smart enough to lie! LOL

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  5. While the responsiblities of adulthood are sometimes "dauting" I think that becoming a parent has made it all worth while. While I may not be a kid anymore and get to live care-free...I do get to watch my own child figure it out for himself...and one day if he (and me, too) is really lucky, he'll get to sit on this side of childhood and watch his children grow up too! That has got to be worth a few hours of toll sitting...
    But hey, I agree. It sounds like you need to move somewhere where traffic isn't such an issue!

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  6. That is so perfectly said!

    I'm the same way because I never wanted that type of life and I certainly don't want my son to have it. To me nothing would be more wonderful if he could become an artist, actor, or anything he really loved doing.

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