(Originally published on my old blog – I thought it was worth sharing here).
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
When I was a kid, that question was exciting because the answers were endless and adventurous. “I want to be a superhero with a lightsaber and a motorcycle that flies!” The really down-to-earth kids wanted to be a firefighter or astronaut. I wanted to be Pelé or Elvis. When I discovered martial arts, I wanted to be a ninja or, at least, a Black Belt in karate.
The Grown-Up, however, bore no relation to the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The Grown-Ups were old people, old like 30 or 40. They wore suits and ties and carried briefcases. My dad’s briefcase was really cool until I accepted the fact that it did not have a secret compartment with a laser gun and a bunch of spy gadgets in it. Nope. Just papers and pens and manila envelopes and folders – unless I was playing with it. Then, the stuff in it transformed into lasers and night-vision goggles and other spy stuff. And a cape.
Now that I’m “old”, I don’t have a briefcase, but I do have a computer bag. It has a computer in it. And papers and pens and the occasional folder. The problem is I don’t feel like a Grown-Up. At least, not what I imagined being a Grown-Up would feel like. Or, maybe it’s just the opposite. I do feel like a Grown-Up. So, this is what it feels like? Funny, I never much cared what it felt like to be a Grown-Up when I was a kid. I never gave it much thought really. I just assumed the pro-soccer-playing-ninja-superhero-spy-Elvis plan was going to work.
Now, I’m a Grown-Up. Mr. Anderson sitting in his cubicle, waiting for Trinity to come rescue me from the Matrix and take me to Morpheus and Zion.
Have you ever felt this way?