What I don’t want to be

Time for part 3 of the story of my trip out to Alaska. This is really the part that I kept wanting to write, but every time I started writing, something else kept coming out and before I knew it I had an entire post about something completely different. You can read parts one and two if you missed them so you know what is going on.

After my guitar was safely put in the overhead I took my seat on the aisle. The other 2 people in my row were already there. The first one I noticed was the cute girl sitting in the window seat. She gave me a nice smile as she saw that I was sitting down in her row. Not a bad fellow passenger to have a long boring flight in the afternoon. I sat down and looked over to the guy that was sitting in the middle between us. We exchange a quick “hey” as I sat down and got settled in.

Next, we had the normal minute or two of slightly awkward silence that you always have when you first sit down on a plane. You and the person next to you are both deciding if it is worth the trouble of making small talk with the stranger next to you that you will never see again in your life. Do I want to go through the trouble of telling this person where I am from, what I do, my pets’ names, and why I am flying to Phoenix all at the same time having to pretend to be interested in their own answers to the same questions? Well I took a chance. Remember how I wanted to work on talking to more strangers? I found out that the guy next to me was named Terrance and the cute smiling girl was Rachel.

Terrance was 32 and worked for some kind of government contractor in DC doing security audits on computer networks or something like that. Rachel was a 19 year old student from CA who was on her way back from her first time leaving the state she lived in. When I told Terrance about how I also worked for the government doing IT work, but was now heading to Alaska to work for the summer he was excited to meet a fellow IT person. He instantly started telling me about all the stuff that he worked on and all the certifications he had, and most importantly the tons of money he was making. He seemed to really like to talk about the money part because he concentrated on that for a few minutes. He even got pretty specific in telling me how much he made (it was in the six figure range) even though I always thought that really isn’t something that you tell a stranger that you’ve only known for a few minutes.

He told me that his job really wasn’t that difficult and that I could be living the same kind of dream life that he had if I just got a couple network certifications. But then I told him that I really didn’t care too much for IT work, especially with the government, and that was the whole reason that I was moving to Alaska. I was taking a pretty big pay cut  to get away from the mundane of my job and experience new things. Terrance just looked confused as I tried to explain this to him. The whole idea that I really didn’t care about how much I was making at my job, but that I wanted to actually enjoy what I was doing no matter how much it payed didn’t seem to make sense to him. In his mind you do whatever it takes to get head  to buy the car/house/whatever that you want. The next thing that will fulfill you.

As I continued to talk to Terrance, it started to make me sad. Why are people so obsessed with things? Things that seem to satisfy, but in the end leave you wanting the newer model a month later. It’s a vicious cycle of desire and consumption that never ends if you can afford it or go into enough debt. I hope I never become like that. Not to say that I am perfect when it comes to the idea of wanting things I don’t need. I’m far from it, but I’m happy to say that it doesn’t consume my life. It isn’t the first thing that I tell the stranger next to me on the plane.

After a couple minutes of talking to me I think Terrance got a little bored with me because I didn’t seem that impressed with his fancy job and tales of traveling all over for work. So for the next 4 hours of the flight he decided to flirt with Rachel. Yes a 32 year old man hitting on a  19 year old girl on a plane. Kind of sketchy if you ask me. I even saw her giving him her number as we were getting of the plane. I suppose his stories of wealth and fame worked on her.

So basically I think I know what I don’t want to be in 6 years. I don’t want to work for the government making the big bucks, and I surely don’t want to be the guy hitting on 19 year old girls on airplanes. Thanks for the life lesson, Terrance. It was a pleasure to meet you.


~ by twentyfivetolife on April 29, 2009.

2 Responses to “What I don’t want to be”

  1. I really don’t see that ever happening to you. God has bigger plans for you than mountains of cash that mean nothing. Just my opinion.

  2. society – eddie vedder into the wild soundtrack
    have fun man. cool pics so far!

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