Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,

the croquet tournament

So today some friends of my parents were holding their Annual Flag Day Croquet Tournament (well, almost flag day, close enough) so I opted to go with them. I didn't have a whole lot else to do and I usually enjoy croquet and it was, let's face it, a perfectly beautiful afternoon. And the party turned out to be a blast. I lost badly in the first round so I didn't even make quarterfinals, which was sad, but it was okay too because it meant I could drink all the beer I needed to cope with the loss and not worry about playing another round. They had Coronas there and a buffet full of side dishes brought by party goers. Hot dogs, chips and dip, cookies, everything. And since we'd all played croquet together it sort of broke the ice and you could talk to anybody. There were three courts going so you could go watch, or you could sit in the yard and watch the coolers.

Around nighttime I started getting into interesting conversations with some others about life and how you live it. After I told them I had just gotten out of college and wasn't sure what to do they started spouting advice for me, telling me how great I had it at this time in my life being smart and healthy with no payments or children. The thirty-something crowd had advice, the fifty-something crowd had surprisingly similar advice... so I figured I'd spout it down here while it was fresh in my head. Now keep in mind when you read this that we'd all been drinking (some rather heavily) for about four hours, so that can affect things (well, usually make them more fun...)

  • Don't get a job. Especially one that's not right for me, or that I won't be able to learn from. I have nothing to gain from being a waitress right now. Take the summer off, apply for things but don't dive into the wrong opportunity just because it's the only one out there.

  • Go to graduate school (this was the fifty-something crowd, the ones who have real positions in successful companies). Call up my old college professors first thing monday morning and ask them where they'll be able to get me in at. Go to Berkeley or MIT, go big, do what it takes to get in even if I don't have a real engineering degree (!)

  • Whatever happens, DO NOT get married before the age of 26-27. Do not have kids before age 30. (everyone said this, and I'm totally fine with it. Not like I haven't heard it before, anyway.)

  • Buy an airplane ticket. Round-the-world tickets cost $2000 and are good for 18 months. Don't plan, just go. Frankly this scares the shit out of me and there's no way I'm going to do it. My spring break in Toronto was by far the craziest thing I've ever done (travel wise) and although I'm really glad I did it, I'm not sure I would have survived without a companion and a team of incredibly nice tour guides. I would really like to see New York some day, so maybe that can be my world tour. I'd like to see California too.

  • Don't worry about life, I am smart enough that I will eventually be successful. Just think big and have fun and get out and experience what life has to offer. Retirement is great, but when you get there you're old and sometimes not healthy and often focusing on keeping up with the family you helped create.

So I'm not really sure what to think of everything, or what to take back. I guess what they were trying to tell me was that I shouldn't sell myself short on life, shouldn't settle for a camry and a morgage because there's a lot out there that has to be experienced before commitments are made and lots are drawn.

Sometimes I think that the things we say we'd do if we had life to live over again aren't the things that would end up happening if we were really given the opportunity. That was a disconnected thought, I just wanted to add it in for some reason.

But I was glad to get to talk to everyone. Get advice. It was all very honest and real, they were all very glad to let me in on what they'd learned. They all sort of looked at me the same way... You're 22 years old, that's nothing, you're so free. You can do anything. Don't let it pass you by. I like thinking big. I like getting the idea fresh in my head that I can do big things and live life. Sometimes I think that the biggest issue I have with Dave is that he just doesn't think that big, doesn't see cities and think he can take them over, doesn't think he can win the game. Anybody can win the game. Anybody can take this life, go big, not stop, not pass go and collect $200, just shoot of the board and be gigantic. You just have to know that's what you want.

I am only 22, but that's what I am basing my existence on.

I'll think about the traveling, and the graduate school. I'll think about it more tomorrow. And I'll probably apply for jobs too, for good measure. Until then I am very happy to be, well, here.
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