Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Confessions of a not so Dangerous Mind: Aspirations vs. Reality

Exile allows the werewolf plenty of time to think. Too much, sometimes. The werewolf is a late twenty-something with a liberal arts degree, MBA, and several years of diversified professional experience in financial services, tobacco, and politics. Although described by some as an eccentric, he's your average aspirational American white dude trying to make sense of this struggle called life.

We all dream of the ideal where, what, and who we are, or shall become. For the likes of Mr. Day (see previous post), it manifests itself rather tragically, and ends pathetically. For others, it matures on a more realistic level. One of the werewolf's closest friends, a hot-shot attorney, aspires to a judgeship. The werewolf has other friends who realistically aspire to things like being a good father, a respected writer and author, a successful entrepreneur, a senator, and so on. All admirable, some realistic, and each honest in its own way. He did have an acquaintance during his undergraduate at Emory who vociferously aspired to become a dictatorial Sri Lankan strongman, while also boasting about being in a pilates class with former First Lady Rosalyn Carter. (The werewolf still isn't sure which was weirder, the dictatorial dream, or lying about pilates with a former First Lady)

The werewolf has his own conundrum. If he could be the architect of fate, the werewolf would like to have been a great white hunter in Africa during the late 19th or early 20th century, or a Rhett Butler-esque gentleman mercenary, fighting for just, but lost causes. He'd have settled for being on the frontier of the British Empire during it's nascent stage development, or being an official in President Teddy Roosevelt's State Department. Sadly, those doors were slammed shut long before the werewolf was ever conceived, so he doesn't have to worry about being seduced into some pathetic lying scheme regarding the things he never can be. The werewolf is perfectly content with harboring and nurturing those pursuits in the wild wilderness of his imagination. In the meantime, the werewolf has settled for an aspiration of not living a life of quiet desperation. He knows the world will never be his oyster, but when exile ends, as long as it ends with something that has an element of excitement, travel, or pursuit of a cause (lost or not), but bigger than he, the werewolf will accept those terms and engage with the reckless vitality that has been pent-up in exile. He'll know when these terms present themselves. In the meantime, the werewolf will never run up the white flag of surrender or become beholden to boring conformity. That is something he'll never lie about, and will take to the grave. Here's to staying true and chasing aspirations.

1 comment:

  1. One of the truths of life is that life is no one's oyster. There's better and there's worse, but we all constantly revise our expectations and wants upwards and downwards depending on where we are. That's why I agree with you completely that living a decent, meaningful life is all one can really hope for.