Parents, Plays, and Paths

The two lovers have reunited after a long drawn out journey back from Vietnam after fighting off sex-trafficking pirates.

The curtains come down.

I think the end is my favorite part of any play, movie, tv-show, or part of the day but that’s just because I get to leave work.

But, I like the finality of it all.

I like the crowd’s applause. Most of this applause happens in my head.

I’m smiling and waving.

I take a small, internal bow.

One of my first internships, I was cooped up in a small PR office with two blonde, bubbly, best friends. 

Chained to my desk to the point where ants started to crawl on me, I overheard my bosses talking. 

Both had been here for about two years or so. Blonde one said, “Oh, I can’t see myself at this company forever.”

My heart leaped out of my chest.

If this were a play, I would gasp, it would echo over the audience, and then I’d exit stage right.

I never thought that you could have more than one job or work at more than one company.

I think my logical explanation for that was that you get a job out of college, you stay at that company, forever. It’s yours. 

You get a back tattoo with the company’s name on it.

You name your son after your boss. Curtains close.

But here’s the goddamn truth.

There is more than one career out there for us. 

My dad had multiple careers and if you look at it linearly, multiple lives.

He graduated from Stanford after being in the hippy fraternity and growing his hair to his ankles.

He cut his hair off, moved to Spain, started referring to himself as Ricardo, and taught English to Spanish children.

Then, he came back to the US, worked a lot of odd jobs because he, like myself, was an English major.

Yes, knowing the difference between “you’re” and “your” and “there,” “their,” and “they’re” are my party tricks. 

He worked at a college doing marketing and reminds me time and time again that that this was a great decision and you ALL need to do this.

Parents repeat their stories so many times I feel like they purposefully do it to make sure we’re actually listening.

He said it was an easy job, it taught you the best writing skills, and he forgot to mention it made you feel like you were still in college.

This all led to him going to the Iowa’s Writers Workshop.

My mom found herself the luckiest woman in the world to meet a man right before he decided to move to the land of cows and corn. This is the same woman that only eats healthy and gourmet. But she learned to cook!

But ultimately, he found it more as a creative outlet, not a career.

He took a sharp right out of Iowa and into finance and the internet business, and then I came out of my mom’s womb. I’m probably his greatest gift, ever.

He had so many paths. It was a long and winding road and I’m pretty sure my dad coined that before the Beatles.

It just reassures me that we’re all on this road and I’m pretty sure it will lead somewhere unless it’s a dead end.

If it’s a dead end, in that case, I’ll be at stage right.

But truly, the ending of your career is infinite. 

A play is a play because it ends. 

But the actors lives carry on, there’s way more to the story. There’s way more to life.

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