Ages ago (8 days in real time, 20 years in blog time) simian muckraker and presidential candidate Doctor Monkey Von Monkerstein tagged me and a few others with an interesting meme:
"The premise is: List five things that I never pictured being in my future when I was 25."
I've been thinking about this one. See, here's the thing--by the time I was 25 years old, I was pretty much on the path I've followed since then. While there have been surprises, my life now does not represent a total divergence from the life I would have imagined at 25. I was married, MizBubs was pregnant with our first child, and while I wasn't a cop yet I was working as a campus security officer and thinking about becoming the real police. So while there's undoubtedly stuff that I never pictured being in the future--the Interwebs, the GW Bush presidency and its open-ended war--none of the stuff that's ended up in my future is far out of whack from what I pictured at 25.
So the obvious thing to do is just change the rules of this meme. Instead of listing five things I couldn't picture in my future when I was 25, I'll list five things I couldn't picture in my future 25 years ago. Here goes:
- I didn't think that the union organizing drive I was involved in (at the now-defunct Kroch's and Brentano's bookstore) would lose. There's no way I would've imagined being involved in two more losing unionizing attempts 12 and 21 years later.
- No way I thought I'd ever do something like join the military, and I ended up doing that very thing just 8 months later, in early 1983, when MizBubs and I marched down Broadway to the neighborhood armory and joined the Illinois Army National Guard.
- If I had told anyone who knew me that I would become a cop they would have laughed their asses off. Not only did I do that, but I really liked the work and I'm now approaching my 20th year. I have a theory that much of life is driven by irony, and if you picture me at the age of 20, aimless, mopey, rebellious and hating authority, well...it doesn't get much more ironic than that. Now I'm not only an authority figure, I supervise other authority figures. I spend much of my time drunk with power, laughing maniacally.
- Own a house? In the suburbs?!? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA... MizBubs and I were engaged for the first time, so we knew marriage was in our future, and we always knew we wanted to have kids, but we just assumed we'd be apartment dwellers for a long, long time. Back then owning a home was exotic enough, and the place we live now might as well have been Wisconsin, that's how far it seemed from Uptown.
- I never imagined I could be this happy or be having this much fun as a grownup. I wish somebody had told me this back then, so I could've enjoyed being in my twenties and thirties more than I did.