27 March, 2008

"Get a Job" or It's the Journey not the Destination

Last night I sat with my mom discussing tailored mobile phone ring tones.  Yes, that is what we were discussing.  I love the personalized ring tone because I know who is calling without ever having to see my phone.  (and it is fun)
We were discussing the different tones that she wanted on her phone for each member of the family.  For my dad, it was "Welcome to my world."  But my brother couldn't figure out how to download that on to her phone.  For my brother, she wanted "Rhinestone Cowboy."  This was his all time favorite song when he was little.  My brother claims that he couldn't download that one either. 
And for me, she wanted... "Get a Job."
There are so many songs that she could have picked for me.  (My brother actually used a nice classical piece) but she wanted "Get a Job."
"I have a good job,"  I told her.  Which is partially true.  I do work for a good company and have a job that serves a purpose with potentially great jobs in the near future. 
But, when I was in my early 20's, my mom gave me the theme song..."Get a Job" because I didn't have one, not  a real job that is. 
"I wouldn't change my experience for the world."  I told her.  She agreed.  My experience is fitting for me, has contributed to the person that I am, the mother that I am, and plays into my work.  The impact of my experience is seen throughout my life. 
While many kids my age graduated from college and set out to pursue the American dream - house, career, family, etc... I was traveling.  I was living abroad, doing internships and... finding myself.  And my mom was singing "Get a Job."  To be frank, I have no idea how I supported myself those years as my parents didn't help out much, but I suppose years of saving money through my youth paid off. 
My advice to young people graduating from college is always the same, travel or do something that you really want to do.  Although you might not have a lot of money, enjoy your youth and your freedom while you can.  Don't be in a hurry to get that office job or that career started because... once you start the career and find that you have the money to really do something you also find that you have limited vacation, other responsibilities, and limited energy.  
I had this conversation with my mom last night.  This morning I read Aaron's post about his passport.  
Each of us travels a different path.  There are so many choices and options and decisions that we face regularly.  While I traveled abroad, Aaron enjoyed a completely different way of experiencing life.  Were either of us living in Europe, the experience would have been that much more different as a passport and a second language are part of a normal life.  
Each experience is valuable; neither is better than another.  They are, simply put, different.  
Through my experience, I have seen and lived in some amazing places.  My life and education are about diversity and international events - a global community in a sense.  My daughter has a passport that she will use sooner than later (we are planning a surprise trip to Iceland for my dad!)  One friend described me as continental which I found interesting.  My interest is transnational while my brother, from the same family, house, town, school, etc, is domestically centered.  
For my brother - life is about the United States, and only a limited number of states at that.  His priorities and his interests are local in nature as are the Diva's dads.
Perhaps key, to me, is not all that one has accomplished or the places traveled and people met, but it is what is gleamed from the experience.  As I once mentioned in a comment somewhere... life, to me, is about the journey (the lessons learned) over the final destination or the treasure that is found. 


pneumoniaBoy said...

Boy, would I love to goto Iceland!

Wombat said...

Funny how parents maintain an outdated vision of kids. I guess that's the power of memory.

Kat Wilder said...

For our prents' generation, people didn't do that. The men "traveled" because they went off to war, and when they returned, it was all about getting the American Dream.

It's funny; just this week, I was well, not regretting, but wishing I traveled after college, too, when the EuroPass made it so cheap and easy.

So now, I'm thinking about doing that when I retire, if I can ever afford to retire!

And my parents have always played the "Get a Job" tune for me, too, as in "Get a Job that Pays a Decent Wage!" (instead of realizing how much I love what I do, and how that has made me happy)Sigh.

The Exception said...

Aaron - Iceland is a definite possibility. It is so close to the east coast and the package deals... look into it!

Wombat - I admit, it is hard to realize that your child is older, but... I suppose it is just part of being a parent.

Kat - Doing what you love is truly key! Fortunately, my mom was a military kid so travel was a loved part of her life. But one doesn't have to travel to live a rich and full life... the journey and experiences are what makes a life full (to me)