Just like in a game of roulette, there are no do-overs. Believe me, I've tried. But what if I told you that I didn't actually want some do-overs? In fact, you could even say, in some cases, I'm against the idea of a do-over. I'm anti -do-over. Like the title of article.
There are a number of moments in my life that someone might consider to be in dire need of a do-over. I would humbly disagree. Without those experiences, I wouldn't be me. And I can't have that. I like me. Therefore, I submit to you my list of anti-do-overs. These are a few of the things in my life that could be considered mistakes, blunders, gaffs, goofs or even lapses in judgment -- a lapse that nevertheless helped define who I am today. And that definition can be found in the dictionary. Or in the rest of this article if you continue to read it. Journey with me.
The Fire Alarm
As long as I can remember, I have always been a bit of a mischievous person, a trait that compliments my unparalleled curiosity.
I was in pre-school. Yes, pre-school. That's school before school. One day, mischievous curiosity struck hard when I saw this shiny red block thingy with a handle, literally just hanging out on the wall. Having no idea of its purpose, I had to find out its purpose, which apparently was make loud noises that caused everyone to leave the building under potential threat of death.
I love this experience because I was a toddler at the time and couldn't have possibly planned this attack on the fire alarm. What happened that fateful day is still true on this fateful day: I don't just accept things as they are. I question them. I see the red box no one touches and think, "Oh, a red box. I MUST FIND OUT WHY NO ONE TOUCHES IT!!!" This leads to my somewhat clichéd philosophy in life: If you ask me if the glass is half empty or half full, I would counter your question by asking if you were pouring or drinking from the glass and is it beer and can I have some.
The Sports Camp Rebellion
This is a story about the day I ran away from camp. Okay, it was the day I walked away from camp, but let's not get technical here.
I was 10 and went to my park district's sports camp for the summer. It was a day camp. I know because when I was there the sun was always up. This particular summer, I was not having a pleasant time because of the - in adult terms -- management. (In kid terms, I just didn't like being told what to do.) Some might say I haven't changed much, which is the point.
We were waiting to go on a fieldtrip that day, one I cared not to partake in. Fed up with waiting, I started to walk home, which was about five miles away. I made it pretty far before the cops got me.
Upon my return to sports camp, I was hailed as a king. That's how I remember it, anyway. It's my story so I can have it happen how I want. Anyway, as it turned out, I wasn't the only one who detested sports camp that summer, but I was the first one to do something about it.
I was not a delinquent child, and this experience is basically the full extent of my troubles with the law, but it shows I don't just accept the hand dealt to me if I don't like it. For better or worse, I do something about it. Enforced in me was a willingness to stand up for myself. I appreciate this about myself and that I have behaved this way since the young age of "what the heck was I thinking running away from a day camp!"
The Old Major Switch Trick
We now jump to college, where my final anti-do-over submission took place during my senior year. Or so I thought. Turns out it was my first senior year and I found that out first semester of my first senior year. Apparently I'm not the first person to do that, so that's a first .
For you see, I had been a Theater Major until this point but chose to wait until the last waking moment to make it clear to both myself and my parents that my passion was not truly for acting, but for writing. To prove that statement, go ahead and read the last four and a half years of Oy!Chicago blog posts. I'm very funny and articulatory.
My desire to switch majors meant achieving a new major in only three semesters, yet somehow, it all worked out. (What was I going to do with a Theater degree anyway?) Now I have an English degree and I'm happily trying to figure out what to do with it.
I wouldn't change this mostly because I got to avoid entering the real world for another year, which was the best thing ever, but also because it proves that when I truly care for or am passionate about something, I can get anything done because I'm a high-functioning procrastinator. I did much better achieving a degree in English over the course of three semesters than I likely would have if given a full four years.
As an adult, I've learned that's how I function best and don't fret too much about waiting until the last second, because I know I'll get things done. That's why I'm finishing this very blog post so close to midnight the night before it's meant to be posted.
That concludes this article's submissions for some of my anti-do-overs. (I have many more. What's that? A second Oy post from this? Perhaps, perhaps …) But these are some of the earlier, formative ones in my life that go to show how my personality has always been shaped a certain way from when I was only 2 to 10 to my early 20s.
I have often said that my life consists of me learning the hard way. The benefit of the hard way is that it really hammers home what I should never ever do again -- or what I should do always. I could never go back because it would make me a different version of me, and I quite like this version of me. I mean, I've led a life where I have the whole series of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on DVD that comes in a package that looks like the Turtle Van. So I'm doing pretty good.
That's a weird way to end this article, but here we are.