From the bottom of a plastic cup
November 29, 2016
Filed under Opinion
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Remember senior year in high school when every one of your uncles, aunts or general adults asked you what you were going to do in college? Remember how you had a smidge of an idea, but gave them a detailed plan and said it with confidence? The same thing happens when you are graduating from college. When the topic comes up, the conversation goes one way: what am I going to do after I graduate?
The question comes as if there’s a single answer to that. If I were answering them honestly, I would tell them that for the first month or so I’m going to be laying on my carpet late at night staring at my ceiling, paralyzed from the possibilities before me and the one decision I get. Unfortunately, people don’t like too much honesty, so I tell them something different every time. I’m going to graduate school in New Orleans. I’m writing plays for small time theaters in New York. I’m apprenticing as a medicine man in India. I’m becoming a custodian for a school up in Washington to gain access to their library.
I tell them this because the question is ridiculous. What will you do? As if my life up to this point was planned. Nowhere in my high school graduate mind would I have thought that I would be a journalist for the school paper, president of a fraternity, a weekend poker dealer, a boxer or would be blessed to see a sunrise five days out of the week (by force, sure, but sunrises are sunrises).
High school graduate Eric Vasquez was telling uncles and friends of parents that I wanted to be lawyer, because at that time all there was to be was a lawyer or a doctor.
I feel like if you know what you want to do, you are either a sure shot of destiny or not thinking big enough. There isn’t enough time to see all that is great in this world, all that there is to know. A trip through one aisle of the library will tell you that we don’t know anything yet. There is no way the world is just incomes and Netflix and weddings and children.
But to answer the question, the question I am still getting and will get through the holidays and on through January, what I will be doing is not slipping into the machine and falling into the mindset that American life is one of tweets and bars and new seasons of old shows and religion only when it can quote nicely in an Instagram post. What I will be doing is just keeping my eyes open and hope I don’t end up thinking the world ends at the bottom of a plastic cup. What I will be doing, friends, at least every once and while, is looking up.
Eric Vasquez may NOT be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.