I remember looking around the the middle school home economics room and seeing only one other hand raised, as the rest of my classmates smirked and whispered among themselves.
I was in the 6th grade at Madison Junior High School, and we were taking one of the many pointless “what do you want to be when you grow up” career surveys. After Ms. Higgins finished reading the listed career fields, and everyone else had raised their hand at one point or another to disclose their “professional interests”, it was my turn to reveal my future aspirations.
I don’t remember the exact words that came out of my mouth, but essentially, I conveyed to my peers my intent to become a “professional athlete.”
Even at a young age, this was a tad overly-ambitious for a lanky, uncoordinated twelve-year-old who had trouble holding his trombone at a ninety degree angle during the memorial day parade. Nevertheless, I was optimistic and confident this goal was more a reality than a naive pre-pubescent dream.
Now, only three short weeks away from graduating from Miami University with a Bachelor’s Degree in both Marketing and Journalism, the visions of playing at a professional level in any sport have dissipated, much like my interest in Finance 301. Upon the completion of my half-victory lap, I will more than likely enter the world of degree-holding unemployment, and return to the domain I inhabited for eighteen years.
In other words, back to the parent’s house.
The quick trip down memory lane in the beginning of this obligatory blog post reintroducing myself to family and close friends, served a higher purpose than being another anecdotal forget-me-not. My belief that I could and would someday be a professional athlete, indicated two key mindsets that have defined who I am to this day:
1) My undying love for sports, and
2) My unwillingness to conform and grow up.
Number 1 is nothing new to anybody who remotely knows me, but number 2 is a little less obvious to those who grace themselves with my presence on a daily basis.
I’m petrified of becoming Peter from office space. I don’t want to be routine.
I am someone who has no problem dancing to Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the U.S.A.” on top of a friend’s truck before the start of an ultimate tournament, but has a miniature panic attack when everyone in the classroom goes around in a circle and introduces themselves.
I can run a race in rainbow shorts and a long-sleeved striped polo shirt and not care what anyone thinks, then walk into a classroom in business causal attire and feel everyone judging me.
I can run around a dorm swinging my pants over my head yelling out non-existent words while strangers pass by and friends film me for “future black mail”, then swallow and forget to breath during on-camera interviews for meaningless class projects.
I can’t be stuck in routine, because it is not who I am. Small talk will be the death of me, and if I have to hear the same questions about my plans after graduation I may leave society and join a pack of wolves somewhere in the mountains of Wyoming.
While I know it is impractical to search for my dream job right out of college, I’ve decided I will not settle for something I don’t want to do. I want to be involved with sports journalism, or I want to work in a creative advertising and marketing environment, but since this is a sports blog, I will leave the marketing path out for now. And since routine is inevitable, if I must be part of one, I want my career and occupation to be routinely something I love.
And with a quick thanks to my cousin Tim for the reminder that many sports journalists got their start from blogging, I begin the sports blog that is Cookies and Gravy.
(If you are wondering why the title of this post is dirty laundry, it’s because I haven’t done laundry in a couple weeks and it’s starting to smell in here)