On Becoming an Astronaut (why being an adult is so much better than being a kid)

On Becoming an Astronaut (why being an adult is so much better than being a kid)

Imagine you sit in a plastic high chair, fastened in with a seatbelt and a locked table surface, with cold carrots and bland peas strewn about, and a sealed sippy cup filled with lukewarm milk sitting in front of you. As you sip the milk, with every labored breath, you try to extract more than the last time, with little success. People are surrounding you, all faces you recognize, but as far as you can tell, they don't know you are there. Perhaps they've forgotten you. You are merely there. You look across the room to see your favorite toy, just a few steps away, but it may as well be lightyears. In sight, but out of reach. All you want is to grab it, and embrace it, but your reach is not enough. You feel sadness, you feel lost, alone, like you could be so much more. Just as you begin to quietly cry, a lyric plays in the background. You don't understand why, but it soothes your mood, it doesn't make you feel better, it simply makes you feel. For some reason you can relate.

And I think it's gonna be a long, long time
'Til touchdown brings me 'round again to find
I'm not the man they think I am at home
Oh, no, no, no

After very little time, you've forgotten this altogether, because you've gotten over it, and you're on to the next thing. Pooping your pants. Do you do it because you don't know better, or do you do it to get attention? If we're honest, you don't know, but either way it is working. Your parents who had their attention on something else are now attending to you and you now have what you wanted all along. For someone to see you.

Being a kid is a series and wishing you could do something you can't, wishing you could be something your are not, and crying out for attention. Most of being a child is a series of fantasies about being something you are not. Maybe a fireman, a policeman, a doctor. Most children want to be an astronaut at some point. Who can blame them, you get to reach things few reach, see things few see. You wear that cool uniform. You wear the helmet with the mirrored glass.

Being a kid is hard. Everyday someone is telling what you can't do. And it's year after year. You can't stay up past 9 until you are 13. You can't drive until you are 16. You have to face a curfew until you are 18. You can't drink until you are 21. But at some point that all changes. At some point for all of us, we become something. An adult. And now, if you so choose, you can be an astronaut. You can go to space. You can be a Rocket Man.

As an adult, you decide your entire destiny from here on out. You can eat as much as you want, drink as you please, stay out as late as you want, and become anything you can imagine.

Imagine this:

Imagine you sit in a nylon polymer adjustable chair, fastened in with a schedule behind a hard plastic table surface, with cold emails and bland documents strewn about, and a sealed to go cup filled with lukewarm coffee sitting in front of you. With every labored task, you sip the coffee, wishing you could get just a little bit more out of life than you have before, with little success. People are surrounding you, all faces you recognize, you see them every day, but as far as you can tell, they don't really know you or care much about you. They are not your friends or family. You are not important to them. You are merely there. You gaze across the room imagining your dreams, those things you wanted to be as a kid. They seem only a few steps away, but it might as well be lightyears. In sight, but out of reach. All you want to do is grab that dream, or at least that feeling of accomplishment to embrace it, but your reach is no where near enough. You feel sadness, you feel lost, alone, like you could be so much more. Just as you begin to cry, quietly, on the inside. At that very moment, the "listen at work station" begins to play a lyric in the background.

And I think it's gonna be a long, long time
'Til touchdown brings me 'round again to find
I'm not the man they think I am at home
Oh, no, no, no

Even before your day is over, you've forgotten this longing moment altogether, because you've gotten over it, and you're on to the next thing. The Pursuit of Happiness. But you are an adult now. You can do whatever you want. Be whoever you want. You can be an astronaut. You can go to space. You can be a Rocket Man.

If you are a billionaire.

Do you do this because you don't know better, or do you do it to get attention? If we're honest, you don't know, but either way it is working.



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