Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Scientist

A question was posed about why I think too much as it pertains to the last post and people making grand, radical moves. So here's the short answer. Well, the answer anyway.

My whole life I've always thought a lot about everything and in particular about the order of things in the universe and why they are the way they are. I'm able to see, often in crippling detail, the ramifications of almost everything I do as I'm doing them. I'm constantly recognizing the enormity of the situation. The enormity of what can be if I do everything right.

Recently I was even reminded of the time in fifth grade I had a total breakdown during our annual standardized testing, administered of course by the illustrious Iowa Test of Basic Skills, or ITBS. Did anyone else take those and why in God's name did we let Iowa set the standard? I have no idea either. Prolly 'cause our best universities are there. Oh right.

I don't even know how it came up that morning but it was funny to talk about. Basically, we were in the middle of the annual 1985 testing in the school cafeteria when it suddenly dawned on me that if I didn't ace this thing I might be forced out of my beloved "gold" honors courses and forever be in the "brown" reading and math group. I totally lost it and had to leave and make it up later after a couple of months of relaxation therapy. I mean, I figured if I didn't go perfect on that test, I'd probably someday be posting this from a '98 Gateway desktop with a dial-up connection from somewhere outside Cedar Park, TX, where I would work as an office manager at an auto parts store. It was that important. I was always the smart kid and was terrified that some "standardized" test (created by someone in Iowa, right?) would screw that up.

I never had that problem again. Fortunately I've fought my way out of it now and with a good sense of humor am able to laugh it off like "gee, hope we don't screw this up, right."

I'm often the most relaxed one in the room now simply because I live by the guiding principle that it's all gonna work out—it always does. No matter how crazy screwed up it seems to be, it's gonna work out. It always does. I mean, look at me. I was written off for dead three years ago by a lot of people. But look what happened.

But how does this all relate to yesterday's post? It all goes back to Sleepless in Seattle.

Yeah, I know, Sleepless in Seattle.

I was like 17 when Kelly Roan and I had decided to watch it one night at her house during our torrid non-affair, the one everyone was certain we were having while we weren't. Before the tape even rewound (be kind!) I knew that movie would have an effect on me. It was one of those things you see that you just know is gonna stick with you. And screw up everything. The problem was the whole concept of "signs."

Here you had the story of two lovable losers at love who (miraculously I might add) pay attention to the most minute little signs along the way and all eventually fly to New York and find each other and of course instantly fall in love. Here are two people from opposite sides of the country who almost blindly follow their hearts to make these super-grand moves for love.

I mean, that's all good and well but here's where the problems started for me: what are the signs you REALLY need to pay attention to and which ones are throwaways? Oh right, they don't tell you that part.

So here I am, however many years later, still living my life convinced the littlest of things are signs. I mean think about it. Just about anything could be the sign that I need to drop everything and change course entirely. So yeah, I'm constantly thinking. Perhaps too much. I just want things to be the way they're supposed to be. I don't want to screw this up 'cause I didn't listen to the signs and do whatever it is I'm supposed to be doing? Ya know?

But like I said earlier, everything works out. It always does.

But thanks a lot, Sleepless in Seattle. I should also note I've never seen the quasi-remake "You've got Mail" but something tells me it would have no effect on me whatsoever. If ever there was a movie that felt dated before it even came out, it was that one. It kinda felt like a big AOL stunt honestly.

Puh-lease. What's next? Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan as two star-crossed lovers in "I'm Falling in Love with You. Tube." I know, I know. I don't write that crap.

But you know someone's gonna. Look for it in '07.


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