You hear it all the time growing up. You start to hear it even more once you hit college. Just wait till you’re in the real world. It becomes this daunting cloud that hovers over your head. It follows you everywhere. All you can do is wait for it to inevitably come crashing down on top of you.
Is this what we want to call the real world? That time when we’re supposed to have some realization that it’s time to stop having fun and put a suit on. If that’s the real world, where the hell have I been for the past twenty years of my life? Purgatory.
Some people see that dark cloud coming for them and they turn around and run. Maybe they seek shelter from the storm in a band with a couple college buddies–playing at a bar a few nights a week, just trying to hold on.
For me, that storm is supposed to hit in May of 2015. That is unless some unexpected headwinds push it back a semester or two.
My parents have tried to prepare me for it, but I dodged the warnings. They encouraged me to get a job, so I did. I worked as a sailing instructor at a summer camp for a month, took my paycheck and drove out west with my best friend. We hit every river we could across Wyoming and Montana–even dipped into Idaho for a day or two. Eventually our time ran out and the Fall semester began.
The next summer rolled around and I was told to find another job. Maybe one I could put on my resumé this time. I interviewed for an internship at a marketing firm. A couple of weeks later they called me and said they only needed me for a month. Perfect.
I worked during the week and hit the beach to fish for the weekends. A spot opened up on a tagging expedition to Belize. I took my paycheck and bought my plane ticket to San Pedro.
People have become so caught up in the corporate world and making money that they’ve forgotten why we do it. We work the week to enjoy the weekends. We sit at the desk and stare at a screen so we can sit on a boat and look out on the flats. We endure the corporate world and hopefully learn to appreciate the real one.
The real world happens after work. It’s in the river that runs by your office building, it’s in the trees rustling outside your window. Hang your suit up and go find it.
*Currently looking for a job to occupy my time away from the real world.