Friday, May 26, 2017

FIFA 2016 and Failure in Life

This is a bit of a weird post, but it’s something I’ve had to grapple with to some extent over the last year or so. Naturally, the idea came while playing FIFA 2016. In the game, they have career mode where you can start a game as a coach and manage a team or as a player and just be some person. In player mode, you create a person, design them to your liking, and then play as just them. It’s weird and I don’t like it as much, but I digress. In character mode, you specify things down to what your eyebrows look like as well as the birthday of the player. The birthday, however, is something only editable down to the month and day, but you cannot change the year. In this game, the birth year is set as 1997… and that bothered me.

In 1997, I was ten years old. I think that, deep down, I was frustrated that I was never going to be some all-star soccer player (not that I had a shot in hell anyway), but, on a greater level, it’s the realization that the odds that I’m going to do something great are somewhat diminished. I’ve joked before that turning a year older is annoying because I haven’t figured out my superpower yet. Think about it, pretty much every superhero which just GETS powers (Spider-Man, for example) does so when they’re a kid. This whole thought process led me to a weird conclusion: if I was going to do something fantastic or amazing, I have a strong feeling that I would have either done it by now or would be on my way to doing that right now. Not to say that it won’t happen. I know that there are a lot of celebrities who did amazing things for the first time further on in their lives.

When I was 16 years old, I remember thinking I would become a doctor and all that jazz. If you went back to 16 year old Chip and asked him what he thought 29 year old Chip would be doing right now, he’d probably say that he’d be a doctor, he’d have a wife and kids, he’d be living in a house, and he’d have a dog. WOW. Looking back on that, 16 year old Chip was a f*cking idiot. But having this revelation as to what I thought I’d be when I was 29 was a really interesting step for me. To this day, I’ve always felt like I was going to be better than I currently am. I think that, deep down, a lot of this residual feeling comes from some expectation I had for life when I was 16. Why do I compare my current self against what my 16 year old self thought I’d be doing at this time. My 16 year old self had absolutely no sense for what the world would be like, let alone my career path. I’ve had some inkling that I was some sort of failure because I didn’t get that wife, kids, house, and the dog. In reality, I think it’s a ridiculous idea to have. My 16 year old self didn’t know jack-sh*t and, in all reality, I love where I’ve ended up. I don’t want to be a doctor. I don’t want to be married. I don’t want kids. I SUPER want a dog, though. That sh*t is on me.

I guess the point of this is that I think it is weird how I have held on to random bits of my past and treated that as a success. There’s that ridiculously dumb saying of “Shoot for the moon. If you don’t make it, you’ll still land among the stars.” Personally, I hate that saying. It’s cataclysmically dumb. I do believe in shooting for the moon, but make sure you have a viable target planet for landing if you miss the moon. Drifting in space for an eternity is something we should leave to satellites and sh*t like that.

So I keep holding on to some idea of what success is from my past without giving much credence to where I’ve ended up. Like, randomly taking inventory of my own life (which is a weird thing to say), I’m pretty happy with where I am and everything. I mean, my job is the most stressful thing I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing, but I still enjoy where I am. I guess, in the end, perfection is a moving target. I tried so hard as a kid to focus on WHAT I would be rather than HOW I would be. Projecting what will make you happy down the road is an almost impossible task and it’s definitely something I’m coming to terms with as I get older. It’s just working to keep an open mind and focus on the HOW rather than the WHAT.

But seriously, I wanna get a dog.

Hugs and kisses,


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