This is Benjamin. He’s a little worried about his future…
“Ben, what are you doing?”
“Well, I would say that I’m just drifting. Here in the pool.”
“Well, it’s very comfortable just to drift here.”
* * *
It’s funny: I’m not so worried about my future anymore. I know enough now to know that it has, is, and will unfold as it should. But man oh man, speaking with recent and soon-to-be graduates, and watching my all-time favorite film ‘The Graduate’ just now, I remember that time well. And motherfucker, I don’t miss it AT ALL.
I didn’t know WHAT to do with myself when I graduated from Syracuse University in 1993. I had two degrees, for God’s sake, but I didn’t know where I fit in. Like Benjamin Braddock, I wanted my future to be different. And like Pippin, I wanted my future to be extraordinary. And, you know me — I wanted to be a rock star. Heck, back then, I still thought I could be, would be. So I spent the summer sleeping at my girlfriend’s apartment, working temp jobs, and recording my first solo release, ‘Always Almost There’ (title sound familiar?). I knew I needed to break free of academia, of adolescence, but I didn’t know how.
So I fasted for four days in the Utah desert, and waited for a vision.
It was September 1993. I drove to Durango, Colorado, and spent ten days vision questing with the Animas Valley Institute. My experience there is a novel in itself, but suffice to say that my spirit guides (yes, I believe in such things) had but one thing to say about what I should do with my life: “You’re doing it.”
I mean, when you’re barely 22-years-old and trying to figure out what to do with your life, “You’re doing it” isn’t much help. But I was, I have, and I am.
Still, over ten years later, I understand, relate, and remember what it feels like to be Benjamin Braddock, there at the bottom of the pool looking up through scuba gear at my parents.
“One word: plastics.”
Plastics? No thanks, not for me.
I’m doing it.