Gabriel is a grown up. I am not. When I do grown up things like pay the mortgage or make an appointment at the doctor’s office or go the entire night without pooping the bed, I want to jump out of my chair (or bed) and yell “YEAH! I DID IT! I’M A BIG GIRL!”
Gabriel doesn’t do that. And not just because he’s not a girl.
I’m not particularly nostalgic about childhood, but I’m a little confused about when that ends and adulthood begins. I don’t feel like an adult… ever. Never ever. Gabriel does. And he thinks it’s pretty bad ass.
Not only that, but he doesn’t mention boobies once in this article! (He does mention gin, though, so I knew it wasn’t a forgery.)
The Real World
by Gabriel Brawley
I took my final exam in business law on Monday. It was the last class I needed and now I should be able to sit for the CPA exam. I had a half hour to kill after work and before the test so I went to a bar near campus and had two martinis. I only needed a 36 to get a B in the class so I wasn’t worried.
While I was drinking I started to think about “The real world”.
All my life I was told how easy I had it and how when I got out to “the real world” I would be shocked or eaten alive.
When I was in grade school, Jr. High and High School I had to raise my hand and get permission to leave the class room and take a piss. I was told when I could eat and most of the time what I could eat. The day was broken into very artificial time blocks. I had almost no autonomy and really wasn’t allowed to refuse to do anything. Yet I was constantly told by teachers, parents and other adults that I was living the best time of my life and that the real world was going to be so much harder and I would wish I was a kid again when I got out into the real world.
In school I had to deal with lazy or incompetent teachers. Most were petty tyrants who would ridicule ignorance. Their job was to teach us and relieve that ignorance. I also had to deal with bullies because the school couldn’t be bothered to stop it.
When I graduated high school I was warned that life was about to get a lot harder. That college was the real world and that college wouldn’t coddle me the way that high school had.
College was better than elementary, Jr or Sr. High. Yes the work was harder but I wasn’t required to turn in reams of busy work on a daily basis. I didn’t have to request permission to use the restroom. Professors were sometimes lazy and incompetent but that wasn’t the rule any longer. If I absolutly despised a class or a professor there were ways to get out of that class.
In college I didn’t have to deal with bullies and I didn’t have to deal with teachers who were angry at the world for their lot in life. I was treated like a responsible adult not and idiot child who couldn’t be trusted with the sharp scissors.
But in college I was often told that I sitll wasn’t in the real world and that when I left I would be eaten alive and the real world would be almost impossible to deal with.
I graduated in 1995 and went to work in a maximum security prison for 2 years and the was a parole officer for 9. So now I was making more money than in college and didn’t have to do homework anymore. When the workday was over I was done. The rest of the time was mine.
Then I was told that I still wasn’t living in the real world because I worked in a public job and was employed by the government. I was told time and again that if I ever left the government and got a real job in the real world I would be eaten alive.
I came back from my deployment to Kuwait in 2006. 5 months later I left the government’s employ for a position in the private sector.
I make more money, have a better future, am treated with more respect and have more freedom than anytime in my life up till this point. I have finished taking classes for my CPA license and will go back to finish my masters degree when I have my license.
The real world is great. I love it and don’t know why anyone would pine for the days of childhood.
Gabriel is 38 and the father of 3 teenagers: two sons and one daughter. He was a single father with custody of the kids for about 5 years and then re-married. He graduated from Midwestern State University in Texas in 1995. He worked as a correctional officer at a max security prison for two years and was a parole officer for 9 years. He was in the Navy reserve for 8 years and did a deployment to Kuwait in 2005. He is an accountant now and have just today received permission to sit for the CPA exam. Gabriel decided he was an atheist when he was 19 but it was a decision he had been struggeling with for many years.
The Skepchick Reader Rants,Â posted every Wednesday at 3PM Eastern, is a feature where you, the Skepchick readers, get to tell the Skepchick community what you think about whatever you want! Â To be considered, please submit an original rant, preferably unpublished anywhere else, to skepchick(at)skepchick(dot)org with the subject: My Rant.