What if your 8-year-old self unexpectedly showed up at your door step, made her or his way into your house, and stood face-to-face with you? How do you think your young self would react to their adult self? Would you be living the dream they've always envisioned or would your life be unrecognizable?
It wasn't until my late '20s when I saw the movie Disney Presents: The Kid. The moment I watched it, there was one scene that spoke directly to my spirit and caused me to get out my little laptop and pound away at the keys. Funny enough, I watched this movie as I was dealing with negative feelings about my job. I guess it's safe to say, "Things happens for a reason."
In The Kid, there's a poignant scene where a 40-year-old man is visited by his 8-year-old self.
Check out this exchange:
8-year-old: Where's Chester?
8-year-old: My dog. The dog I'm going to get when I grow up. The world's greatest dog. The one that rides in the back of my truck, plays frisbee, and goes everywhere I go.
40-year-old: Bad news, kid. There's no dog here. I don't own a dog.
8-year-old: I grow up to be a guy with no dog!
40-year-old: That's right. I can't take care of a dog. I travel all the time for work.
8-year-old: I grow up to fly jets! Right, I knew it. I KNEW I would grow up to fly jets.
8-year-old: I don't grow up to fly jets?
8-year-old: What do I do then?
40-year-old: You're an image consultant.
8-year-old: What's that?
40-year-old: You consult.
8-year-old: But, what do I do?
40-year-old: You tell other people what to do. You boss people around.
8-year-old: Shouldn't there be a lady here somewhere?
40-year-old: No. I live alone.
8-year-old: I thought you said you were 40.
40-year-old: I said I'm about to be 40.
8-year-old: So, I'm 40, I'm not married, I don't fly jets, and I don't have a dog? I grow up to be a loser.
YA'LL!!! If this scene didn't hit home, I don't know what does. When many of us were younger, we had dreams of conquering the world. We believe we could do absolutely anything. We believed we could live in a certain house, travel all over the world, and live out our dreams.
Then somewhere between puberty and adulthood, life took over. We slowed down. We became more concerned about being practical than being passionate. Slowly, we began drifting away from our true identity until we became unrecognizable. Until we became a casualty of life.
I do not want to be a casualty of life. I don't want to merely exist; I want to live.