I’ve mentioned that I have an insatiable need to experience everything I possibly can. I’m not satisfied unless I feel like I’ve seen behind the curtain – like in the Wizard of Oz. Everything in life to me is like this amazing, intriguing thing on the outside and I just HAVE to go behind the scenes and see what’s REALLY going on.
And sometimes I do that knowingly. Like when I was little and we had a school carnival, which included a Haunted House. And I went through once and was freaked out. But I dropped something when I went through – I can’t remember now what it was, probably something important like my glasses (which I wouldn’t wear back then because HELLO! FOUR EYES! EW!) – and so I then had to go through the haunted tour BACKWARDS, and the goblins and witches were now concerned for me and were helping me find this thing I lost. Which was trippy for a little kid!
That’s really probably where this whole “I must see what’s really going on” obsession started. Because that not only cured my fear of those haunted house things, but when you’re in Elementary school and you get to “cut the line” and be personally escorted by a ghost, you start to feel powerful!
But there have been many times in my adult life where the realization slaps me in the face that I’ve Gone Behind The Curtain and didn’t stop to acknowledge it.
Like doing Advance. I’m sure I used to wonder what all that was like before I got the chance to learn the “inside baseball” (as so many D.C. staffers call it when you learn the Truth about how something’s being done). But you normalize stuff and quickly realize it’s not just Perfect People doing jobs like that. It’s freaks like me! Ha! Making mistakes like THIS!
Or now that I'm in grad school - which, like so many other things, happened in a weird way. And started because of a boy I dated. (there is seriously a pattern in my life...) - and I was laying by the pool recently and looked down at what I was reading. "The Transtheoretical Model and Stages of Change." Hmm, that almost sounds Smart and Important. I probably fantacized about being in higher education at some point in my life and reading about such things with 6 syllables.
But it's not Smart and Important. I mean the theory probably is, and the people who created the theory probably are. But I'm now scanning it just so I can get a high enough grade to pass this class. And I'm annoyed at having to do it during pool time!
Or take my job. I was a Business major in college. And I remember my 19 year old self fantasizing about one day sitting in a Power Suit around a boardroom table somewhere in Corporate America. And after I randomly fell into politics for several years, I became a consultant....which landed me in meetings around boardroom tables in Corporate America.
And it literally took years for me to one day realize I was exactly where I had fantasized about. It happened in such a round-about way I had missed it. And more than that, it wasn’t what I pictured. I sometimes hate meetings, because I have Other Work piling up at my desk so meetings can get in the way. And Power Suits are constricting! 90% of the time I leave my suit jacket on the back of my chair because I get too hot or feel like I can’t move my arms! And instead of everyone being Serious and Important in meetings, I get texts from bored coworkers across the table that say things like “Throw your pen at my eye and try to kill me...”
And don’t get me wrong, I love my job. I'm grateful I got accepted to grad school. And who doesn't love a good suit and heels? But I guess all this makes me not only step back and appreciate life but also realize that many things aren't the amazing, intriguing "Oz" things I make them out to be. At the end of the day:
It’s just a little nerd back there pulling strings.