You. Yeah, You. What Is Limiting Your Joy?
One of the surprising things about getting older has been noticing how many people abide by a more strict set of rules than when they were young.
Have you noticed this as well? Maybe in your own story?
I think this surprises me a little because growing up, for most of us, was full of moments where we did whatever we deemed best. There really weren’t that many rules, and when there were those rules often could be bent or broken in favor of desires of the heart.
When I was ten years old my parents let me adventure anywhere I wanted after school. I could go as far as I could walk in any direction as long as I was back by dinner. I was free to explore the neighborhood next to ours, visit the store down the way to buy a donut, or head due north through the greenbelt behind our house to discover uncharted lands.
When I was 15 I had a history class assignment where we were told to come up with a creative writing piece and orally present it in front of the class. Our teacher never said we had to do this standing up, so I presented the whole story lying on my back, hands in the air to hold my paper, and talked loudly to the ceiling about the history of English castles in the Middle Ages. I got an A-.
When I was 20 I had a job waiting tables at a local restaurant not far from my house. That summer I had several times told my shift manager, who seemed to hate everyone who worked under her, that I was going to be out of town for the Halloween weekend to visit friends and would be unable. She scheduled me all of the days I was planning to be gone anyway. I showed up to work that first morning before I was set to road trip away and walked up to her.
“Go ahead and change out the filter on the coffee machine and get that brewing for me, then check on the prep station.”
“No thanks, I’m quitting. I’m just here to turn in my keys.”
“Wait…WHAT?! You can’t quit, it’s only me and you and Brenda opening today!”
“That’s not my problem anymore. You shouldn’t have scheduled me during a vacation.”