Last night we took our kids down to Royersford to the Halloween parade. Val and I grew up in the town, a few blocks away from each other. We met at the local grocery store and walked home from high school together. The streets bring back memories.
We found one of the last few spots to squeeze in for Carter and Aiden to sit on the curb. It worked until a group of older kids gathered in front of them and blocked their view for the entire parade. These kids were running up and down the street, taking candy from the parade people, and diving in front of the trucks and floats.
Driving home, Val and I vented at how things aren’t the same anymore.
There’s a song by the group 21 Pilots called Stressed Out. The lyrics talk about missing the good old days, how if we had a choice between student loans and tree houses, we’d choose the tree houses. There’s a declaration repeated where, rather than dreaming, it is time to “wake up you need to make money!”
The bridge between our childhood and the present isn’t as long as we’d think.
It is filled with meaning.
When we are young, we search for our identities through our environment, friends, school, and social situations. As we grow, we look inside and put ourselves up against our goals and ideals. The schoolyard transforms into the break room.
I can identify with the lyrics quoted above and I also know they aren’t totally correct.
We don’t need to wake up and make money. We need to wake up and find freedom.
Because the days are limited. Because our worth is not measured by our bank account. It is found in the values we pass on, in the two boys I strive to raise into gentlemen. In the wife that is my partner and soulmate, my rock and the completion of my sentences. In the past that has driven me forward and the future that is waiting with the chance to make a difference.
Because the job and this life isn’t over yet.