Tough Decisions

I’ve made my decision. It was a very hard decision to make, but I believe this was the decision that I was going to make in the first place.

Let me back up a little bit. Earlier this week, I had a conference call with one of my academic advisors at Western Washington University. She and I had a good discussion about what college is like and how to choose courses. I’m new to the whole college thing, so it was a great discussion for me to have, since registration for classes starts the day before classes begin.

I was on board and ready to get off this Island and go to college. I was ready to explore the world for the first time as an erudite man, to go study abroad and see what it’s like to go to a school with a hundred people in a single classroom.

There is only one problem: I’m still in the army. As a member of the National Guard, I swore an oath to my president, my congress, and my governor that I would follow my orders. I serve not because I want to anymore, but because it’s a part of who I am.

I got a call from my NCO yesterday that changed all of my college plans. I am going to OSUT BCT/AIT on January 3rd, and there is nothing that can change that. I wanted to tell him no, that’s not what I want to do. I wanted so much to be a normal person again, to be someone that doesn’t have to take orders from anyone. I could smell something so fresh and green it almost tasted good.

I guess everyone has to grow up some time. I had to face the facts: If I abandoned my nation I would never be allowed to serve again, but If I did choose to go off to training who knows when I would get the chance to go to college again.

I tried everything in my power to tell myself that the best idea would be to quit the Army, and take my freedom back. I tried to tell myself that abandoning my education wasn’t the right thing to do. I tried to tell myself that there was some type of peaceful life in the civilian world. I could be a priest or a politician or a journalist and I wouldn’t have to do the army for any of that. Maybe I could do what the author of Carpe Diem does and travel the world exploring new sights and endless wonder. Maybe I could bicycle around the world like the Leese brothers from The Orphan Ride. But there’s no reason I can’t do any of those things anyway.

I couldn’t come around to convince myself that anything would be that much different without the Army behind me. So, I’ve made my decision. I’m in the Army now. Close call, but I think it’s the better choice.

Leaving The Nest

I graduated from High School on Saturday. It’s been a long and perilous journey. I have fought the Cyclops, been manipulated by sirens and Circe, and I lay upon the sandy beaches of my future. Where do I go from here? The suitors of my country are vying for my former titles. It’s funny how these kids coming up through middle school think that they are discerning shoppers. If only Al Gore had been the guy in the White House… oh, well – he actually did win the election – but what the fuck, who cares anymore?

I am listening/watching/reading news reports right now about the world I’m growing up in right now. Seems tragic. The DOW is down. NAS is down. It’s cold out anyways, looks like it’s going to rain here in Seattle – big deal. Who cares about rain in Seattle?

What was I thinking when I joined the Army National Guard? Was it really my whole ball of wax and a bag of potato chips? Am I going to owe my government for the rest of my life for keeping me out of student debt?

Life is full of questions for me right now. Maybe some of those questions are meant for asking, not for answering.

Hello world! Where do I belong?

Hello, indeed. Startling, I’d say, that I am one of two people that I know with a WordPress blog. I’m new to this, but I have a feeling that I am of a generation where blogging online will be second nature in the very near future.

The first question that I ask is this; to what generation DO I belong? For years now, I’ve been told that Generation Y is the generation of the future, the generation that will change the world. My own third grade teacher told me that I might one day be the person to cure cancer and make millions of dollars profit. It’s funny that every time somebody told me that I could cure cancer, they automatically assumed that I wanted to cure cancer because I wanted to be rich and famous – not for the sake of helping other people.

I have found out that cancer will really not be cured, because it is such a natural part of the human life cycle. If you don’t die of anything else, you will die of cancer.

The revelation that a tumor is simply a mass of mutated cells, and that cellular mutations happen at astonishingly speedy time intervals led me down a deeper and more widespread revelation: that much of the world is suffering from the same crippling disease that comes from a simple miscalculation by cellular reproduction. In other words, everyone is vulnerable, and there is no end in sight.

Do I really want to be of the generation tasked with the responsibility of dealing with this insurmountable task? If I make the cure to cancer, what happens next? What about AIDS, Diabetes, Obesity, and overall declining intelligence levels among the adult population?

I’ll tell you something right now – I don’t want to be a part of that. But that was what Generation X was all about. Most over forty people I know have gained a sense of duty and obligation to the world around them after their lifeless and vain youth. These days, it is hard for me to imagine my U.S. History teacher as the guy chanting “GENERATION F#$% YOU!” at a Kurt Cobain concert. I argue, however, that Generation X has realized the mistakes of a sterile anarchic youth too late in the game.

Primarily, Generation X didn’t care about anything that involved bleak odds and outcomes, and they went by the slogan “F%^& You!”. Whenever national tax day came, this generation’s slogan could be heard all across this country. The downfall of not caring about something, however, is not doing anything about it.

Generation X is passing the torch now, and it is my opinion that they have been passing the torch for the last two decades. Generation Y is stepping up to bat, at least that’s what I have been told since third grade.

Recently, however, I discovered that I was on the tail end of Generation Y, and that most of us Y people have already graduated college. A lot of us have already passed their primal optimum years, and they weren’t there to quell the storms as I was told they would be.

I also discovered that I also fall in to another category – Generation Z. Besides being the last letter of the alphabet, Generation Z might also have a few other things in it’s standing versus the already aging Generation Y: I would get the option of coming third.

I don’t know if anyone I know bedsides all the people that I hang out with every day at school can call themselves as lucky as me, because I get to choose which generation I want to belong to. I don’t know if I really want to belong to either one, because If history is any example, It is my fear that both will fail in creating the cure to cancer.