Good afternoon. The weather in Iowa City is currently 90 degrees, sunny, with a slight breeze toward the southwest. Barometric pressure is holding steady at 30.3 and visibility is 10 miles… and if you look across campus, it’s an excuse for bro-tanks, yoga pants, and thongs/shorts (so… Thorts?).
I happen to be comfortably situated in my recliner (not to be confused with a “rocking chair” apparently… who would have thought a chair that rocks is not actually a “rocking chair” but something ENTIRELY DIFFERENT?? Certainly… not me….) and actually getting work done when it hits me: “Oh hey! It’s Thursday. Update time.” Are you all happy about that?
Don’t you just love the whole: “What advice would you give your 5 or 10 year younger self?/What would wish you would have written down back then to tell you now?” type question dealios? They’re my FAVORITE…. (sigh… I hate “getting to know you” bullshit like this but at least it’s a legitimate opportunity to look back and see how far you’ve come). So here’s Freshman Justin… 5 years and 364 days ago (it was actually taken at the first FAC event for the trombone section… the first Friday of school). He’s pleased to meet you… and he’s a complete idiot.
Yup… that was me. I’m going to GLOSS OVER certain parts of Freshman-Justin (I never did anything SUPER embarrassing… and if you really wanna know what I’m glossing over, just ask Mel…) and give you a bit of an introduction. That fucker up there had no clue how the game of football was played, hated class, wrote at an even more mediocre level than he does now, and discovered a love of everything Coors Light… and he had this weird idea that he’d be a great musician! (He also loved some really terrible music back then… I’m not referring to S Club 7 because they’re still great… more like Rihanna… ugh). He had awful comedic timing, talked WAY too much (more than I do now…), hated school, BUT he played a mean trombone and had a pretty sick sense of humor. In all of that though, he’s a proper idiot.
So nearly 6 years later… I get asked this question about what I’d tell myself back 5 or 6 years at the beginning of all this… After a flurry of “Don’t live xyz place,” “Don’t kid yourself with the music major,” “Write and read way more than you do now,” “AVOID GOING TO SHITTY BARS!” “Don’t make that Anne Frank joke about your old boss to his face… even though you knew you were on your way out anyway…” “Don’t date douche-bags,” and ” Go to class just a little more than you do… doesn’t have to be all the time but definitely more…” I came to realize a mantra I’ve always lived by: I wouldn’t change a thing.
Doofus up there needed all that stuff to happen to him. As a writer, all of my stories, scripts, stand up, and obviously my non-fiction stuff is all influenced by the events of my life… a great many of which happen because I’m still a complete dolt (just with a much better taste in music). I like where I am and the path I’m on and if I had to be a complete moron to get here… it’s worth it. So when responding with “I don’t really have anything to tell that guy,” it is simply because I think he figured it out in the end.
I guess I’m just a big party pooper when it comes to “get to know you” type stuff and that many people “didn’t want to think that hard/introspectively” (“Introspectively” was an unexpectedly large word for the individual who used it in the discussed situation)… but that’s the honest truth.
Now, I need to shower and get back to my next 5 or 6 year (to the astute among you will pick up that this is a reference to Mr. and Mrs. Smith… I love it and I’m currently watching it) round of being an idiot… pretty excited to see where this term lands me!
See ya, Space Cowboy.
OH ALSO… I don’t know how many of you this bothers… but it is one of my favorite words and I love it.