I covertly skipped a few days of school my junior year of high school around 1970. I can’t explain my thought processes. But a couple of buddies and I stuck out our thumbs and headed toward Ft. Lauderdale to hopefully meet “college” girls in bikinis which was every high school boy’s dream. Things were going fine as we sang Beatles and Beach Boys songs until we got to Dalton Georgia and were arrested by a Georgia State Trooper who threw us in jail. He called my Mom and suggested we spend the night in jail. I missed out on the beach and my dream of an Annette Funicello look-alike but I learned something.
Life is full of unintended consequences. Some good. Some let’s say interesting. I still loved my rock and roll and jazz, but then and there I started turning toward the blues after hearing a harmonica emanating from another cell; late in the night that sounded far more real than any canned music I had ever heard. I was scared, don’t get me wrong, but I found out that there was a pirate living in me, a spirit that for some unexplained reason would just pack up and head out on an asphalt sea and deal with things later. Now I hear it is about frontal lobes not fully connected. That may be so. But somewhere deep inside, the thrill of doing something filled with unabashed passion and love of adventure is quite stirring.
Several years later, I took a sabattical from college and spent a couple of years on a motorcycle going here and there trying out new places and things feeling that same “wind in my sails” feeling.
Now, as a father of teens, the difficulty is how to let my own kids find their own passion without freaking out, Yet again life is so full of irony along with the adventure.
As another tommy, Thomas Jefferson that is, would say, “Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.”