Backup plans to a conventional life

Just in case you get thrown a curveball

lf17-LillianBrock

I may steal your watch. There’s a good chance that sweet, sweet Social Security number of yours could one day be mine. In the event of an emergency, I will change my name to Trixie and marry an elderly Texas billionaire for that deathbed dime.

In other words, I have a backup plan. I figure if this whole long-term success thing doesn’t work out, I’ve always got a life of crime on layaway.

Things don’t always pan out. Maybe your job is hard and unfulfilling. Perhaps your career efforts have been met with more rejection than one of those guys at a mall kiosk who tries to sell you vape supplies and/or get your number as you walk by. Your relationships might seem doomed as you find that yet another once-promising romantic candidate has bitten the dust. In an environment so heavily saturated with beautiful, high-achieving collegiate hobgoblins, aspirations can be elusive and stagnation seems to settle into work and relationships.

A couple years back, knee-deep in school work and stress eating nonfat Chobani, I had an epiphany. “Hey, I could always be an old-timey con woman if this whole pre-law thing doesn’t work out.”

Imagine it — drifting from town to town in a stolen Cadillac, changing your name and appearance whenever the con demands and saying dope things like “let’s blow this one-horse town, Skippy” to your spunky orphan sidekick as you speed out of the county with the feds on your tail. It’s all a lot more exciting than even my most devious endeavors (see: the Great Costco Samples Heist of ’09). You can’t tell me that’s not a compelling contingency plan. But why stop there?

In the event of emergency, it’s essential to have a wide array of backup plans — multiple ways out when your frozen burrito explodes in the microwave of life. In pursuit of preparedness, I’ve compiled a list of potential outs, should you — my dear devastatingly attractive reader — or I need them. Feel free to take any of the following ideas. Compensation for my intellectual property will be accepted in the form of snacks and meaningful, sexually confusing eye contact.

Work at a seasonal haunted house

Picture serving as a ticket-taker in caked-on monster makeup and ushering kids and defiant tweens through the spooky, spooky corridors of what doubles as a North Jersey laser tag arena for 10 months each year.

Found a national coalition to outlaw bragging about how little sleep you get

This must be stopped.

Take to the woods

I’m not even joking about this one. I hope to do this one day — not in a Unabomber-chic sort of way though. I just want to live somewhere wild and undisturbed and be without social media as long as possible.

Sell timeshares to Orlando tourists

Sell your soul. Buy a polo and a bluetooth. Plaster your office with inspirational posters with misspelled Vince Lombardi quotes.

Become a professional recluse

Easy.

Steal Ewan McGregor’s identity

Like all things in life, this one is really just for me. We both have red hair. Therefore we are the same person. Try to find a single physical difference. I dare you.

Ride the rails 1930’s style

Canned beans provide a great source of fiber and trains make cool noises. Any clue where one can purchase one of those knapsacks on a stick though?

I’ll end by saying that I’m not condoning quitting here. I’m simply making like a flight attendant and reminding you to check for your nearest exits before take-off.

All in all, this is just a friendly neighborhood reminder to simmer down the next time the good ole University achievement anxieties get you sweating. You don’t have to get into the PST major or the Commerce School to be a quality human being. Your future happiness shouldn’t be predicated upon how well you can achieve someone else’s goals. The quality of your character isn’t dependent upon how much time you spend trying to convince other people on Grounds that you are, in fact, a good, successful person. 

The four horsemen of the apocalypse won’t be waiting outside your lecture if you’re not the academic MVP of your class. There’s always another opportunity loitering nearby — a different club, a new job, a better person out there for you — should your current path take an unfortunate detour. And hey, if you ever have the immediate need for a change, you can always hit the road with me.

(Head’s up: We’d have to take your car though. My Saab died and the Inner Loop isn’t coming for another 15 minutes).  

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