June is an animated woman that works at the truck stop across the road and right around the time I entered my pin number she told me she was fifty two.  Her hair is orange (but leans yellow), she’s missing some teeth, her glasses hang on a chain around her neck, and he always has a story . . .

“You know, I was just now thinking to myself about how good it was to be a kid.  You never believe that then, because all you can think about when your 12 is to be 16 and when your 16 you want to be 18, then 21, then 25 . . . But when you get in your thirties, you start to think, hmm… maybe this ain’t all I hoped it would be.  Cause, you know, when you’re an adult you start to realize all you do is work, and work, and work, and work . . . and pay bills, and pay bills, and pay bills.  And it’s harder now than ever.  When you’re a kid you don’t think about any of that stuff.  I remember when I was 12, my parents sat around the table figuring out what bills they could pay and what ones would have to wait.  They kept tellin me, “Enjoy bein a kid cuz bein an adult is hard.”  I never believed them, but I do now.  Only took me till I was 52,” she said with a big cackle.

June has figured out that being a kid is a pretty good gig.

The whole time she talked I juggled three thoughts:

1.  She is really striking a chord with me right now.
2.  Why does she open up with me so easily.
3.  This has blog potential.

But, as I headed to my car, my thoughts changed to how much I dreaded going back to work.  Then I wondered how she could stand behind that counter for 8 hours a day doing something she loathes.  One third of her life and half her waking hours.  That is a disastrous way to grow up.

“You know, I love my grand kids, but they are so loud.  I couldn’t have kids around anymore.  I cherish going home and being there in my silence.”

I am fascinated by how someone like June can end up in a lifestyle like hers.  We are amazingly adaptive.  We survive hell for a day, then hell becomes easier.  Eventually, we become very content in hell and almost thrive on the low level pain.  There’s a twisted comfort in the familiarity.

So, how do we get out?  It takes:

1.  A fearless leap.
2.  Unwavering commitment and focus.
3.  A clear goal.

I was (and still am on some level) living in that hell.  It’s really pretty easy.  You just figure out how to make it through the day, then numb it all with a lot of food, drugs, or alcohol.

The problem is, once you take that fearless leap, the pain grows more intense for a while.

It’s tough navigating murky waters and that’s why sighting is so important.  You’re not in a pool anymore.  It’s the damn wild west.  No line on the bottom to guide or contain you.  You can roam where ever you like, and that is a scary ass feeling at first, but once you adjust (just like you did in hell) you realize how fucking amazing life can be when you’re truly free.

Convenience Store Wisdom

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