“I’m a Toys-r-us kid” I can still hear the jingle in my head to this day. As I sit in this lavish apartment in Baltimore, I can only think to myself, is it time to grow up? Will playing videogames, shotgunning beers, and meeting girls in bars soon become a thing of the past? Am I too old to be a Toys-r-us kid?
“I’m telling you Blake Buck, you’ve got to start investing now. You’re young, and you have plenty of time not only to save, but diversify your portfolio with riskier stocks. Sure, there isn’t a guarantee for success, but the profit margins on high risk stocks can really put you in a better…”, William continued to drone on. I stared blankly out the window of Nikki’s black SUV traveling along Interstate 95. I tried to feign interest, but I knew it was no use. My mind trapped in a tailspin of dangerous thought.
My best friend William is now a grown-up. No longer a Toys-r-us kid.
A steady job that he loves, a great apartment downtown, a fantastic long-term girlfriend, and even a plan for his early retirement. Life – wrapped up with a nice little bow on top. In a way, it’s the American Dream. William is an extremely talented, hard-working, and amazing person and deserves every last drop of it.
Why is it then, that I feel like I’ve lost my friend? Or at least, been left behind?
Could this be disguised jealousy? A secret anger that he has, in a way, the things I’ve strived for and still don’t have? Has he himself become more distant because of his work and new life? Does the horse and buggy always have to turn into Knight Rider?
Is it wrong to look at this picture of the American Dream and ask, is that it? Now what happens? Where’s the excitement?
As I grew more concerned with this “grown-up” lifestyle, perhaps fearing I’d never make it there myself, I asked William’s roommate and co-worker Dave what he thought about living the American Dream as we walked out of Sears – Dave having just bought a garment bag. His answer surprised me in one sense, and in another, I already knew what he was going to say.
“Well, I live half the American Dream. Going to work and making money doing what you love is great and all. But figuring out what to do with yourself once you get off work is the real question”
Perhaps Dave is right. Or maybe it’s just the growing pains of moving to a new city and starting a new life. Or is this disconnect I feel now a sign that I was never meant to grow up?
I suppose only time will tell.