The Successful Garbage Man I believe In the successful garbage man. This would be seen as a paradox to many people, however, the success does not come from financial gains but rather the level of happiness and self-fulfillment within the individual. I believe in the thirty year old married man who is content with working at an ice cream shop all day and finally coming home to a wife who loves him regardless of his line of work.
I used to think this scenario could never happen because my mother would always tell me that a deiced degree was my only ticket to a beautiful house, life, and wife. “High paying job equals high quality wife,” she would say to me. It made perfect sense at the time. Average American children nowadays grow up being taught that they can become anything they dream of being, even if the profession Is the president of the country. Although ambitions are always great to have, the truth Is that most people will never end up with their dream Job, house, car, spouse, etc.
As I got older, the definition of the word “successful” morphed into what It means to me today. During high school, a certain girl named Megan changed my outlook on my future through the times we spent together, as best friends and significant others. For the first time in my life I was able to feel vulnerable, comfortable, satisfied, and truthful simultaneously. Around the time of senior year, my interest in the medical field rapidly lessened almost every day. Sadly, the fear of disappointing my parents and upsetting their dreams were greater than the urge to come clean.
And on top of that, I was already taking a Clinical Rotations class for which I had to apply or, somehow beating out a lot of other kids who actually want to have an “M. D. ” next to their name one day. I couldn’t even bring myself to go to Megan for solace regarding this dilemma yet a part of me wanted to be confronted about It. That Is exactly what she did and I couldn’t have been more grateful for the one sentence that changed my life. I believe that certain people’s words have the power to help me realize certain truths about myself. “l know you’re not happy and you really don’t want to be a doctor. That was the first sentence to come out of her mouth when I saw her after school one day. She paused and fixated into my eyes with a look as if she wanted to add something else, but decided not to say anything further. Suddenly I felt an immense feeling of self-actualization and for once, optimism towards the future. A genuine smile was the only response I was able to render. We carried on our usual Tuesday afternoon and the subject never came up again In conversation. I’m proud to say that I am currently studying Petroleum Engineering at Texas Tech university with the support of my parents, friends, and most Importantly, my subconscious.
It Is easy for me to believe that I made the right choice because I no longer feel the intoxicating grapple inside of me like I used to when a medical degree job at which I would be most happy in doing for the larger part of my adulthood, regardless of the pay. It is obvious that my parents are only satisfied with the petroleum field because of the money, but I believe that I would have still confessed my desire in another major if that was the case, even if it was psychology.
And speaking of desires, my actual desire wasn’t the approval from my parents but rather he approval from myself to move forward in the direction that was most loyal to my heart, as cheesy as that sounds. As a college student, I was introduced into many new recreational activities, one of which being the controversial and illegal use of marijuana. Don’t get me wrong, I never indulged as much as others, but it was a good method to make friends and bond with other freshmen in a relaxing environment. During my first year’s stay at Tech, I met another individual who made his mark in my constant life adventure.
One morning my friend Kevin and I were at our usual spot ear garbage dumpsters indulging when the garbage man drove up out of nowhere, initially frightening us both due to the possibility that he could have alerted authorities. The man got out of his truck and calming approached us saying “Hey guys, don’t freak out, it’s okay. Your secret is safe with me. ” After that day, we slowly started to learn more about Jeff, the garbage man through our casual get-together behind the dumpsters. He is forty-two, has a wife and 2 children, makes $29,000 dollars a year, and is probably one of the happiest and self-fulfilled adults I have ever met.
He eventually told his life story, from when he too was expected to go to medical school, to when he realized what kind of life he really wanted, to settling down with the love of his life, to making a lasting positive impression on young people like Kevin and myself. I may end up as a rich petroleum engineer, with a family of four living inside a mansion with a Lampooning and Gaston Martin in the garage. I may end up as a poor hotel doorman, single, and riding my bicycle to and from my apartment. I may end up as a garbage man, but no matter the case, I am sure as hell going to be a successful one.