Monday, January 12, 2015
The Game of Life
Growing up, I loved playing The Game of Life. Naturally, I always started with "college" and would request a redo until I laded the career of either a "Doctor" or "Athlete" (HA!) upon my college graduation. Shortly after graduating from college or starting your career, all cars reach the STOP sign where you excitedly add a spouse to your car to play life with you. Of course, mine always had a name as I cared way more about what happened while playing life than necessarily having the most money at the end (I think that is how you win.) Anyways, once married, your car travels alongs (at different paces than your opponents, depending on what you spin) until you reach the next big STOP, Buy a Home. Again, if you were concerned about winning, you probably went with the reasonably priced Cozy Condo, Farm House, or even the Split Level. I however, always wanted the Victorian. Not just because it was the most expensive, but it was also the most traditional option. In consistent with Danielle rules, I would request a redo until I selected The Victorian and occasionally if I was playing with a stickler for the rules, I would settle with The Tudor, Beach House, or Farm House. Once I selected my house, I conveniently landed on all of the spots to have a baby. Twins! Adoption! The more the merrier. I was a pro a manipulating the spinner. Sometimes, I even needed a separate car to carry all of my kids in (safety first.) After this point in the game, all of the players sort of glide through life peacefully collecting pay days and picking up Life Cards but again, following the "road map" of the game.
While I enjoyed playing the game, it's not real life. DUH! Maybe I was more naive than I perceived myself as a child but I really pictured life consisting of this similar road map. I would graduate, find a job, get married, buy a house, have kids, travel, earn a PH.D, receive a promotion, and so forth until I reached blissful retirement at the Millionaire Estates. Sure while playing the game, some of my friends/opponents would reach the marriage and house STOP before me, but you wouldn't buy a house without first getting married. And you couldn't have kids until you had a house to live in. As youthful as I may have been, I did realize life wouldn't be as simple as spinning a wheel and landing on a colorful space. I did however crave a similar "road map" for my life.
As a continue to creep further and further into my twenties, it's the one thing that seems to bother me the most. I don't know what's next. Will I travel? Buy a house? Start a new career? Receive a promotion? Adopt a new pet? Get married? I am sure some are cringing at my lack of spontaneity but as an over planner, it's what I do. I like having a road map and sometimes, feel more trapped without one than necessarily liberated from all expectations of having one.
I've discussed these anxieties before and my fear of a lack of provided "road map." As part of my New Year mantra, I am trying to let it go like Elsa and live freely without my map. If life were as easy as a board game, wouldn't we find the simplicity of it boring? So, if you see my hinging on the border of a mental breakdown without a map this year, just remind me that one day, I too will have my Victorian home with two cars parked out front overflowing with pink and blue pegs.
PS. Anyone want to play The Game of Life with me? I promise not to cheat.