Inventing With Squiggy

Beakers of several sizes

Upon reading David L. Lander’s book Fall Down Laughing, there were a couple of sentences in one of the final chapters of the book that really struck a cord with me.

“When I was asked as a kid what I wanted to do for a living when I grew up, I remember answering the question by saying that there was a great job for me out there, it just hadn’t been invented yet.”

He goes on to say that the jobs he’d had, The Credibility Gap and Laverne and Shirley, didn’t exist until he walked in and invented them.

“All my life I had traveled the path of invention, making it up as I went along.”

I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone else explain the way I look at my life so accurately. I didn’t think anyone else did it like me. That’s not a brag; just an admission of loneliness and isolation.

I’m surrounded by people that did things by the book. I can’t even find the book, let alone read it. There’s really no one to relate to when it comes to discussing my world. To them, I’m a slacker, a failure, an idiot. I should have gone to college and gotten a real job and gotten married and had kids and all of that stuff that I was supposed to do, that normal people do.

But in my head, I knew that wasn’t going to be my bag. I knew there was a job out there for me, but it hadn’t been invented yet. I just didn’t put that thought into those words. And I didn’t know what that job was.

I still don’t know what it is.

I haven’t invented it yet.

Okay, yes, I am a writer and I do work several day jobs to support myself, but that all isn’t the same thing. Mr. Lander was a writer and an actor and worked day jobs, but his job hadn’t been invented yet. Do you see what I mean? My job hasn’t been invented yet.

I’m working on it.

I’m writing. I’m learning. I’m trying. It’s not easy. I mean there are some things I’m just not good at, things that make inventing a job even harder. Mr. Lander definitely possesses some skills that I don’t.

But that doesn’t mean that it’s not going to happen. I’m going to fail a lot, but I’m going to get it right eventually. I’m going to invent that gig that’s meant for me. It’ll probably end up looking like Frankenstein’s monster, but I’ll love it just the same.

Pass me that beaker, please.

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