In Through the Out Door

I’m a pretty grouchy dude. Seriously. Old man ornery. I could spend the next three hours telling you about the things that irritate, annoy, piss me off and downright anger me, but I’ll spare you the extended reading in exchange for telling you my latest pet peeve. It really sets me off in my mental mind when people enter through the exit at Walmart and stores of the like. I swear, next to speeding in a parking lot, this one really gets my goat!

I remember when I was a kid and had the misfortune of thinking I was smart walking out of the supermarket before one of my grandmothers or my mom and found myself on the outside looking in. Turns out that sensor that told the door to open when I approached didn’t have a twin on the opposite side, so I was caught out of the eyesight of my caretaker and more than once had to make the trek back to the entrance if no one else had wrapped up their shopping in those tenuous seconds.

A while back I likened speeding in the parking lot to going nowhere fast in life and it turns out this too can be metaphoric for life. Entering through the exit is what many of  us try to do daily, get to the end result without taking the correct path. Everything happens so fast these days, everyone seems to believe their piece of the pie can be had with only one commercial break, discounting the work millions have put in over the years to land on top or in striking distance.

Take Joseline Hernandez for example; she’s marginally talented at best, her body has been assembled by top-notch plastic surgeons and her intelligence leaves much to be desired, but she’s become a star overnight and is probably on track to make more than I have this millennium due to our lowered standards of entertainment. She entered through the exit by connecting herself to someone with fleeting fame and preying on our insatiable need of escapism, so while we gasped, cursed, laughed and applauded her crassness, she’s racking up appearance fees and preparing for another assault on our mental minds.

That’s where we are…skipping steps on our way to our preferred destinations, bypassing the road now less traveled to traverse minefields with the hope of an imaginable carrot being dangled in the distance. Think about it, when you walk through the exit at Walmart (I know you do it), how many times do you have a clear path to the next door? How many times are you sidestepping carts, ignoring glares because you act as if you have the right away and then find yourself looking for an empty lane to begin you shopping? Not to mention, you’re nowhere near the carts, unless you’ve grabbed one from outside and put everyone in danger by steering yours against opposing traffic.

Sure, you may have arrived in the store sooner than I did, but at what cost? If you’ve encountered anyone like me, you were tapped by a cart, maybe elbowed or called a stupid MF. We’re taking shortcuts everywhere these days, to jobs, relationships, children, marriage, health, the paths though shorter, do not guarantee sustainability. We’re in such a hurry to make it somewhere we swear life is waiting for us, that we forget to actually live. Ralph Waldo Emerson tried to tell us…

Life is a journey, not a destination.

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