There are things you realize as an adult that you’ll never fully understand growing up.
First, when you’re out of high school, you learn that the reason your teachers showed videos in class is not because they were cool — it’s because they were hungover! That’s right. Your English teacher didn’t really think it was necessary for your educational development to watch “The Lion King”. She just wanted to throw back one too many Fireball shots at karaoke the night before.
One of the last lessons you’ll begin to comprehend is one of the most important: Life is worth the wait!
I can’t remember a time growing up when I didn’t want to move as far away from my parents as humanly possible. That’s why I couldn’t wait for college!
My college experience was epic. I was a six hour drive from my parents. I pledged a fraternity and made tons of friend. I even had my own segment (“What’s Goin’ Down with Justin Brown”) at the end of my college news station’s weekly live broadcast. College is also where I learned the most outrageous life lessons, including never trust a stripper with a lollipop, never trust me with a midget, and that if you leave your cell phone at a bar, Conan O’Brien’s trumpet player might get an image of a penis sent to him by the person who finds it. For the first time, my parents were the ones anticipating the day that I finally grew up.
Then, I landed an internship for the world’s largest entertainment news provider, E! Entertainment. I was finally growing up and transitioning into the young adult my parents wanted me to be. The day my parents dropped me off at JFK Airport for a direct flight to LAX was the first time I ever saw my dad cry. My parents balled their eyes out as I walked away from their hugs and toward the next chapter of my life. As much as they wanted me to grow up, they were sad that I was actually starting to. They realized life was worth the wait.
Living in California was one of the best experiences of my life. I learned how to balance working hard during the week with playing hard on the weekend, how to hold my own in a fast-paced working environment, and to never turn down a mènage à trois with your roommate or he might move out on you while you’re in the shower.
By the time I returned to college, most of my friends had graduated. No more frat parties. No more walking through campus with everyone screaming “Justin Adam Brown!”
I realized life was worth the wait.
From that point forward, I stopped being so anxious all the time. I knew I would get to where I wanted to go eventually and that I should enjoy the journey between destinations.
I spent every day afterwards living young, wild and free. I spent a summer working at a camp in Minnesota. I took a year to manage a bar and learn how to run a business. I even dedicated a summer to learning ballroom dance to compete in “Dancing with the NEPA Stars”. I was doing whatever I wanted to do at the moment, because I knew I’d eventually end up where I should be.
I started to lose that faith when I found myself unemployed and turned down for a job at the mall.
Then, I landed a job as an arts and entertainment reporter for The Times Leader. Sorry, Mom & Dad, for taking you on the wild adventures of growing up with me, but it paid off because I now have a full-time job doing something I went to college for.
Does this mean my life is together and I’m done figuring out this thing called life?
But I’m okay with that, because life is worth the wait…