Reporting Luis Prada
by Luis Prada Another day older, another day wiser. That’s an old adage you’ve probably heard a bunch of times before. It’s true, to an extent. You’re not going to learn something wholly original and eye-opening everyday of your life. You’re going to have some lazy days when growing wiser takes a backseat to playing a video game for 12 hours straight. Out of a 365 days a year, you’ll probably learn something valuable on a handful. Let’s speed up that process a bit by jamming 5 lessons into one article right now; thus freeing up five future days for whatever you want. It’s like I’m giving you extra life-time. All of that life-time stolen from you by a bad movie or a terrible conversation with an idiot is now being handed back to you like a fantastic customer rewards program sponsored by the universe.
It Feels Good to Stick it to The Man
We all have a slightly different version of “The Man” in our heads. There are all sorts of factors that go in to shaping the image of The Man – political leanings, social background, economic background, preconceived prejudices, etc. Whatever factors inform who your version of The Man is, one thing remains the same across the board with all versions of The Man – it sure feels good to blatantly break his rules while flipping him the bird every once in a while. Like the skateboarder in the GIF pulling off a perfectly executed wall ride in the face of a security guard and then rolling away with a brazen middle finger hoisted victoriously in the air, we all like to show The Man that they may score victories 364 days a year, but on this glorious day they will not win. For one sweet moment, you are their Man. Of course, those sweet victories pale comparison to, say, blowing up the Death Star and saving an entire galaxy, but in that moment of victory it feels just the same. Somewhere in your brain is an Ewok village yub nubbing a song of victory; fireworks explode and people cheer in the Courisant section of your brain. And after you flip The Man the bird, you look to the side and see your version of Obi-Wan and Yoda smiling at you.
There Are Some Things You Just Can’t Handle
Knowing your limits is generally a good idea. The hard part of knowing your limits is the part that comes before knowing; it’s the learning of your limits that sucks and can be a depressing act of repeated futility. In this GIF, we see a man at a gun range firing a large rifle. We don’t know if this guy is a gun range regular or if this is his first time firing a gun, let alone one with as much power as this rifle. All we know for certain by watching this GIF loop hilariously into infinity is that this guy had no idea what he was getting himself into. He may have been told to brace himself for the rifle’s wicked kick back, but he didn’t understand, or maybe underestimated, his ability to withstand it. What we’re seeing here is a man’s preconceived notions being slammed backwards by explosive reality. When he picked himself back up, he stood with a greater understand of the things he can’t do. But the beauty hidden within many of the things we can’t do is that we can’t do them now. And just because you can’t do it now doesn’t mean you will never be able to do it. Your limitations only limit you if you allow them to. If that guy picked up that rifle and fired a second shot, he would have much better control of the gun. The rifle might still push him back a bit, and the recoil would probably still send him reeling, but he sure as hell wouldn’t look like footage of houses getting blown to $#!+ during an atom bomb testing.
Losing Weight is Generally An Awful Experience
Many are born thin and never have to worry about any sloppy, greasy heap of calories they cram into their oh-so-lucky maws. Meanwhile, the rest of us eat a slice of pizza and 8 hours later the shirt that’s been hanging out our closet for two-years because it was too big is suddenly a perfect fit. Putting on weight is at once wonderful (“Look at all the burgers I can eat!”) and horrifying (“Look at me pop a wheelie on my mobility scooter!”). Luckily, all we have to do is eat less trash and move around a bit to reset the course…which will be torture.
You gained weight for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being your militant disdain of tofu and your psychotic infatuation with fried carnival deserts. Cutting out the foods that turn your taste buds into wild supermodel orgy of joy and bliss will be one of the hardest thing you’ll ever do. It’s only matched by heaving yourself off your ass and forcing your heart rate to jump above its normal levels, which usually hover somewhere between “Coma Vegetable” and “Literal Vegetable”. The GIF here shows a man trying to do some crunches to work off some fell fat. His exercise is cut short by a cat so blissfully unaware of the idea of cause and effect that it never flinches when it knocks over a TV, sending it crashing down on the man’s face. That’s the horrible truth of exercise wrapped up neatly in one GIF. You’ll try your damnedest to work off that paunch, only to struggle far more than you could have ever imagined. It could be an internal struggle as you convince yourself you’ll lose weight by making no effort, or an external struggle as the physical pain of working out and not being able to eat the foods that make you happy takes a physical toll.
When You’re Young, You Just Throw Money Away
Responsibility is a weird thing. At some point, sometimes for no real reason, it just kicks in. Usually, though, that kick-in doesn’t happen when you’re young. The younger you are, the more you skirt responsibility, and money is a prime example of that. At no other time in your life will money spend so little time in your pocket than when you’re in your late teens and most of your 20s. When you’re young, you just want – you want things and experiences and things that remind you of experiences. To you, money is just a ticket you need to get the big stuffed teddy bear, and all you have to do to get more tickets is whack a few more moles and play some more skeeball. As you grow older, even by just getting out of your early 20s, and you start taking on more responsibility, you realize every dollar you’ve ever made is precious. You look around at your home and see the piles of useless expensive crap you blew precious cash on and you start to hate it a little because that money could have been wiser spent on a car payment or rent money.
Seize Those Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunities
Life is a series of steady rides with occasional hills and valleys. When the hills come, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to see it, even if only for a fleeting moment, before you start your incline into satisfaction. But as you speed your way through life, there will be little moments that pass back like ghosts carrying a chest of gold. The ghost will pass by tons of people, and not all of them will get the chance to catch it and reap the rewards. So when you see that ghost pass, slap on your proton pack and reign that sucker in.
The guys in this GIF did just that. They saw the Google Street View car and realized they had a chance – a fleeting, once-in-a-lifetime chance — to be immortalized, so they ran out of their car and stuck a pose for the camera. While it’s true that all true success comes from hard work, there’s always a large helping of luck and timing involved. I know this personally, because I was inside of this green Rav4…
Sometime in 2011, my car broke down and I needed to be driven around by my aunt for a couple of days. As we drove, on the opposite side of the rode was my chance at silly glory – the Google Street View car. Sadly, I was in the passenger side of the car, we were traveling in opposite directions, and both going too fast to make use of the opportunity. My chance to strike a silly pose was gone. Don’t let chances pass you by.