Back in my yute (hey I like Cousin Vinny!) I often found myself collecting things. The things I collected were usually a reflection of my inherently irreverent (say that one time slowly) nature.
I collected T-shirts. Of course they had to be humorous to say the least. Never insulting. That’s not my style. But often sarcastic.
I collected toys. Not so unusual for yutes you might think. Here I should clarify by yute I mean my college years. A time when toys were absolutely necessary for proper social function.
And I collected hats.
The hat collection was by far the oddest. There was the elephant hat. Big trunk. Big floppy ears. There was the helicopter beanie (of course). There was the 6 pack hat (yes it was a whole 6 pack). And pretty much any outrageous sun hat or fishing hat that has ever emerged from the crazed mind of a human.
Until today, when I was once again having a mutual kick-in-the-butt-to-motivate session with A Girl Called Pete (only she was the one doing all the butt kicking this time), I never realized what a profound statement of my character … or maybe my life path … this hat collection actually was.
Rewind to earlier:
Pete: Workin’ on my next post. Me: I haven’t been that motivated yet. Pete: I’m sure there’s a post about hats lurking in that brain of yours somewhere…. [SHE WAS REFERRING TO AN EARLIER CONVO] What could possibly go wrong? Me: I could stub my toe when I actually get out of bed. Pete: Solution: write post from bed.
Now seeing as this online conversation actually took place roughly 3pm my time, I figured I SHOULD actually get out of bed. So here I am 2 hours later at my desk writing about hat collecting and epiphanies.
So what is it about hat collecting that so says “STEVE”?
Segue to another random conversation:
Generic new person I just met: What do you do for a living? Me: Well generally eat, breath, occasionally even sleep. But if you mean what do I do for work then …
When did we start defining ourselves by what we do for work anyway? I have had many different types of jobs in my life. So many that I would have to take off my shoes and drop my pants to even come close to counting that high. Yet never once did I ever see the job I was doing at any given time as what I “did for a living”. Maybe what I did WHILE living. But the jobs did not define me. Ironically there is a phrase that is often used to describe that kind of job hopping, or to describe someone who does many different things at once.
I have worn many hats.
Now that I am a staggering old man (I categorically deny that my birthday is in six days. I even have proof!) I no longer collect things. Except maybe experiences. The only hats I own are the one or two I use to protect my manly chrome dome from the elements. But it is now apparent to me that I have in fact never actually STOPPED collecting hats.
So the next time someone asks me what I do for a living, I am going to tell them that I am a hat collector. Or maybe I should go with a Mad Hatter.