Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Programmed to Chase

I don't know what it is in my genetic code or my dysfunctional upbringing that programmed me to chase down whatever I wanted.

Early in my education, when I was still coloring drawings of Jesus and perfecting my cursive, my parents made it very clear to me that I would have to get a full scholarship (or pay for my own tuition) in order to go to college. So I won science fairs and math bees, got great grades, did as many extracurricular activities as my parents would allow, performed community service, and got that scholarship.

Done.

Next?

After paying my retail dues at a discount clothing retailer, I nabbed my dream job: in the music department of a store at the mall, the first step in my budding music industry career (and still my favorite job ever).

Having no idea what I was doing, I set my post-college sights on New York City and chased it down in a rental truck full of my things, careening through the Lincoln Tunnel on my way to conquer Manhattan, then Brooklyn, then Manhattan again, and finally Queens.

I got a job at the best record label in the world. I got promoted over and over again. I got laid off, and then hired by a company I'd been stalking for a year. I won a game show. I won court cases, unrepresented. I won awards and trophies and gold and platinum record plaques.

I seized that city in a full-on attack, ready for a fight.

At one point, it seemed like I could get anything I wanted, if I just worked hard enough, if I just chased hard enough.

That is, anything except the one thing I really wanted: love.

That didn't stop me from chasing it – unsuccessfully, from the wrong people, from those who didn't deserve me, from those from whom I deserved better.

This was my training ground, my boot camp. I chased and never caught what I was chasing, but I kept getting better at it. And every time I tried to give up the chase, I caught a whiff of something irresistible, and like a greyhound to a hare, off I went.

I can't resist a good lure.

I always tell myself that I want to be chased, but to be honest, I get scared off too easily when someone is in too hot pursuit of me.

Perhaps I scared off all those people I ever chased before.

But I think some people actually need to be chased.

And although I've given up on some people in the past...
...maybe I shouldn't have.

Maybe I should've chased a little harder.
Maybe I should've chased a little longer.

Maybe I should've asked for what I wanted.
Maybe I should've said how I felt.

Maybe it would've worked.
Maybe I would've found what I was looking for.

And now...

Maybe someone might be worth chasing.
Maybe someone might want to be caught.

Related Posts:
Let Me Love You
Free Milk
You Can't Always Get What You Want
Love Is the Drug