Thursday, July 15, 2010

Struggle-Town University

I was once told "I'm a bit disappointed that you never went to University or got yourself a trade after high school." At the time I thought to myself "Yeah. Damn shame that. Shoulda edu-ma-cated myself instead of being a labourer and truck driver my whole life."

But then I got thinking...

I'm 33 years old and I may not have gone to honest-to-goodness University, but hell!!!
I'm a graduate of Struggle-Town U!
I started to think about the things I would have missed if I spent the last ten or fifteen years in a classroom instead of out in the real world. I've lived, man. I've seen and done
some pretty amazing things. I mean I look at a lot on Uni grads and wonder
if they've lived their lives.
Have they ever fought back-to-back with their brother in a bar-room brawl and
come out on top?
Have they ever carried an old man back to his house when he was found lying in the
street with his head bashed in? Have they ever had to deal with being covered
in someone else's blood?
Have they ever driven an 8-tonne truck through a plague of grasshoppers in rural Australia?
Have they ever sat on the cliffs of Tuross Heads and just watched in awe
as a massive storm rolled in from across the ocean?
Have they ever been caught in a snow blizzard where you can't see two meters in
front of you or stood in the beautiful Christmassy August snow and caught snow
flakes on their tongues?
Have they ever sat alone in a movie theatre at six in the morning and watched a horror film the day before release?
Have they ever cried with their brother as they held their tiny, stillborn nephew
in the palm of his hand?
Have they ever sat on the roof of a shopping mall, drinking beer and enjoying
the midnight lights of Sydney?
Have they ever sat in front of a six foot eight, twenty one year old street kid and inspired him to tears with their words?
Have they ever fought a drunk man to defend the honour of a woman he
was abusing just moments before?
Have they ever cried themselves to sleep after doing the humane thing and ending the life of a cat that some other idiot hit in a car and couldn't be bothered to stop for?
Have they knelt down on one knee on the rocks as the sun breaks through the horizon of the surf, holding a gold ring and looking into the eyes of their one true
love and asked her to spend the rest of her life with him?

I look at the list above.

I wouldn't trade that for all the knowledge in the world. Not the joys. Not the heartaches. Not the fears and not the tears. You see? I don't know stuff, but I know people.

And I love people. And I hate people.

And I've lived my life. For good or bad.

Do I have regrets? Sure. More than you'll ever know.

But I wouldn't trade it for the whole world.