I Wanted To Be In A Boy Band

My name is Brad. I’m really mediocre.

Ever since I saw The Lion King, I thought it would be pretty cool to be hoisted in the air by a baboon and have jungle creatures make various sounds in celebration whilst my parents lay in the shade with beautiful eyes nuzzling one another’s necks thinking, “We did good, didn’t we?”

I, unlike most people, don’t remember having a childhood dream. Maybe I had one…. If I did it was probably to be a professional soccer player – which now saying that seems like a joke. Regardless, I grew up in an average home, had average hobbies, was above average in an average amount of them, worked a below average job (at Cold Stone Creamery), had above average friends, obviously you understand by now – nothing too dreamy. I wasn’t born aboard the Millennium Falcon or anything – which even sounds moderately cool. Then one day, to my surprise, I wanted to be famous. Sounds about right. Maybe it happened as I was making a Cookie Don’t-You-Want-Some? Maybe it happened as I ate a Totino’s pizza everyday after school, maybe it happened after I dropped out of college for the 3rd time. I’m not sure… (wait… yes – after watching the Lion King) but it happened. I wanted people to know my name, to know what I did and, ultimately, want to be like me.

I lived for a while thinking it was admirable, a lofty goal or task, and if I were granted the fame I would use it to build up the working class and make the mediocre feel good, maybe give them a dream or – better yet – be an inspiration. I liked the sound of my own voice. It was good plan. I would have a lot of money, do the things that I love, not too often though – and use my sphere of influence for the good of others. Thinking back on it, it still seems decent.

It’s the idea of celebrity; Zach Morris was so cool. We, as American humans, love the idea of stardom. Mario Lopez on TMZ, even though most of us could give a shit, is enthralling to watch. Even a quiet hero is cool, like Jack Bauer… who else can save a million lives in one day, fake his own death to avoid being handed over to the Chinese, only to come out of hiding to do it all again, get kidnapped by the Chinese, traded by the people he saved to terrorists, escape their care and defeat them and not even demand a parade?!?! He did something great with his life, even if he has to suffer. I’ll take Jack Bauer over Bono…

So maybe it’s not just celebrity but greatness. As we’ve all noticed, life happens on the plateau.  It’s monotonous. It’s exciting. It’s boring. It’s stressful. It’s easy. It’s awful. It’s relaxing. It’s tight and it’s loose. It’s far from the ideological imaginings of our childhoods. It’s not how we saw things playing out. It seems like we’ve been shafted or we settled somewhere along the way. We find ourselves saying, “I didn’t think having a full-time job, a wife, and two kids would feel like this…” I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s okay to be like everybody else. In a world that screams hype, excitement, glory and greatness – it’s best that you just be you.

Look at this guy; he’s just being himself. He’s not worried about being Tom Cruise. He’s probably a faithful husband, average employee, okay dad, great softball player, minesweeper junkie, light sleeper with an immaculate yard. He’s so normal. He’s content. He’s happy. His wife and kids probably love him. He has his neighbors over for a drink. He lets people borrow his stuff, invites people to the lake. There’s something so nice about that; living into the most elementary and simplistic of all live. I want to be content like this guy is content… and have a well groomed ‘stache like him too.

If you’re destined for greatness then go get it. If you’re like everyone else, don’t feel alone or like you suck. Most of us are mediocre… I believe that something beautiful happens when we embrace the mediocre and average and become content with our lives. So throw out all those N’Sync posters and BOYS II MEN autographed CD’s. You’re not going to be in boy band… but you’ll be you and it’s cool by all of us.

About Brad

Photo from Charles Hill Photography

Nobody knows what Brad does or where he lives.  Last time we saw him was in a bush next to a seminary building in Cincinnati, Travis Whalen may or may not have been involved.  The above picture seems to suggest that he has played guitar at least once in his life.  If you see Brad please let us know, his mother is worried.

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Categories: Guest Posts, The Tape Deck

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