On Monday afternoon I was driving north on I-89. I was heading back toward Stowe from a meeting in the southern part of the State. It was a clear day, probably about 70 degrees, and the start of fall foliage season. My cruise control was set at 68 mph and my radio was tuned to the independent radio station. They were playing a song from the 1980s. It was that title track from the movie The Breakfast Club, Simple Minds’ Don’t You (Forget About Me). As the song played and I could almost see Judd Nelson strutting off over the football field behind the school after getting the prom queen’s earring, thrusting his arm into the air in a hormone filled victory. Classic.
As the song began to fade out and the DJ came back on the radio, the monotony of the road and the weather report began to take its effect. My mind drifted back to 1985 as the radio slipped into 10 minutes of commercials.
I was probably about 12 when I first saw the Breakfast Club. At that time I really connected with the movie. My teenage angst was emerging and their story was my story. The characters were so real and the actor’s lived as I could only imagine. As I grew older, my angst increased and my anger grew. When I was 16 or 17 I had my first Saturday detention, but it was nothing like theirs. There was no smoking pot in the library and I never did get to kiss the prom queen. But at that time I was still alive with emotion, optimism, and self-righteousness.
Twenty years later, here I am driving 68 mph in my economical Honda, cruise control set to keep the speed down. No more detentions or speeding tickets for that matter. As the more daring and reckless drivers passed me by, I wondered where did my angst go? What happened to that edge of anger that surged through me as a young adult? When did I slip into the world of the professional human services worker wearing the khakis and button down shirt every day?
In the 1980s I felt alive; in 2013 I am searching for what it means to be human. When I was 16 it was so simple and the world was new and exciting. Now that I am pushing 40, I question the meaning behind everything and strive to find the simplicity that will bring life back into the
And sometimes, as I am filling out paperwork at my desk, looking at budgets and running numbers for grant reports, I sigh as I realize the passion has slipped from my life.