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We had our annual viewing of "It's a Wonderful Life" last night. Sentimental, with some cringe-worthy moments, but we love it anyway for the overall message and a generally sound story.

I saw that movie for the first time at a point in time when I felt like a real failure. It made me think and improved my spirits. That was enough to endear the classic to my heart forever.

I identify with George Bailey. Oh, I haven't been a supporting player in the fabric of the universe as I know it to the extent that he was, but I was a lot like him.

I also was a reasonably bright, Beta kid with a wild imagination and lots of ambition. I was going to travel the world, have all sorts of adventures, earn multiple advanced degrees, do IMPORTANT THINGS (TM), and be a bestselling commercial novelist to boot.

I certainly didn't plan on getting married, buying a house, or any of the rest of that middle class All-American stuff I crapped all over as a teenager and a very young man. I once infamously joked in a class that I planned to live on a houseboat with a pair of bikini-clad foreign women (ethnicity unimportant) who knew only two words of English: "Yes, Daddy."

Somehow, I missed out on all of my immature, silly plans, and got a much better life I really don't deserve to be living.

Here I am, living in a small city in my home state, married to a wonderful woman I love very much, working as a reporter at a mid-sized newspaper where I will never have a chance in hell of winning a Pulitzer or even making enough money to be considered middle income on my own, and hoping desperately to adopt a child soon, since we can't have one biologically.

And, I'm happy. I doubt I've had nearly the impact of the fictional George Bailey, but I'm glad to be a part of the real world and not living the empty juvenile fantasies I used to imagine for my future.


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January 2013

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