When I was nine years old, I saw Big starring Tom Hanks. It’s a movie about a boy doing young-at-heart things in a grown-up’s body. That and being employed to have an opinion on (i.e. review) toys.
At the time, I thought it was the coolest movie ever made. I still think it’s pretty darn cool.
In reality, my work as a writer over the last decade is not unlike protagonist Josh Baskin’s. I get paid to have an opinion and ask a bunch of questions. I tinker with ideas, learn from those who are smarter than me, and slay the dragon of misinformation with research as my shield and a keyboard as my sword.
I’ve played video games for a living. Reviewed gadgets for a living. Covered technology for a living. Explained trends for a living. Visited far away lands for a living. Consulted a thesaurus for a living. Demystified life for a living.
I was reminded of my “pinch me—is this real?” good fortune last week while crossing the Atlantic on a 15 hour flight from the cradle of mankind. “I have the best job in the world,” I uttered to myself after reflecting on all the remarkable people, places, and things my “job” has exposed me to.
On the whole, I have way too much fun, freedom, and influence to call this a job. The aformentioned movie makes a similar point. “They pay you for that?” asked Josh’s incredulous friend Billy, upon learning of the former’s cushy job requirements. “Yup,” Josh replied.
“SUCKERS!” the other counters.
I feel the same way. And yet my life isn’t fiction. Which makes its existence and good fortune all the more surreal.