True Grit

My good friend, Joe Queer, recently told me “you might want to consider busting a move.” I was telling him about my struggles finding decent employment in Jersey City. His words stuck with me. It wasn’t too long ago that when there was an employment opportunity, you would move (either alone or with your entire family) to that location and start a new life. Oh there’s a power plant opening in Denver and they need a full staff? OK, to Denver I go.

I didn’t go through such an extreme move (it was only 60 miles) but in today’s Millennial/iPhone/instant gratification-oriented world, that seems like a big fucking deal.

Not to get all Andy Rooney, but how did we get here? Both in terms of how as a culture did we get so lazy and how did we (family) physically get here? American has a history of “big moves” like the Gold Rush which built California, or the suburbanization that happened post-World War II. We have that in our national DNA, since pretty much all of us are descendants of people that had moved here. (I avoid saying that we’re a nation of immigrants because that’s a lie—we’re a nation of CITIZENS.)

We are also very lucky to be in an era where moving is pretty goddamn easy. It’s not like the Oregon Trail where you could die from an yearlong excursion. Listen to Doug Stanhope’s take on it.

Life is made up of sacrifices, hard work, and my main point: grit. Taking your life into your own hands and not letting it pass you by builds character. I’ve moved many times in my life (both huge moves like New Jersey to California back to New Jersey and small ones to other counties) and it was always because I was trying to better my lot in life.

But as Boyd Rice states, “we live in the age of the excuse” where “I won’t” is masked with “I can’t.” Look kid, life isn’t going to be handed to you, and even if it were I doubt you would enjoy it. Gavin McInnes makes the analogy of that beer you drink after building a fence tasting like “Brad Pitt’s cum,” so why wouldn’t the success of anything done by your own hands not apply? There’s a real sense of pride that comes from making things work after a big move, where you’re cut off from ALL senses of safety and comfort. Even in best-case scenarios where you have financial help from family, you’re still rolling the dice on a new location, straining or even ending relationships, and of course possibly selling/losing possessions in the process.

I sold my 2200+ record collection when I moved to California. In the end, my California trip was a huge debacle, but still I don’t regret any of it because, like rings on a tree, it added yet another layer to my character. My younger brother has done even crazier moves to Louisiana, Alaska and now Texas—he’s pretty fucking manly, and oddly enough a Millennial.

I’m not saying that moving solves problems—I’m saying that I see a culture that has ruled it out. It’s like the French and guns, it’s been totally deleted from the collective conscious of the people. And with Millennials being lazy and having an impotent work ethic, I can’t expect them to move to a new state let alone move out of their parents’ home.

Don’t let fear and laziness stop you from enriching your life. Allow me to end this with a Butthole Surfers line: “funny thing about regret is that better to regret something you have done, than to regret something you haven’t done.”


Alex Caprio

Written by Alex Caprio

New Jersey, former musician and stand up comedian with a degree in English. He can also make a better eggplant parm than your Grandma. Follow him on Twitter @alexclarkcaprio.

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