The Immortality of Navy Brats


 I missed the memo about the immortality of Navy Brats. 

I went to four different elementary schools, three different junior highs, and mercifully, just one high school.  I’m a Navy brat, plus my mom had a bit of intra-city wanderlust, so we moved a lot.  I was a professional new kid and as a consequence, I learned to cope with change.  I am freakishly serene at the prospect of even cataclysmic upheaval.  I just…go with it.

And thanks to NPR, I recently learned that I may be immortal. See, I probably have what’s called “adaptive competence.”  Adaptive competence is the ability to bounce back when life throws you a curve ball, and it’s apparently a strong predictor of longevity.  When you roll with punches, you get to keep rolling for a long, long time.

Since “nothing is permanent except change” I suppose it’s good to accept or even embrace change.  I remember a couple of years ago when The Adam Carolla Show was signing off after it was announced that their radio home was going from a fun all talk format to really insufferably bad pop music  (and this is coming from me, the chic who loves Duran Duran and Katy Perry…)

As fans were calling to bitterly express their outrage, Adam Carolla said something that was really comforting and really great.  He challenged his listeners to think about some disappointment they had experienced…like losing a job, or getting dumped, and then to take the long view about it.  At the time, it seems like the world is coming to an end, but once you’ve moved on a bit, you can usually appreciate that what seemed like bad change at the time is usually the starting point to some other good change.  You get a new job, a better one.  You fall in love again, and this time, it’s the real thing.   It’s the old saw about closed doors and open windows.   And so it is for Adam Carolla and his crew…successful podcasts, book deals, and all sorts of good things have come to the talented people who were working on that show.

Whenever I encounter a person who lived in the same house from birth to graduation, who went to school with the same group of kids for a dozen years, I do feel a little pang of envy.  After all, stability is safe, change is always a little scary.  But then I’m mostly grateful that I’ve seen a lot of the country and developed lots and lots of adaptive competence…but who wants to live forever?

Memo received.

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