I would first like to start out by saying that I should be posting and writing more. A lot has happened since I last posted anything which creates a huge amount of things to reflect on and unfortunately I’m sure even more gets lost through the cracks of memory. In spite of that I hope and intend to post with more frequency in the coming year.
Most of the time my writing (when it’s actually practiced) has been devoted to two things: Documenting a portion of my life as a father, and a creative writing project involving a radioactive Russian boar-man. For the moment, I feel the need to do the daddy thing.
It’s a new year now and a lot has changed. I am still an art teacher at an inner city high school. I still have no clue what I’m doing but I’m trying more to relax about that fact. Leading up to the break I was getting so stressed out and tired, that it all kind of bit me in the ass. I guess I just need to realize that even if I’m prepared I’m not going to feel prepared and work isn’t going to go away, or change.
Over the holiday break I had a chance to apply a bit of a third person perspective to things. I saw that much of 2014 and 2013 caused me to obsess over general preparation. The last two years have been some BIG years for me. Got married. Bought a car. Bought a house. Became a dad. Started a new career. Bought another car. All while trying to get my shit together for adulthood after the fact… Yeah, there have been some bumps. Plenty of which were my own damn fault. But the idea of preparation has been weighing heavy on me for a while. Especially when I look at my beautiful daughter. Sometimes my heart just breaks when I look at her. I feel this gnawing guilt and worry that I don’t or can’t provide for her properly. Like I don’t deserve her, or even her beauty in my life. Sometimes she looks at me certain ways and I just feel compelled to beg for her forgiveness. Such deep seeded agony is a liability to my performance of capable fatherhood. I’m sorry to always feel so woefully unprepared.
Violet turned One and is getting big. WOW. She’s still so tiny though. I worry all the time about her fascinating little bones and joints. Last night she got a little annoyed while she was sleeping because I kept checking to make sure everything was positioned properly for comfort. I love her and can see that I will have trouble letting my little bird fly and it’s important that I remain aware of that. She is communicating clearer everyday. Today was another “first” when she wanted up and out of her walker. She walked up to her mother, lifted her arms and waved her hands. When she sees that her message is understood, the happiest most satisfied rosebud grin spreads across her beyond cute little face.We had an old friend of Melanie’s stay with us for a couple nights over New Years, and my god how Violet put on a show. At the risk of sounding like a ridiculous parent, She is REALLY good at peek-a-boo. It was such a trip to watch because she has only ever played with her Mommy or Daddy and to see her play with someone she just met was mind blowing. It wasn’t just THAT she played it was HOW she played. She varied her peeks all the way between big reveals to just one coy, grinning eye- and giggling the entire time. Such large personality in such a small frame. Personality– that’s just it. She is A PERSON. I have a WIFE, that I made A PERSON with… ME. That’s CRAZY.
That italicized digression is a prime example that the details of my life haven’t quite sunk in yet. Which is weird. Maybe it’s just because so much has happened in such a short time, and I just need more to process it. If that’s true I wish it would hurry up and sink in so that I can get on with actually fully enjoying my life. Or maybe it’s just supposed to feel that way. Maybe it’s just life and it’s not the remarkable big deal that the media makes it out to be. No, I doubt that because I try to never let the media influence my personal judgment on validity of anything. And maybe my subconscious judgment of ME is that I don’t feel deserving those great things, so I have to try extra hard to work and earn them, eventually stressing out to the point of break down. God, what a sad dysfunction… I started out writing this in a spirit of gratitude. But that has quickly changed into a spirit of penance. Bummer.
I think I know what the problem is though. I think the problem is that I just need to feel like a fully actualized person, in order to be a fully capable husband and father. The extra details and interests about me that I have and want to bring to the table, for Violet to learn that she can do the same of her own choosing, to find unquestionable strength in her own identity. Instead of the personal doubt that I find in mine and cripples me shamefully. I know I bitch about this stuff a lot but, I think feeling like a fully actualized husband, father, stepfather, teacher, and homeowner, means feeling like an actualized writer and artist.
But taking time to do that means taking some time away from those important roles. The line of balanced sacrifice seems imperceptibly thin sometimes. Does it get easier? Because that hasn’t been the trend for the last couple of years. As a man, I have had virtually no guidance while continuously assuming multiple life-time roles in the last two to three years. Those family roles are hard things to do, made even harder by feeling alone in them. Because of that, I have begun to suspect that a grown man has no friends and is happy anyway. A grown man never gets what he wants and is happy anyway. A grown man doesn’t let anything upset him or stress him out because he is always happy anyway. Maybe a grown man is just a big powerful dumb robot with a handle bar mustache, a broom in one hand, and a hammer in the other. Just point and click that son of bitch in the desired direction, and off he goes. Roles be damned it’s all the same. Problem solved. Everybody’s happy and he can’t enjoy a thing because he’s always happy anyway…. No. the truth is, I am not a robot. I am a man and I have to reconcile this chronic state somehow, because it’s already taking time away from my family.
I guess you’ll be seeing more posts… or at least a radioactive Russian boar-man.