Hi… whoever you are… How’s it goin?
I am a newly married 34 year old step father with a baby on the way. I’ve recently made the transition between living single and married with children and it hasn’t always been the most graceful of transformations. To be perfectly honest, I think it’s only begun and I am still in the process… It’s a hard thing to do man. It’s the most complicated, intricate, and daring balancing act over the most infamous bottomless gorge of life that’s ever been conceived and I’M the one doing it… Not some expert daredevil olympic circus bad ass performer… there are no practice runs, and no training. Just learning as you go and literally flying by the seat of your pants…
To my credit I have quit smoking (which was an all but impossible feat in itself) and I only drink about once a month. Which consist of four 16 oz., 3 point beers.
I’m a step father of two teenage boys and I have one child of my own consequence on the way. I like to think that I am by nature a pretty considerate and conscientious person, but when you throw kids into it, as a first time parent I think that any inherent ability of consideration kind of goes out the window a little bit… or maybe it’s just grossly dwarfed… I dunno.
It’s especially difficult to manage if one is as vocationally or professionally unsatisfied as I am. Almost fifteen years ago I decided to pursue an “education” and career as a graphic designer. At the time I thought it made sense and that it was actually the most responsible direction I could take since I grew up wanting to be a cartoonist or comic book artist… long story short, It is painfully obvious to me that I should have pursued my initial passion instead getting burned out in a dying, dime-a-dozen profession.
I currently work in a dead end butt hole known as a newspaper. I hate my job. Hate it. Hate it. Hate it. I work in the advertising portion, laying out ads for local car lots so that every mega-monday truck month sale, black friday madness sale, and god knows what other sale can help churn out the allmighty american dollar and over sexualize the under-aged population. It’s awful work, with unforgiving deadlines and client needs to be met on a daily basis, only to have your hard work end up in a landfill or gutter in less than a week.
Now days, the majority of graphic designers do not work in print (like I do) and are resigned to working primarily on web based platforms. But if you could guess how much I love working in the print venue of my chosen vocation. I’ll bet you can fathom just how much interest I have working in the faster digital venue… Yes, that’s right… NONE. WHAT. SO. EVER.
In my free time I maintain aspirations of self publishing a graphic novel, but that particular project has been in the works for a few years now, and has been on hold for about two. I would kill for just one friend to bounce ideas off of in an active pursuit of this… dream. So, for now I’m just getting back into the swing of writing and flexing my individual voice until the works and words are nimble and quick once more.
But… I’m getting old and already in the last couple of years my obligations have literally quadrupled. My wife and I are soon approaching our one year anniversary and recently bought a house- PLUS we have a baby on the way which is my first child and her third. I can’t even begin to express how excited I am to be a father of a child. To articulate the intricate ratio of overwhelming joy and crippling emotional terror is a whole other discussion. One in which I will touch quite frequently in the future, I assure you. But all digression aside, Thats FOUR people’s needs that I am required by law of man AND God to put above my own, and that’s especially difficult and stressful right now, in the beginning, because I’m still learning how to communicate appropriately with everyone involved, while not trying to feel completely inadequate and worthless about my stupid pointless job at some local midwestern newspaper, and yearning for the satisfaction of writing and illustrating and BELIEVING in my own great american graphic novel and being my own boss… Can you imagine that? All while trying to be the model father knowing (if your own misdirected life goals are any indication) how short you will fall… So here I am…
Don’t get me wrong. My wife is wonderful and just as smart as she is drop dead gorgeous- I am completely in love with her. Our home is beautiful and perfect in every way and my step kids are a couple of incredibly articulate geniuses well beyond their years. My baby, I have no doubt is the personification of my every ideal… and despite my gratitude for them, whether I like it or not, at some point I am going to fail them all.
Let this be an account of my pride and triumphs and catharsis for my shortcomings.