You can’t effect change without changing what you do. This dad has made a commitment to do just that.
My entire life, I have lived the life of a very selfish and self-centered person. I often wondered what kind of life I would have lived by this time and I have to say, I obviously pictured it differently. I pictured affluence and some kind of notoriety in my field. As of right now I can just say that I don’t really care about the lack of money or “fame”, but I do care that because of me, and a slew of silly decisions I’ve made on behalf of my family, that they are living a life that is unworthy of them. They’re living a life that is less than what they deserve.
Certain things happening as of late have caused me to contemplate the possibility of an abbreviated life, and as anyone who has ever been in a situation that threatens your very existence would know, knowledge of your own mortality is a sobering thought at best. Dying isn’t a big deal to me, I’ve been ready to die for years. Whatever. What bothers me is that while I’m here, I haven’t given everything to my wife and daughter, like a decent husband and father should.
I’m reminded of times where growing up my family was forced to stay in motels because something was happening with our housing situation. I remember thinking some thought to the effect of “Mom and Dad will take care of it.” And they always did. Despite the strained relationship between my family and I later in my life, my mother and father ALWAYS put a roof over my head and made sure I had the things I needed. I never went hungry and I never spent a day without wondering where my toys were.
My daughter now looks at me the same way. She looks at me and trusts me to make sure everything is okay, though she has no understanding of those concepts, just as I didn’t when I was growing up. I look at that face and I am gripped with a fear that I will let her and her mother down.
While my family has never been without a place to live or anything like that, their life should be better than the one I’ve given them. A lot better. Because they deserve it. They deserve to not have to worry about where our next meal is coming from. They deserve to know that when things happen that just suck, that I am doing everything I can to affect a positive change in those events. They deserve a better person for a husband and father. They deserve to have toys with blinking lights and a car that won’t break down every fucking winter.
This morning I have been worried about a great many things. It wasn’t until I stopped feeling sorry for myself, got off my ass and tried to affect some kind of change that I found a possible solution to my current issues.
I guess that’s what my reason for writing this is. This idea that you can’t affect change without first changing what you do. If you sit on the couch waiting for a solution to present itself, it will never come. If you get off your ass and chase down the sunset, you may just find you’ve changed your life for the better. Of course, there are no guarantees on anything. This life is ephemeral and all we have. I refuse to sit here and feel sorry for whatever fate has come for me, because truth be told, I am where I am because of the decisions I’ve made.
It was this fear and worry that literally froze me in my tracks and I was unable to make any kind of change to affect my situation. Then, the other night I talked to a friend I work with and made a decision. I’ve never in my life had any kind of feeling resembling fear. But, since getting married and having a beautiful child, I now have something to lose. They are my weak spot, and I never felt great about having one of those. I am terrified of my daughter or wife thinking ill of me. That’s my Achilles Heel. But, my friend from work told me something very simple and so profound it almost had me in tears (and later that night I did go into the break room and weep).
She asked me what fear ever did for me.
I didn’t have an answer.
I feel like a great weight was lifted that night, though it took me a day or two to realize it. I am once again, fearless. Fuck fear. I have neither the time nor inclination to yield to something so irrational and powerful. My wife told me the other night that she would NEVER leave me, except by the unstoppable event of death. My daughter is the second part of my everything. I will never lose them, and the love I have for them is the strongest thing I have ever felt in my entire life, and I would die to keep it going.
So since I an willing and able to die for them, it would follow that I am more than capable to live for them.
I am once again fearless, because I KNOW I have my Nunu and my Mara and always will.
I will never be beaten.
I will never tire.
And, I will never break.
Donna and Mara, I love you two so much. Life will be a lot better very soon. I promise.
Originally published on savrasbane.com
Photo: Flickr/Chris Hunkeler