Friday, September 2, 2016

True Confessions: This Shit Is Hard

I should have paid more attention in math class. I never quite believed it when every math teacher I ever had tried to tell me that 'this is important' and 'you're going to use this in every day life all the time.' And while it's true, I have yet to find a practical, everyday use for trigonometry or quadratic equations, the older I get the more I realize that adulting, as the young and the hip like to call it, is nothing more than one long equation that gets more complex with every element life throws your way.

Family. I try and be as present as possible in the lives of both my children. I have to learn how to fully unplug from work and just be present with them, because they're both awesome in totally different and unique ways. I want to read more to Little Man, because I feel like I never get the chance too. I want to lay down next to Little Dude as he chills on his mat, playing with his toys and smiling, laughing and making all kinds of neat and adorable faces. I am terrified that I'm fucking up at this fatherhood thing somehow.

When it comes to the Missus, I just want to find time to be with her whenever and wherever I can, because she remains the love of my life. It's still, even after all this time, a source of constant wonder to me that someone so amazing could put up with me- even when my current job makes us both single parents more often than either of us want. I want to find time so badly, but can never seem too.

Life. The self-esteem movement sort of screwed our generation a little bit. It's not enough we get a job and work, no our lives need to have meaning. Not hobbies. Not relaxing weekends tinkering with the car or grilling outside. No, meaning. Fucking meaning. You have to matter. There's sort of a ridiculous pressure to conform to what society wants and yet you have to know that none of it matters. But you do need to figure out what feeds your soul a little bit. I think that might be writing. I think that might be finding what interests me and not being afraid to explore that and learn as much as I can.

But there are barriers everywhere. Break them down? Learn, learn, learn? How do you market a book when you know nothing about marketing? You want people to read your book, right? Lower your shoulder, get to the grindstone and keep trying. That's all you can do.

Work. It's Sisyphus right now. We get the boulder up the hill, maybe achieve equilibrium and stability and then the boulder rolls back down the hill again. Lucy takes the football away and we're back in the trenches. Living here, when here is the last place I want to be most days. I look for other opportunities and get nowhere. I feel like I have to be doing something wrong, but damned if I know what it is. It's not that I don't like the job. There are opportunities here, but unless something changes, I feel like I'm reaching my expiration date here, but I can seem to find an escape clause. There's got to be something else out there if I need it.

But it hasn't presented itself, so, in the words of Churchill, "If you're going through hell, keep going." And so I shall, because in the (hopefully correct) Japanese phrase, 'Shikata ga nai,' there is no other choice. And just to keep going with the quotes, there's a scene from Elizabeth: The Golden Age that kept running through my head, where she goes to consult with her scientist/soothsayer guy about what's going to go down. The Spanish are closing in, the Kingdom is under threat (there are so many epic, existential moments scattered throughout British history. It's really something when you think about it.) I actually ran down a script to grab the exact quote:
"When the storm breaks, each man acts in accordance with his own nature. Some are dumb with terror. Some flee. Some hide. And some spread their wings like eagles and soar on the storm."
I'll survive. Day by day, week by week. At some point, something's gotta break our way, right? We won't be standing on quicksand. I'll probably have a miserable few months, I'll admit, but I'll make it through. The irony is that life is the ultimate dispatching job. You have to multi-task, juggle all the chainsaws and it never stops. At least not until you're dead. Time to plunge headlong into the storm.

Can't flee.
Can't hide.
Can't stop and freeze.

Guess I've got to figure out how to spread my wings and learn to fly. Tack into the wind. [Insert any more cliches/inspirational platitudes that I've left out here.]

This shit is hard. That's fine. Life isn't supposed to be easy, but right here, right now, I'd be okay with it being just a little bit easier, you know.

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