I have an inner personality who is a judgmental asshole. The more tired and mentally exhausted that I get the more the personality gets to be an outer asshole. I get sucked in to a life of comparison. I live in the shadow of the green monster of Envy. Everyone with anything that I should be impressed by, happy about, or supportive of becomes a target of deconstruction. Is it competitive society? Are we instinctively jerks? Am I a competitive asshole jerk who judges instinctively and I am alone in my habit?
I don’t think so. We all have the capability.
We can’t wait to see an underdog rise to the top only so we can knock them down. Check out the public reaction to the first Patriots Super Bowl win and compare that with the last. Dreams can get deflated. Popular opinion is a fickle mistress.
I try to train myself against this negative reaction. In truth, I do enjoy seeing success from friends and I love knowing that good things are possible. The little devil on my shoulder needs to be moved away from my ear. My second child has a gift for seeing the awesome in other people and is the type of person who enjoys watching someone be awesome just as much as being awesome herself. It inspires me to be a better person. Learning to be a better person is part of why I started writing in the first place.
I set out like most people; determined to prove I was worthy of notice. Then, I began to see connections to family and friends in the strangest of places. Stories or anecdotes that I would think, “No one will like this”, and someone would make a point to thank me for speaking our collective mind. I found common ground with people I wouldn’t have otherwise. Writing has been humbling in ways I never imagined. I appreciate every positive comment and the sense of community is priceless.
Where is this all going?
Well, I’m glad you asked. Several months ago I submitted a personal story to an open call for dads to contribute to a book. It was a whim at first. A dreamy maybe. But then I got a response and I was accepted. Somewhere along the way my oldest daughter has become interested in stories and writing like Daddy does.
Today I got a copy of the book that is complimentary to contributors for an early review. I opened the cover and scanned the Table of Contents eagerly searching for my name. Briefly, I worried there had been a mistake and I wasn’t included. The kids were all around me because I just got home and they were totally in my way. I found my name and I had a strange feeling.
I felt a joy that for once in my life had nothing to do with personal pride. Sure, I was in print but my oldest daughter read my name and looked at me like it was a cosmic miracle. Dad is in a real life book! It made the prospect of achieving something rare seem real to her. The thought of helping my children believe washed over me and I couldn’t speak for fear that the water in my eyes would smudge my book. In the grand scheme, I know that this is a little thing but maybe believing will pay itself forward into something big for my kids.
All we can aspire to in life is leaving something behind that moves life forward. Energy for the rise and fall. Dreams that fill our balloons and carry us over the bitter canyons of life.
Enough of that inspirational stuff… I’m in a book MURTHA FUKAS!!!!
For anyone interested, Dads Behaving Dadly 2, is a book by and about fathers. Mostly good ones and at least one who is proficient at acting like he is. They are amazing stories really, you need this book.