Aside from dictating stories, and quick musings about food, I have not written anything in quite some time. I used to write regularly, and I quite enjoyed it. Most often, I treated it much the same as I do music; as therapy for things I cannot seem to form into sentences, during conversation. Because, believe it or not, sometimes I really do have a hard time talking about things.
I think the one of the main underlying reasons I have backed off so dramatically, is that most of my writing revolved around being responsible for my progeny. It is extremely satisfying to sit down and work out comprehensive plans of how to make your children happy, productive, and self aware. It is especially fun to know you've reached a place in your life where you feel comfortable typing things like, "beat of your own drum", and not feel weird about it (not that I have done this, but I feel a sense of accomplishment, knowing that it's an option, should I feel lazy). The problem is, I have felt significantly less confident in giving advice about how to deal with the world we are giving them. I mean, sure, I have an endless supply of anecdotes, and noncommittal feel good shit that I can barf out, on command. But that is seeming less, and less helpful. My oldest, is ever closer to becoming a full fledged (by law) adult, and flying the nest, and my baby is already asking questions that I didn't think to ask until I was also calculating how to dodge a draft, if the time ever came.
In short, I have felt woefully unprepared to guide them much further than I have, beyond here.
Recently, however, I have found a new sense of urgency in doling out fatherly guidance. Because, ya know, the whole world turning to shit thing (cuz if there's one thing I know, it's shit world).
Jokes aside, I am genuinely concerned for what the future holds. Despite their obvious privileges (which they are frequently reminded of), everything they are taught to plan, study, work, and save for is not a guarantee, and is increasingly less so every day. The world they live in is still foolishly perpetuating the "work hard, and it's smooth sailing" mantra. In reality, we should be encouraging our children to press their smooth little faces to the mirror and recite "don't forget to live, brace for impact", as a morning ritual before they leave to greet each day.
If they only remember me teaching them one thing in their lives I want it to be: The world is unimaginably beautiful, totally cruel, and owes you nothing.
The trick is going to be, teaching it, without ruining them; to prove that there really is a point to all of this. I am taking this part very seriously, because the one thing the world really doesn't need is another moderately photogenic nihilist.
I want them to love the world, and every experience they have, while being mindful of the fragility of it all.
Despite my belief in truth above everything, I will probably steer clear of the low hanging fruit, that is pointing blame on a certain generation previous to my own (even if it is 100% justified). I will instead try my hand at something that, despite 38 years of trying, I'm still only half good at; positive re-direction (I'll let you guess which half I'm already good at).
Considering where my dudes are in their lives, I've been thinking of possible conversational scenarios, and how best to respond.
So far, in fictional conversation...........
I won't talk about skyrocketing tuition, and minimal returns on investment; or the rate of inflation vs.stagnant job growth. - Instead: Educate yourself in any way you choose, but never at the expense of your freedom.
I won't say, globalization, climate change, and war are destroying the natural world. - Instead: Go see the world while you are young, healthy, and it is still beautiful.
I won't say, there is a good chance that you will never really be able to retire, and you will work until you die. Instead: Don't be in a hurry to find a career. Your time is valuable. Make sure you are fulfilled beyond money.
I'm starting to see a pattern, and I think my subconscious wants my kids to be wandering vagabonds. Which, when actually thinking about it, isn't far off.
When you break it down, I only want what any parent says they want for their kids. But, like, for real.
- To find a sense of purpose, and soak it all in.
- To be mindful of their surroundings, and tread lightly.
- To not be a dickhead.
- To not take up bongos as their preferred instrument, should they actually decide to become vagabonds (literally the only thing totally off the table)
This is what I hope to teach my children.
Given the uncertainty of what will be their world, I want them to always be able to find peace no matter the situation.
Fuck, that got all crystals and incense in a hurry. I guess that means I've said what I needed to.
Until next time, friends.......