Clean slate club

I have written plenty about how I was never sure that I wanted to be a dad. To be honest though, I don't actually know if it's something I was actively conscious of at the time. Perhaps, over the years I have convinced myself of it, as somewhat of a pass on being kind of shitty at it when I first started off. I always tell my boys that regret is useless, and that failures help you learn. I really wish I could learn to take my own advice.  This last year has been particularly tough for me in that department. I have been hesitant to write about it (or write very much of anything, for that matter) because I like to think that everything happens in waves. Highs and lows, you know? Roll with the punches, or some shit. Also, I feel it is necessary to point out, that sometimes, I am an idiot.

Blah, blah, blah. It's hard to ask for help. Blah, blah. I should listen to my wife. Blah, blah, blah. She really does like me, and I trust her opinion more than my own. Blah. Hey what do ya know, she was right. Again. Blah....

 Sigh.

So yeah, help is kind of a foreign concept to me.  I don't mind asking for advice. But giving someone else the reigns? Those are uncharted waters, my friends. If I can't fix something in the way I want it fixed, I just leave it where it lays. I learn to work around it. That is the way I have always done things. It's definitely a large part of my past feelings about assuming the role of husband, and father.

I never plan on writing a New Year post, because they always feel cheap, and insincere. However, it just occurred to me, that this is exactly where I am headed. Well, minus the insincerity, anyways. So, like it or not, I have to concede that I learned something in 2013; and that what I learned is going to make 2014 better. Gah, I feel so glittery, and trite now. I can almost taste the drugstore "champagne" as I type. But, the truth is the truth. I learned a lesson, and I should share it.

What I learned is that control is a myth. Being the master of your own destiny is bullshit, and no matter how hard you try, there are no guarantees. Even if you do everything yourself, and accept no help, you are still at the mercy of the unforeseen. Trying to go it alone isn't going to make things any easier to swallow when shit gets bad. It's o.k to trust that someone might know better than you. Yes, really.

For those of you that already know this to be true, well, congratulations. Sorry I doubted you. Having perspective like this does not come so easily to those of us who have a predisposition to self preservation, at the most fundamental level. What it finally took for me, was to hear myself say my troubles out loud. When I sat down and had an honest conversation, it was a pretty powerful revelation. Not in some crazy, higher power way. More of a "wow, dude, you're kind of an asshole way". Which kind of stung a bit. I had to acknowledge the fact that not being an asshole was kind of my personal M.O., and I was pretty much failing at it. I had to accept that despite being visibly outgoing, I make no real ties to anything. I have been pretty isolated. And even I know that's not good. So........

Here is what I learned in 2013, and how I am confident it will make 2014 pretty rad.

  • Nothing is certain. Right Fucking Now is the only thing that matters.
  • It's alright to let people help you. They especially like it when you reciprocate.
  • When you let people help, it promotes community. (This is especially important when you spend copious amounts of time bitching about how you wish you felt connected to people)
  • If there is a party where an Ewok, Arnold Schwarzenegger, E.T, and a Cheesebuger are invited, you should probably make the most of it. (seriously, how often does that happen)
  • Don't be an asshole (But, like, for real)

J-