The Agony & Ecstasy Of Blogging

My baby turns 12 in two days.

Last night she stopped talking to me because she was furious with some information I shared with her.

My little girl didn’t scream, she just went silent and I knew from the quiet how very angry she was and let her have her space.

There wasn’t any point in trying to speak with her about it because she wasn’t ready and I knew she wanted to pummel me for putting her in a position she didn’t want to be in.

But I also knew it was the right thing to do and that if I chose to go a different direction I would regret it.

Sometimes parents make very hard choices because we think they are for the best.

The Importance & Value Of Teaching Moments

Sixteen years ago I told another parent to stop telling me about how fast it all goes and to give me time to experience it for myself.

Tonight I wear a sheepish grin thinking about how unfair I was with him and about how sometimes the only explanation we can offer is we don’t know what we don’t know.

There was no way I could have understood or appreciated what this other man tried to share with me because I hadn’t lived it.

When I shared this particular piece of news with my daughter I knew she wouldn’t and couldn’t appreciate it the way I wanted her to but I shared it anyway.

Mostly because if some things come about there will be big changes soon and she’ll be angrier if she hasn’t been prepped at all.

I almost didn’t tell her because there is no guarantee things will go the way I hope and expect, but I saw a teaching moment there.

A chance to try and help her understand that sometimes we do things that we don’t like for more reasons than because they are required.

Sometimes we jump off of cliffs and hope that we develop wings before we hit the ground below.

And I told her because if we don’t develop those wings I want her to know I will catch her.

It is harder to sell that to a 12-year-old than a toddler or even a 9-year-old.

By morning she was willing to speak and by the evening she had more questions.

I revisited some of the things that happened in A Question of Dignity and I think that helped her understand why as well as where I am trying to lead things.

Woman and Child Walking Through Mist At Sunset Between Trees
The Agony & Ecstasy Of Blogging

The answer to the blog mutiny and the broken plugins came to me during the middle of the workday.

It was 107 outside and the sweat was pouring off of me as if I had been playing ball for hours.

Wish I had been because it would have been more enjoyable than standing on a rooftop clad in all black, stuck in a conversation that should have been named Mobius.

Got home hours later, tore off my shirt and pants and jumped on the computer.

Took less than ten minutes to see that it wasn’t a conflict between Jetpack and my theme.

No, it was MeanThemes screaming at Social Warfare or maybe the reverse of it.

****

I turned off Social Warfare and thought about potential solutions.

What I want to do is focus on writing and becoming a better storyteller. But I also want to make sure it is easy for my work to be shared and not risk losing exposure.

Life is chaotic, messy and complicated now. I don’t need any more challenges now so part of me looked at taking the easy way out, but that is not really how I roll.

I like challenges. I like problem solving. I like thinking.

This probably isn’t particularly hard to solve for someone who knows a little bit more about coding than I do.

But you don’t know what you don’t know.

courage
I need to work on doing a better job of designing images with quotes.

I need to spend time learning more about coding.

I need to spend more time working out and less time eating.

Hell, I need to do a lot of things and the list never seems to get shorter especially since there are very few people I can trust to handle some untangling some of the knots that have crept up in my life.

Been sailing through stormy waters for so long I almost can’t remember what it is like to be upon calm seas but I can see those reappearing in the not so distant future.

That is really what is behind all of the work I have done and all of the cryptic messages about changes.

Little Jack Steiner has been doing his best to move from the cocoon to butterfly stage and it hasn’t been easy.

More than a few people have told me my plans are misguided or wrong and have encouraged me to go a different direction.

I have ignored, refused and or gone around the naysayers because I don’t trust their words.

That is because their fear and concerns are based upon what bothers them and not upon what is best or good for me.

I don’t wear sweaters just to pacify those who are cold and I don’t listen to people who won’t pay the price for actions taken or not taken.

Lessons Learned & Lessons Taught

Somewhere in the blog you’ll find a post where I talk about the importance of change and remembering people aren’t trees.

We’re not rooted to the ground or chained to places.

I didn’t always understand that but I learned about it through some very hard lessons and found out that good things happen to those who make them happen.

The lesson I want to teach my children is the one I learned. I want them to see we aren’t fucking trees and that sometimes the smart move is to do just that…move.

If I had been wiser I would have made some of these changes long ago, but you don’t know what you don’t know.

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6 Comments

  1. Mitch Mitchell July 29, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    I can’t figure out how to make images with quotes. I seem to have done it twice but have no recollection of creating either one; isn’t that a shame? lol

    As for the lessons you try to teach your daughter… I’m glad she came around to the point where the two of you can talk. Without having any kids I’m no help to anyone in discussing this type of thing so I can just absorb it in how you tell your story… which is very good by the way.

    Then again you already know that. 🙂

    • Jack Steiner July 30, 2016 at 9:01 pm

      Hi Mitch,

      You can use Pablo by Buffer or Stencil to make images with quotes. They are pretty easy to use. I probably ought to spend more time focusing on improving my skills with them so my stuff is sharper and more readable. But they are simple enough that non-designers can make them work.

      Anyhoo, I appreciate the kind words. Conversations with kids aren’t necessarily any harder or easier than conversations with adults.

      I imagine sometimes it is not much different than you trying to explain what some experiences are like as a Black man to certain people. Some are good at understanding nuance and appreciating that not every experience is universal and some just aren’t.

      It is certainly a little easier having some conversations with my kids now than it was when they were really little.

  2. Bryan July 27, 2016 at 7:07 am

    I remember a man telling me months after we had our first child to get on having another one right away. That way, he reasoned, you’ll be in the diaper stage for less time. I thought that was an idiotic way to look at having a family, but then my wife and I had twins four years later, and I understood his point. Potty training sounds like a nightmare again, but I suppose it would have been prolonged if our kids were closer together. We don’t know what we don’t know is quite true, but sometimes that a good thing…

    • Jack Steiner July 27, 2016 at 9:11 pm

      I remember hearing similar things from people who told me life would be easier if we pushed to have all of our kids in as short a time as possible.

      I definitely think there are moments where ignorance is wonderful and beneficial because if you knew what you were abotu to do you’d hit your head against the ground multiple times.

  3. Julie Barrett July 22, 2016 at 3:34 am

    At times like this I feel it’s the call of destiny that compels you to go on. Got to follow the feeling and the gut. If we each did that to the best of our ability and listened less to others…

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