What Is The Value Of Fatherly Advice?

The Thinker

Bet this gorilla knows a thing or two.

They don’t give awards to 45 year-old men who can outrun 17 year-old boys but that is ok because for a moment I almost felt like I had turned back the clock.

Don’t misunderstand this to suggest all of my self esteem is caught up in the physical because it is not. All it takes is a look in the mirror to confirm that but it doesn’t mean that the competitive fire that burns inside my belly has been extinguished or that I can’t be proud of that.

Nor does it mean that I think I can beat every 17 year-old kid I encounter but it is nice to know that for a moment in time I still have it, whatever it is.

Been working with  or maybe through a few things the past month or so.

You see I got laid off and have been in the process of transitioning to the next rung on the Steiner career ladder.

The firm thanked me for my work, shook my hand and told me to use them as a reference and reminded me to join the LinkedIn alumni group.

I was a contract employee so I can’t say it came from out of the blue. I knew that there was a chance they wouldn’t convert me and that I might be on the market again, but I hoped it wouldn’t happen for a while.

Dad’s A Free Agent…Again

After I got the news I called my dad and suggested we get lunch.  We grabbed a few sandwiches and just before he gave me his fatherly advice I told him I wanted something better this time around.

He laughed and told me not to sweat it.

“Things aren’t like they were when I was your age. So you lost your job, you’ll get another.”

“Dad, you are getting soft in your old age. The guy who raised me would have told me to take a hard look at myself and figure out if I shared any responsibility for what happened. ”

He nodded again and laughed.

“Shit happens and it is not always logical, reasonable or related to you. You know that. I have faith in you, you’ll figure it out.”

I do which is why I didn’t argue or pursue that avenue any further. Wasn’t anything to be gained by complaining so we talked about the grandchildren and I told him I was going to try to move back to Texas.

“Cost of living is a lot less than here. LA will always be home but I need to make some changes.”

He nodded his head and told me it made sense.

Rolling With The Punches

Most days I am relatively relaxed about the change in status. Part of it is because I have complete faith that I will find something sooner than later and that it is going to be better than what I had.

Ask me to explain why I believe it and I’ll tell you it is based upon my skill set, work experience and experience but the truth is the real source of this is a gut feeling.

Gut feelings used to make me a bit nervous because I liked to rely upon what I could taste, touch and feel but this time around I have a different approach and attitude.

I keep reading and thinking about these words that Ralph Waldo Emerson shared in his essay on Self Reliance:

“There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried. “

“What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”

What Comes Next

I can’t tell you exactly what comes next but I can tell you that I am doing my best to follow my guy and find a position that speaks to my heart and enables me to really do what I do best.

Whatever it is writing is going to be a part of it and so will unleashing a much larger portion of my creativity. Watch out world, I am on the loose.

After we finished eating lunch I walked out to my car and heard Seasons Of Love from the Rent soundtrack playing and just smiled. Intermixed with the lyrics I could hear my father telling me he had faith I would figure it out. It made me smile and I wondered if we ever reach a place where that sort of praise from our parents doesn’t warm our hearts.

And then I made a silent promise to my children to do my best to give them the same gift.

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  1. Larry Bernstein September 2, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    I hope something better comes along soon.
    I like your dad’s new attitude. Older and wiser.
    Seriously, stop racing a 17-year old. It’s over man.

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