There Is More To Blogging Than Tools & Resources
Midnight approaches and I am sitting in front of the computer trying to decide whether I am a father or a fraud.
My stomach is in knots and there is a storm brewing behind my eyes because I am wrestling with a mix of self-doubt, certainty and Â a double dose of disappointment in myself.
Some time ago youÂ fearlessÂ blogger Jack got lost on hist path into world domination and creating a future that filled his heart and made his soul soar.
The how and why of how that happened don’t matter as much to me as the recognition that it happened and my decision to reorient my sails so that I could chase after that which I think I am supposed to be and do.
In the midst of this sea change I faced numerous challenges and worked hard to overcome them as best I could.
Whenever my children have asked me about these things I have told them that some of the challenges were bigger than other people have faced and that some were smaller.
The point of it was to make sure they understand there is nothing gained by trying to measure who has suffered more or less than another.
Find Joy In The Journey
This sea change in conjunction with economic requirements is what led me to move from Los Angeles to Texas. I am grateful for that because it opened up a part of me that I didn’t know existed and made recognize that it is time to make some bigger changes.
But part of that journey required moving back to LA for what I thought was going to be a short time.
I was wrong about that and my time back has been longer than I expected. Â You’ll forgive me if this is a bit cryptic, but experience has taught me to be cautious about how much I share here.
Anyway, next week I am supposed to take the next step in this journey and it is not one I want to take.
I am taking it because my choices are limited and it is theÂ smartÂ move.
It is the one that should provide some breathing room and a chance to figure out next steps without a ridiculous amount of pressure.
So why am I stressed out about this?
Because it feels like I am moving backwards. It feels like instead of feeding the fire I am drowning it.
I am shocked by how much it hurts and I am disappointed with myself because I feel like I am responding like a whiny child.
There is a part of me that is screaming at me to be quiet, suck it up and just roll with this because it is not forever.
It is telling me that I am over thinking this and making it worse and that if I just ease up this moment will come and go lickety-split.
Instead of finding joy in the journey I found fear and I am having trouble kicking its ass and sending it on its way.
There Is More To Blogging Than Tools & Resources
I could spend this time talking about how I was blown away byÂ It Is What Every Blogger Wants.
It would be an easy post to write and it would be smart to try and leverage its success.
In some ways it is far more interesting to me than sharing this side. It is painful to look in the mirror and wonder if something is wrong with me.
But I forced myself to do it because part of that sea change I mentioned above required me to not be so hard on myself about life, especially those things I can’t control.
I am not in this position because I want to be. Not here because I did anything wrong.
I am here because sometimes things happen and we either roll with them and adjust or we let life crush us.
There won’t be any crushing here today, tomorrow or next week.
I am pivoting, spinning and adjusting because that is how you go along, get along and get by.
I Am My Father/I Am Not My Father
Those of us who are parents learned much about how we want or don’t want to parent based upon what we saw our parents do.
Ask me to talk about the good and the bad I saw in my house growing up and the good outweighs the bad by a tremendous amount, it is probably not even close.
It is part of why I sometimes feel like screaming because sometimes I feel like the bar was set impossibly high.
Dad had the same job for 38 years and he almost never missed a day of work. He was like a machine and I never heard him complain about it.
If you asked him about work he’d tell you it was something we all had to do and he’d go off and do it.
He never went through some of the challenges I have had to deal with. Some of that is because the world changed and some of it is because of other things.
What is hard for me to remember is that he had his share of tough moments. They were different but they existed.
Sometimes when I look at the hard times for me and wonder what he would have done I find myself thinking it is a ridiculous question because he never would have been worried or concerned about the things that I worry about.
He just would have handled it.
Except that is not entirely true.
This blog came to life after dad had a major heart attack and ended up on life support. This blog came to life while machines helped him breathe and the doctors told me they didn’t know if he would make it.
Part of the reason that heart attack happened was because he tried to gut out the last decade of work doing something that no longer filled his heart or made his soul soar.
I’ll find a way to get through the next bit of the journey. I won’t let my kids down but I won’t let myself be forced into a box that crushes me either.
These knots in my stomach and my back won’t turn into a heart attack because this bird will find a way to fly free.
The Imp April 25, 2015 at 8:10 am
I found myself nodding in complete understanding and empathy at, “I am not in this position because I want to be. Not here because I did anything wrong.
I am here because sometimes things happen and we either roll with them and adjust or we let life crush us.”
Yes. I get this. Becoming disabled in my mid 30s was so not something I planned on, ever envisioned, and wasn’t my fault. It was a bad bounce, a crap happenstance.
And I deal. I look for the strength in every day. I look for the good. If nothing else, when I’m recovering from a bad flare up (like yesterday and today) just the fact that I didn’t give in, I’m still here, is a victory.
Jack April 25, 2015 at 9:36 am
I am with you on the victory that comes from not giving in. Sometimes life is a moment by moment kind of thing so you have to find the little things that bring a smile to your face.
One of the biggest gifts blogging has given me is the chance to write down these thoughts and gain a better understanding of what I think and feel.
I don’t know about you but it has helped me recognize that there are often far more of those victories and accomplishments than we realize.
Danny Brown April 23, 2015 at 9:27 am
Hey there mate,
This part really stands out for me:
“Dad had the same job for 38 years and he almost never missed a day of work. He was like a machine and I never heard him complain about it.”
I feel we so often compare ourselves to our parents (a natural thing to do), but we’re never going to “live up” to that comparison because worlds and generations change. All the time.
The world is such a different place from when our fathers/mothers took the paths we’re taking. Hell, it’s a very different place from when I was a younger man than the one my kids would take even today, if they were my age.
A job for life is something that disappeared (I believe) in the 80’s. Industries that were staunch providers collapsed, and digital nomads were born.
That’s not something we need feel bad about, as the same thing would have happened to our parents had the roles and technology been reversed (just look at the fear and sea change the industrial revolution would have brought).
We often need to go many steps back to get that one great step forward. But do it we will, and we’ll continue to do so – because it’s what we do.
Here’s to the next steps, mate.
Jack April 23, 2015 at 1:17 pm
Well I am like so many other people, a vicious critic of my self and my accomplishments or maybe it is more appropriate to say what I haven’t done yet.
My father is the first person to tell me not to compare my professional life to his and intellectually speaking it makes perfect sense to me.
But this frustration isn’t based on logic or reason, so I have to respond accordingly.
Meaning I have to acknowledge it is here and send it on its way.
Next steps indeed, on to becoming Pizza Man.
Danny Brown April 23, 2015 at 1:35 pm
Since when did humans ever listen to logic and reason? 😉
The great thing is, you recognize this, and compartmentalize it to where it needs to be so you can deal accordingly. Many people don’t, so you already have the advantage. Here’s to that continuing, mate, Pizza Man or otherwise… 😉
Gary Mathews April 23, 2015 at 4:13 am
Setbacks are the crap parts of life, hedging your bets and taking the smart choice is more than likely the right answer. We aren’t kids anymore ourselves and have to look out for our children. Good luck going forward, I think you got this though!
Jack April 23, 2015 at 1:13 pm
I wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for the children. Just have to take a brief step backwards and see if I can use it to move forwards.
Madison Woods April 23, 2015 at 3:12 am
Your post fills me with imagery of a wildling set free after a lifetime of cages, only to find out that the only place survival is possible is back in the cage. My wish for you is that this detention is short enough to be bearable and long enough to get what you need from it.
And btw, I like the idea of comments via email. Iâ€™m thinking of trying it out on my following too.
Jack April 23, 2015 at 1:12 pm
Thank you for the well wishes. The cage analogy is apt, that is what it feels like. We’ll see how it goes, hope it is short lived.