My biggest problem with being shot wasn’t the pain from the bullet in my shoulder but the shock that came from discovering I wasn’t bullet proof.
Had reporters been covering my life none of them would have found it newsworthy for the reasons I did. They knew I couldn’t fly, leap over tall buildings or out drive a locomotive.
Ok, that last part is tied into a true story in which the 20-year-old idiot I used to be took his ’77 Camaro and beat the train across the tracks.
That same idiot trained for hours at the gym and in some ways was a muscle-bound fool who mistook dumb luck for being something other than what it was.
I have more than one stories about how dumb luck provided cover for the idiocy my dumb ass got himself into but we’ll save those for a different time.
For now let that car story serve as the prime example of why my biggest fear surrounding my children is not pedophiles but imitating their father’s reckless behavior.
Expectations and Time
We are a week past the moments where I wondered if I was standing in my own sunshine and those where we discussed how life is about painting a pictureÂ and I’d like to think my head is screwed on straight again because for a moment it wasn’t.
I am not used to that.
I don’t panic.
I don’t flail around when things are going wrong.
I handle it.
I talk about how I have a perfect record of surviving every bad day I have ever had.
But I didn’t handle last week the way I wanted to. I didn’t go into the challenges feeling confident or certain and it threw me for a real loop.
Because my expectations were that I would handle whatever life threw at me and I would make it work.
Except the thing was that the prison I keep the demons we call doubt, uncertainty and insecurity locked up in was breached.
The damn things figured out how to slip their chains and we went to war.
There was an extended moment in time where those three had me on the ropes and I found it hard to quiet them down.
Instead of looking at accomplishments I kept seeing failure in places where I should have succeeded. And my expectations of myself made it impossible for me to reconcile what was happening.
Are Your Expectations Killing You?
Tuesday night I lay on my bed in my hotel room, closed my eyes, counted to three and swore I would hunt those three demons down and lock them back up.
And that is what I did.
I shined a light in the dark corners of my mind and challenged what lay there to come out and fight.
I did it because I felt an obligation as a father to show my children that when things get tough you can figure it out, but sometimes you have to hang on.
And I did it because I needed to remind myself that I had a choice about whether I would let those three beat me.
I did it because I needed to work through the moment where I had forgotten that our personal expectations about what our lives should be like sometimes hurt us more than anything else.
Eventually I found my center again and accepted that I can climb the mountain in the picture. I don’t have to fly or jump to the top.
Fact is the joy is often in the journey and it is the experiences that come during it in which we learn the most.
Freedom To Write
If you ask me why I have multiple blogs I’ll tell you they serve multiple purposes and that I get something out of each of them.
One of the best is the freedom to write unencumbered by fear of who might read these words.
Because sometimes you need a place where you dump out the contents of your mind and see what sort of junk has taken refuge within without concern about family, friends or employers getting involved.
Sometimes what you need is the freedom to look at your expectations without judgment so that you can see for yourself that you are the source of your own Kryptonite.
And once you understand that, well then you can fly again.