6.15.2004

Another subject...

I was watching a young man this evening at the Parts counter. He was wearing some kind of jacket that represented something he enjoyed. I don't if it was motorcycle jacket or some group he like or what but it occurred to me why, for so many years I resented people that displayed such things. I never had the opportunity as a young person to do that myself. I couldn't be that "rock star" in my mind, growing long hair and wearing a leather jacket. Or maybe it was the football player, wearing a replica of his jersey. Whatever it was, I had to "worship" it (as all young people do!) from within because I couldn't show my colors. So I grew up resenting those that did (because they could) show theirs. I was jealous of what they got to do and I didn't. I never could get that job where I could grow my hair long. I had to be clean cut to face the public. So I never was able to create an identity. I did try in the early nineties by getting into hiking and combining it with my first love, photography. I dressed the part, hiking shoes, the shorts, big mountaineering backpack. But It wasn't enough. I had missed out on being a "cool" guy. I did buy me a leather jacket (love it and can't wait to get it back here!) but to this day I am the geek. I don't have the hot bod, or great looks. I don't have the cool job or car/truck. But finally, after so much anguish and anger, I am HAPPY with who I am. I am ok with my geekiness. I was able to look at this young man, who I had never seen before, and not be jealous of who he was and who I would never be. My daughter loves me because I am her dad and for no other reason. It has taken me a long time to figure out that is the most wonderful thing I can be. A DAD. Those are the colors I wear now.

3 comments:

Zelda said...

That is a really nice place to be in life. I feel lucky to have learned those lessons pretty young. Jethro taught me a lot about them though, because he never tried to be anything he wasn't, and he liked me for all of my ridiculousness.

jp said...

So few people get that being a dad to your kids is the most important job you can do. All the rest is filler. I bide my time here at the office until I can get home to my boys at night for our nightly wrestlemania sessions. We also play a lot of catch. I give them showers every night and tuck them into bed. It's truly the best part of my day.

Congrats on discovering the secret to life.

pauliemac said...

Zelda, I tried for so long to be all things to all people and it just made things worse. I cannot be all things to all people, no matter how hard I try, so I don't. I now only try to be me and I have so much more peace in my life.

jp, yes I remember those times when my daughter was young. I worked 11 hour days just to support her and I (I was a single father, mom was not around much) and my fondest memories were of when she was little. I will share one. When she was 3 1/2 we went camping in East Texas. we used my parents truck and pop up camper. we set up, it rained so hard, but we got this little 1 hr window where we played in the water puddles. it was a highlight of my life. I have always done so much with my daughter, but I lost site of it when I finally thought I had it all, I met someone and married them. That is when it started to all fall apart and I forgot how to be a dad. This journey has brought me full circle in a sense, but with a newfound wisdom and idea of how to do things better.