There’s something eating away at me every day. At 31, as I look back on my life, I feel as if I’ve been duped. I was a sold a package of false goods. I was sold a one-size-fits-all American Dream that turns out to not fit many at all.
I have a job
I’m currently trading my best and most formidable years on this planet for a regular paycheck. And in return, I have agreed to spend the majority of my waking hours and relationships residing in a 5ft x 5ft lifeless grey cubicle clicking my way to company profits.
The surface area of Earth is 197 million square miles. 197 million square miles of beautiful oceans, seas, rivers, and lakes. 197 million square miles of mountains, glaciers, deserts, and rain forests. 197 million square miles of mammals, marsupials, trees, plants, and life. 197 million square miles of eco-systems, cultures, beliefs, and history.
197 million surface square miles of experiences to live.
Instead, I’ve opted to exchange those 197 million square miles for a 5’x5′ cubicle. I’ve decided to sell my time in exchange for a perception of financial security. I’ve given up one for the other…and I think that decision is slowly killing me every single day.
I have a son
My 1yr old son is awesome. He requires a lot of energy, as expected, but he’s awesome. I love watching him learn and grow every day. The way he mimics behaviors, studies his environment, and his complete emotional transparency is nothing short of astounding to me. He effortlessly makes me smile after every battle with traffic on my home to see him.
And I can’t shake the feeling that I’m failing him every single day I sacrifice my time with him to go do something I hate. I feel like I fail him because I’m not spending that valuable time at his side. But most of all, I feel like I fail him because I’m not being the example of the man I hope he grows to be–authentic.
Parents lead through example…period.
I have to be able to look him in his eyes one day and encourage him to be exactly like his father and follow his dreams and passions. Today however, I would only be able to tell him to make sure he’s not like his father, and make sure he has the courage and self-confidence to follow his dreams.
Kids don’t do what you tell them to do. They do whatever they see you do.
I have to be a better steward of my true self if I hope to teach my son that being true to himself and those around him is the real path to happiness.
I have a wife
Our lives are all tied to other people in some way. Friends, family, strangers, online followers, whomever. If not, odds are you’re living a very disconnected and lonely life void of grand purpose. We are all here for one another in one way or another. The sooner we realize this, the better off all of us will be.
I fall into the 75% of the world’s population that marry at least once in their life. As such, my life is intimately interwoven with my spouse’s. Her decisions, demeanor, behaviors, reactions, world views, opinions, upbringing, even dinner choices affect my life at every turn. Same goes for me. Same goes for any married couple.
I have to be aware of how my decisions directly impact her life. I can’t simply up and make the changes I feel I need in my life without drastically altering her quality of life. This is the realization and responsibility we took on when we decided to share our lives together. I can accept that.
After 7 years of marriage, my wife is beginning to find and walk her path of life…and I’m authentically thrilled for her. To be able to have the time to discover yourself, do the things you love, get recognized for it, and also get financially compensated for the same things is something I would like every single person to experience. I’m truly proud of her and the person she continues to become.
My wife and I have many aspects of our marriage that I do cherish. Freedom, reliability, a desire to understand the other, and a desire to see the other individual happy all come into play for us year after year. That’s more than I can say for many other couples.
Like any marriage, it’s far from perfect and we have areas that need constant attention and strengthening. Some of the areas we fall short on weigh heavily on me. Nothing I’m writing would be a surprise to her as we try to be honest with one another about how we truly feel, so these shortcomings in our relationship is nothing new. I often wonder if after 7 years, have we hit the “status-quo” or will things eventually improve in the areas we are working on.
I have recently implemented a new strategy to help strengthen the marriage overall (which I’ll be writing about at length later), and I have a lot of confidence that we can remain together AND happy. The other side of that coin worries me at times though. I know for a fact that the areas we fall short contribute to my depressed feelings and I worry that timing may not be on our side at times.
Every effort requires fuel. We need to make sure we both have enough fuel to power our common goals for each other. I’m dedicated to my strategy for consistent improvement, and I look forward to writing and sharing our story.
I have goals
As shitty as I feel driving into work every day, I feel the exact opposite when I have the time to work towards my personal ambitions and goals. I feel great as I write this article. I feel great sharing my weaknesses with you. I know I’m not the only one that feels this way and one of my many goals is helping other people find their own voice. Helping others not to feel so damn alone is a passion of mine. There is strength in numbers…strength in community. I’m not a fan of most organized religion, but by far the best thing they have going for them is a strong sense of community.
I’m working my way through my issues. I’m acknowledging the kinks in my armor, because I can’t address them until I do–until I’m honest. I’m dedicated to fighting for my life, because it’s worth fighting for.
“But I can never right my wrongs, unless I write them down for real” – Kendrick Lamar
My goals keep me focused. And I’m at a critical juncture in my life where I can keep running on the treadmill of routine monotony, or step off and purposefully put one foot in front of the other as I follow my true self. This article and this site represent the decision I’ve already made. What decision have you made about your life?
Are you going to keep running in place until you run out of fuel, or will you walk your path along mine?
Talk to me. Holla ‘atcha boy. What’s your life look like? How do you feel about where you are or what direction you’re heading? We can all help one another.