Sometimes Bad Things Are Good

Exactly one week ago, I thought my world had collapsed. I made a discovery that blew the roof off the mausoleum where I thought I had laid my trust issues to rest. There they were, alive and well, dancing before me and taunting me with the prospect that I would never be good enough to land the kind of life that I dream of. The secure, happy kind where home is the safest place you can know. It was a shitty way to start the week, but sometimes bad things are good.

Sometimes Bad Things Are GoodPIN

Now, I’m looking out at my garden and the sun is shining on a perfect spring day. Fresh air and breathing space have changed my perspective enough to realize that I don’t have to run for the hills. I can stay in this and see how it plays out. I’ve never really been good at that sticking around stuff. It’s amazing what having kids will do. And therapy. We can’t forget to respect those years of therapy.

Even the people you choose to honor with your trust make mistakes. It’s inevitable that these mistakes will hurt you the most, and sometimes these mistakes feel pretty fucking personal. This doesn’t mean your people don’t love you, or can’t love you the way you need to be loved. In my case, I’m not sure what it means yet. What I did realize, drifting through this latest storm, was that I just had to make sure I was safe. I can’t control other people, but I can control me. I can make myself secure. Nobody else should be tasked with that. That’s just asking for trouble.

Even the people you choose to honor with your trust make mistakes. Click To Tweet

So now, mama needs to get paid. My time has to be spent making money, first and foremost. It’s no coincidence that all of this personal stuff happened at a “what am I doing with my life” kind of moment.  I hadn’t been blogging here because I was feeling discouraged about this blog, about my book, about writing in general. I took a lot of other stuff on, half of which wasn’t paying me any more money than my writing has (which is basically nothing). Writing can happen in the spaces left after the bills are paid. Isn’t that what writers do anyway? If I want this writer’s life bad enough, I will make it happen.

And so Universe, I’ve taken my power back. I’m open to new opportunity, especially the money-generating kind. I want to be self-sufficient and I want to earn the money I’m worth. Money is such a big, crazy energy, and I’m making all kinds of peace with it. Every time I take it for granted, or ignore it, that money energy bites me in the ass.

Don’t we all need to talk about this money stuff more? With each other? With our kids? Why is it so private? Why are we so ashamed when we ‘get it wrong’? Aren’t most of us getting it wrong, most of the time? It’s exhausting, isn’t it?

I have money shit. I’m owning it. If you have money shit, I won’t judge you. If you want to talk about it, I’m listening. Empower yourself, even if you aren’t in it alone. Learn everything you can. Get good advice. Follow it. Rely on yourself to clean up the money shit, because nobody else will do it for you.

Last week I thought I’d have to start over. This week, I’m staying and I’m taking a new and proactive approach to MY life. Sometimes bad things are good.

 

The Falling Game

Last week, my partners and I made our first “out” outing. We went to a baseball game, which I suppose is all full of outs, and innings. And switch hitters, and home runs. Anyway, I digress…

My girl was playing, and her whole team seemed to be “in the know” because while my guy and I sat in the bleachers with their darling three year old cheering mommy on, we were getting lots of curious stares. Nothing malicious, a few nervous smiles, some genuine warm greetings and conversation, but definitely more attention than we would have attracted under other circumstances.

That’s not the point of this story though.

While the ball game was being played, I witnessed another game unfold. My partner would scoot his little girl’s feet so her toes were just meeting the edge of the bleachers, and then he’d have her put her arms out, and close her eyes. As she trembled with anticipation, he would then give her a little push, and then immediately catch her as she erupted in fits of giggles. She demanded he do this over and over, and when he asked her if she was afraid she said “No daddy! You never drop me! Not ever!!”.

I was so moved by this.

My father was the kind of dad who, as I imagine was the case with most of his generation, treated child-rearing like it was my mother and grandmother’s job. (I grew up in a three-parent household). He was pretty hands off, and not really very affectionate. We had some good bonding experiences over music, but to the best of my memory, there were very few hugs, or snuggles, or kisses. As a result, it’s always been strange, and perhaps even a little uncomfortable for me to witness modern daddies being as affectionate as mommies are with their kidlets. Maybe my dad was terrified of being perceived as doing something inappropriate?

At any rate, this falling game filled me with such a strange mixture of joy and sorrow. Joy because I realized that this simple, silly exercise was in fact building layers of trust so deep that this little lady would never even really know where they came from; trust in men, trust in other people, trust in her daddy, trust in taking risks. My sadness came from realizing there was no such equivalent in my own childhood experience.

I loved my partner so fiercely in that moment for having such finely-honed paternal instincts.

It’s been almost 24 hours since I hit ‘send’ on the very difficult, very heartfelt email I composed for my dad after my mom outed me to him. I haven’t heard a peep. I thought about calling, but it just feels too raw, and too hard to form the words. We’ve never really been able to talk about personal things, and I just don’t even know where to begin with this. I feel like the reality of who I am, and the choices I am making  have taken him to a whole new level of uncomfortable where his little girl is concerned.

My mom suggested that I give him space to digest all of the information, and of course I understand this, and respect it. I’m just scared that things will never be the same, and that the special voice that he reserves only for me will be something I never hear again.

I can count on one hand the times I’ve seen my father display a lot of emotion. The first was the week that my Nana, his mom, died. He found her in cardiac arrest in her room downstairs as he returned from his night shift. He attempted to resuscitate her while the paramedics came, but it was too late. After the funeral, we were in the kitchen, and I was in the fridge getting some milk to go with our chocolate chip cookies. He was musing about growing up as an only child, and how his dad died when he was only twelve. He said “I guess your mom and you kids are all I have left now.” The warble in his voice made my throat clench up so hard that I spent an extra five minutes poking around the cheese and condiments to I wouldn’t have to see him cry.

The second moment was when he was about to walk me down the aisle. That moment is the proudest and happiest I’ve ever seen him in relation to me. He suddenly turned to me, squeezed my hand, and whispered fiercely with shining eyes. “I LOVE you.”

I’m still the same me daddy. Somewhere in all of the grown up stuff that’s been layered on is the little girl who used to fall asleep listening to your old records with your giant headphones. I’m still the duck-faced social butterfly who could delight shop keepers with my precocious vocabulary. (A snow-suited six year old me, when told by the variety store lady that I looked adorable declared “I look RIDICK U LEEZ!”) I’m still excited about watching nature documentaries and old Next Generation re-runs together. I still think you’re the funniest, smartest man I know.

I hope you still love me, and will come to embrace everyone else who loves me too.