Confession. I feel like a bit of a weirdo. Maybe more than a bit.
Putting my all into #CultOfDad. Believing it is some sort of mission to engage and help change the narrative and negative perceptions of fatherhood in our society. Partly, because I feel a little like a cornball sharing love and these, more heartfelt sides of myself, here, in a public forum. Especially as a kid from the ‘hood’, I’m really out growing my mold here. Lol
However, the thing thats really got me feeling like a weirdo right now, is the fact that although I am a proud papa, even building a brand about fatherhood, I am NOT living for my kid.
I am Not living for my family. I am living for no one else, other than MYSELF! It is MY life after all, right?.. Or maybe not? Maybe I am being selfish and self-centered?
I honestly don’t think so, but that is the feeling I get when I talk to other Moms and Dads.
Honestly, I think its admirable. Part of me feels guilty for not thinking the same. Then I wonder, ‘how can I’? Who am I to not live my life to the fullest. Striving to make it what I want, over making it what everyone else thinks I need to.
Just to be clear, I’m not saying I do not accept and embrace my responsibilities. Being a father, having a family, being a rock, a backbone for others is part of the life I’ve created. Those are roles I’ve stepped into and am fully aware and accept the weight and importance of that.
That said, although those are important factors in my life, I also have to prioritize myself. I guess I’m of the mindset that my needs, need to be met and fulfilled in order to be my best self and seeing that paid forward to my family.
I want the kid to grow up understanding how to make the most of his own life, find his joy and happiness. To empower my kid to live a happy and fulfilled life is one of my greatest wishes, one of the best gifts I could give. So how can I do that if I am not setting the proper example? How does he learn he is capable of making his life whatever he wants it doesn’t SEE that example. How does he learn that his life is his owns, no one else’s -not even daddy’s- to define and shape into whatever he envisions.
If all he ever sees from me is working and slaving away for others, subject to other peoples points of view, to please and benefit everyone else before myself; then all I am teaching him is that. After all its what I got, if anything from watching my own father.
Again, there is nothing wrong with that either, it’s very admirable, selfless, self-sacrificing even. However, living life like that has never served me in the way I needed. Its made me sick, close to death a couple of times. Or just miserable, to the point where I hated my life and considered suicide. Or simply another numb member of the masses. Hating Mondays, living for the weekends and endlessly self-medicating with alcohol, and weed to get through. My first-hand experience was enough to let me know I do not want to live like that, that is not what I came here for.
So through all that, I learned the importance of living my life for me, first and foremost. Setting my life up in a way that whether I’m working with or for others or myself, I’m happy, doing what I enjoy in a space that nourishes me. Setting my life up in a way that mon or Friday, I am content, even eager to get busy, be productive, be of value or simply chill, and relax if I need. Setting things up in a way that I no longer feel a need to drink, or smoke or anything else just to escape – so that when I choose to indulge, its at my own leisure, to enjoy the vibes and atmosphere with friends and otherwise.
Which leads me back to feeling like a weirdo and a bit of an outcast when talking to other parents and such. When I can express the love I have for my seed and family etc, but can’t get on the same page when people start preaching how great they are because their life is all about their kids.
It surprises me that my way of thinking is so unique, but It works for me. I am thriving, happy and fulfilled. All the benefits of living life on my terms, for myself to best I can filters out to and benefits my kid, the family and all others around me. For the life of me, I can’t see that ever being a bad thing.
Einstein and even Mother Theresa have both been quoted as saying something to the effect of, ‘the only life worth living is one lived for others.’ As much as I admire such figures, I dare to challenge that and say instead that A life lived for self, to the betterment of others, is truly a life worth living. At least that is my truth as I stand.
I’m curious to know, am I really the only one thinking this way? Chime in and leave comments below. Let me know if we should do a deeper dive on this topic on the #CultOfDad Podcast?