Act your age…

I had a difficult time trying to get my kids ready for school this morning.  My oldest son, who is eight-years-old, is constantly making noises, singing or talking.  Sometimes this can become very annoying very quickly and cause me to yell at him.  I don’t know how many times I have had to tell my son to act his age.  What I think I am missing about the whole thing is that he is eight.  He is not old enough to be an adult or act like I am.   I rememeber when I was young, I always acted similar to the way he acts now.  I enjoyed singing or making noises.  It was fun to run in the house or climb the walls.  I am not saying that it was permitted.  I just knew it was fun and did these things when I felt I could get by with them.  I wonder when I yell at my children to act their age, if what I am really saying is, “act my age.”

I often wonder if I am failing as a parent.  I can’t help but wonder if I am good enough or if I provide the necessary needs that should be provided for a young one.  I have been divorced for over three years now and it seems the further I go, the more I realize, I am not a mom.  It is easy to be a dad.  I enjoy the role.  Most of the dad traits just come naturally to me.  But to be a mother . . . not so much.  I struggle to give them what they need and can only hope that what little bit of good I can instill in them will grow in them, causing them to be great when they get older.

Now, I look at myself.  Do I act my age?  Am I as mature as the common 29-year-old man?  I want to tell myself that I am.  I can’t help but see all the areas where I am lacking though.  I am not acting my age.  I am acting like someone who doesn’t have it together.  Sure, I am stretched to the limit with my hands and feet spread apart, clinging to what little bit of life, peace, hope and happiness I can hold on to, but in the end, I feel I have fallen behind and not only is it a struggle to act my age, but to be my age.  I fail.  I fail regularly.  Is it this failure in me that has caused me to redirect my children when they act like me?  The very things that make up who I am is the things I try to change about my children.  I wonder if it is fear that they will one day become me, and fail in the same way that I have.

The outcome of my life is still under my control.  I may seem to old to change my ways, but this old dog is going to learn new tricks.  I am ready for a different life.  A life where my kids can look up to me and feel proud to be my son.  A place where my kids can be themselves without fear of getting reprimanded for it.  I love my children.  Really, they are my life.  Without them I am nobody.  They have shaped in me the very essence of who I am.  With all that they have given to me, I feel it is time to give back.  My kids shouldn’t teach me, I should teach them.  I am their father.  It’s time to act my age.

Mirror, Mirror…

It’s funny how much the losers in so many movies remind me of myself.  I don’t completely understand why I feel this way, but I always seem to share similar attributes with the characters in the movies who seem to have no luck at all.  Is it that I am a loser myself, which makes it easy for me to relate?  Maybe it is that I am that guy who can’t seem to get it together no matter how hard he tries.  Truth is, I think I am that man.  But why are these movies so popular?  Are there more people out there, like myself, who fall into this very same category?  Maybe we all have these insecurities about ourselves.  I think Hollywood is aware of our insecurities.  Writers and producers always seem to try to paint the picture of their main characters as the common man.  If this is true, I may not be as alone as I think I am in this world.  Maybe we all see ourselves in dim light.

I can remember times in my past that I looked at my situation in life and thought to myself, ‘Nobody will ever want to be with someone like you.’  I have thought this about relationships, friendships, jobs, you name it.  I have felt failure in ever category imaginable.  I find it funny though because I also like myself.  I look at myself in the mirror and say, ‘You’re not so bad.  In fact you’re kind of cute, and funny, and just an amazing person who anyone should love to be with.’

Our insecurities shape who we become in the public eye.  People never want to be around someone who doesn’t like themself.  Question is, how can somebody like themself when no one around them treats them respectfully as a person.  It’s a double delimna.  It’s a scale that is hard to balance.  I don’t think as many people view us unfavorably as we might make ourselves believe.  We are just as much the perfect person in the movie as we are the loser.  This all depends on whose eyes we are looking through.  I would like to think that other people see me the way I see myself when I look in the mirror with encouraging thoughts.  Maybe we aren’t all that bad.  We should find courage in the promise we see in ourselves.

The next time you look in a mirror, don’t see the person that is a failure.  You are not a failure.  If anyone can look at you and tell you that you aren’t good enough to make the cut, I can say pretty assuredly, the same person who tells you that is struggling to make the cut themself.  We all deal with issues of insecurity.  It is the people who look in the mirror and believe the positives thoughts, who overcome these insecurities.  You are not a loser.  You are not a failure.  I look at my own life and worry about the areas where I have failed.  While sometimes that is a sad story, it still doesn’t make me any better or worse than the next person.  We all make good choices, we all make bad choices.  No one is immune.

Worth-less

I’m told everybody has a price.  People can be bought, regardless of how strong their will is.  If you offer the right dollar amount you can probably just about talk anybody out of anything.  This seems to be true in many situations, but I tend to believe there is a cut off point.  There is a time and place when someone refuses to sell regardless of price.  When this happens, the item in question, at least in my mind, is considered priceless.

At the same time, if no one is willing to buy something, we say it is worthless.  I cannot hide my lack of a higher education, so I will just explain it how I see it.  The whole point isn’t that an item has no worth at all, but just that it is worth less than other desired items, therefore it is difficult or impossible to sell.

I realized recently that people are the same way.  I have found it extremely difficult to sell myself to some people.  It is not that people don’t like me or that I have no worth, but I guess it is that more worth can be found in other desirable people.

I look at my life and I look at the wrong paths I have taken and I see why my worth has dropped.  While the price has remained the same (I’m cheap. Not very difficult to please), my worth has fallen.  Whether it be in employment, family, love life or friendships, I have lost some footing.  I am not anywhere near where I need to be.

It doesn’t really matter that I work harder than most people I know just to keep my employers and the community around me happy.  It doesn’t matter that I fight for my children and strive to give them everything.  It doesn’t matter that I would sell out 100-percent of who I am to make a life with someone and fight for that love everyday.  It never has been about the price I pay.  It is about my worth.

I don’t have a degree on my wall, a nice family for my children or money to shower a partner with worldly goods.  It is my lack in these areas that will always make me worthless.  I don’t know, I mean, maybe one day I will find a way to get a good job and make some money.  I might buy a big house on a hill and drive a fancy car, but right now, I don’t carry that kind of worth.

I was in Athens one night, not too long ago, and I just sat and watched the college kids as they went back and forth on the streets.  I watched them walk all over each other, drooling on themselves, making a complete idiot out of themselves.  I just sat and watched.  While I sat there I realized that I probably work harder in one day than many of these kids will work in their entire lives.  They have no idea what it is like to have responsibility.  But when it is time to find a new job it will be them and not me who is hired.  It doesn’t matter if I am smarter or work harder or am faithful and loyal to my work.  They will win the position over me because they have that piece of paper that says they give a crap about life.

My children will probably always look back on and despise their childhood because I couldn’t give them much.  Doesn’t matter that I was the one who fought to make sure they were cared for.  Doesn’t matter that I would die for them.  I can’t give them a nice home life.  They don’t have the traditional family.  I am a single dad who barely knows how to be a man, let alone a father, but I fight to be what is best for them.  I fail.

Finding a beautiful woman who cares for me and loves me is all I ever wanted out of this life.  I am pretty positive I will screw up a chance at that as well.  I don’t have money to appeal to the dreams of a woman.  I can’t look at a wife and say, “lets go on vacation next month.”  I simply don’t have the money.  Nobody wants to be with a man who can’t provide a great life for them, regardless of his charm or appeal.

I am a worthless man trying to hold on to a priceless life.  I love my job, I love my kids and I love my girlfriend.  I love whatever friend I have at whatever point I am lucky enough to have one.  While I fight harder than anyone to preserve what I have, it won’t be mine forever.  I will lose a lot of this simply because im worth less.

I want to be priceless.  I want people around me to say, “there is no way I could ever lose the value he brings.”  I fight for that.  I fight for it everyday.  Still, I possess no value.  I am worthless.