Let’s Begin (Again) ♪

Day 1

Part 1 – Who am I? But not totally.

Chapter 1: Ramblings

Listen to the Audio Track

Because I am rather drawn by stories narrated in an English accent, I imagined this tale as if red oh by say Hugh Grant or the lovely Emma Thompson. Well, since I have always loved the name Emma, we’ll go with Ms. Thompson then and assume me a girl instead of a boy because well, it is my imagination and with it I can do whatever the bloody hell I want right?

Let’s carry on then, Ms. Thompson.

I’m a girl.

~

Usually when one reads a tale identified as based on true life, those events have already occurred. A writer hears of something that catches their attention, they seek the rights to said story and the rest is history. Er the past.

I have always been a peculiar girl. In my head. I started talking to animals at a young age and could easily spend hours alone with nature or with plenty of drawing materials, letting my imagination run wild. I’ve learned to mask my peculiarity as I have grown to seem mostly normal, but to do anything in a ordinary fashion still bores me enough to be a little more open to being thought the fool. Age and all of our impending dooms seem to do that as years pass and dreams remain locked up in ones bored brain.

So in the spirit of my lifelong oddness and in a fashion traditional to my life’s story as it has thus far occured, this tale based on true facts, has not yet happened.

I have long dreamed of being so many things. A professional hockey player, an animator for Walt Disney, a teacher, a coach, a famous actress, a regarded writer, an inventor, entrepreneur, someone who others would be inspired by, but mostly as my 20’s were coming to an end, I dreamed of being a husband and a father.

Well, there you have it. We must pass the auditory baton over to Mr. Grant because well, it is important that I tell this tale as a father because as a former husband, it is the struggles of fatherhood that have brought me to where I am today. Imagining my future as if it has already happened to well, determine if this dream that I carry is a good fit for my girls and our futures together as father and daughters.

I am a boy.

As I make my way to the mid-forties mark, I have long come to the conclusion that the most important beings on this earth that I want to inspire or be regarded by, are my two girls. My eldest is almost 11 going on 16, and my youngest is soon to be 9 and thankfully, for a dad embracing two childhood’s slipping away far faster than I would like, going on 9.

As early teenage years sneak in, I am also quickly realizing much to my dismay, that I would rather ensure I raise two respecting, caring and giving girls than a couple of little bugger’s. So, being liked all the time is something I am slowly coming to grips with not being as concerned about. I think I am winning that argument and perhaps it’s the only confrontation I will triumph over in the next 10 years. I am sure at some point they will tell me they hate me not unlike similar words spoken to my own mum, which of course translated to I loved her more than I love you could possibly portray. I hated her for caring and sticking by me always in spite of me being a little explicit b-word. I always had a little trouble communicating my feelings.

Did I mention a house full of girls? Right. I’ll get to my now extended family a bit later then.

I am a boy. Yes I know I said that already as well as saying I was a girl. I know I am a man and an aging, greying, slower moving one at that but the greatest gift aside from the pure, forgiving and absolute love my two beautiful girls have given me, is helping me find the boy inside again.

My grandfather often talked about keeping in touch with the child within and himself, enjoyed an occasional cartoon to his end just a few days shy of his 99th birthday. Like the time we re-lived seeing Song of the South together when I was a child, after I found a copy on VHS via the internet. We sat in his 16th floor flat and watched it together like a couple of school boys, before grandchildren made their way into our lives.

I believe I am man enough when called upon to be a mature and leading adult, but I like the man I am becoming more as I remember the boy and how imagination, hope and belief in self ran rampant in his otherwise randy little loins.

Of course, being a man means you need a job and any one at that to keep a roof over our heads, peanut butter and jelly on the table and clothed enough not to appear a ratty mess. One just can’t quit to pursue far-fetched dreams. I have no regrets for the employment position I find myself in as a mostly uneducated 40-something. I actually have a really good job. Two in fact.

Divorce is grand.

Freedom of Succession

Day 1

Part 1 – Who am I?  But not totally.

Chapter 6: Freedom of Succession

At what point can we justify to ourselves that it is okay to move on – quit something if you will? Whether marriage, employment, friendships, volunteer work, or just about anything else.

The joke at a party usually heard is ‘nobody likes a quitter’, when they ask you if you’d like a fag. “Oh no, I’ve since quit.” Of course, no longer coughing actual lung bits into the loo is a good thing.

Not waking up in random places unclothed is rather desirable when one decides to quit drinking. At least a two-four, as they call it in Canada, over a game of cards.  Your liver loves a quitter.

Our bodies also appreciate a giver upper. Like  that moment we show it a little love and axe the breakfast of champions in exchange of fruit and a glass of O.J.  rather than a chocolate bar, a bag of nacho chips and an extra large double double.

Your heart fancies a quitter I’ll bet, that moment one exchanges lounging in a lazy boy for months on end watching romantic comedies while slurping from a Big Gulp full of cola after a hard breakup,  for a walk to the park with a friend even to oogle dreamily at some passerby who might suit your fancy.

See? Quitting is grand.

I guess as maturity has set in, at least I think it has aside from writing in an English accent or dancing in the mini-van like an idjit with my girls, I have come to realize that the only time quitting is a bad thing for us is when we do it because of poor planning, or our own disbelief in ourselves whether in our abilities or our worth.

I have little regret really. I am of the belief that things in life happen for a reason and in the end I have had a great life so far, but there are decisions I have made that have somewhat haunted me a bit and remain reminders should I find myself in similar situations.

I was once accepted to one of the best schools in the world for studying animation. I had to work at it for a year in a course that helps you build up your portfolio, but I was focused and made that long time dream of studying that magical artform a reality. However not long into my studies, I let poor planning and disbelief in myself get the better of me. That and the thought of moving 2500 miles away from my family has served as a recurring theme in my life of fearing the unknown.

I visited a friend in California who had graduated from the same program that very year, who landed a job with Dreamworks – indeed a tale all of its own, smashing my rental car to bits and all. I spent 9 mostly memorable days in California exploring much by myself, realizing now far too late that I would have loved that working adventure so very much. I would have met many new people as I always do and hey, I enjoy my alone time anyway. What a time it would have been because being there, helped me paint that unknown picture.

Quitting a job is simple. That from someone 19 years into his current employment role. You find another job and quit the other one. As long as you are set for finances and have done your best to judge the longevity of that role, it’s all you can do. What makes quitting hard is not having confidence in yourself to move on. Not seeing your worth and some companies have a way of assisting you with that lack of value in self. Like suddenly needing a college diploma for a role you have done for most of your adult years. I am not sure what college teaches you about clicking a mouse but it does have me quite curious.

The lack of a certificate or diploma can really play on you.  That is something I would like to alter.

I want to do more with my professional life but how those decisions affect my family must be top of mind. My elected position has certainly helped guide me down the path of a possible next chapter.

There are many other things I need to quit. I need to quit the van with the VHS player because well, it’s played its dues and it has a VHS player. I need to quit this house and start new memories with my extended family but that’s been a hard move to make. I love my neighborhood and my first home and money is yet to be growing on the stately trees on our old street.

Most of all, I must quit getting stepped on and be more assertive. There is being a nice bloke and then there is being walked all over by a gaggle of running mustaches.

I have worried about what others thought of me all of my life too so there is that. I think I have put that to bed with my Tops and Trends teddy bear and Mickey Mouse clock though. It’s nice to finally be in this place.

Bugger off then. There is enough judgement in my own noggin’ never mind nonsense from you.

I am trying really hard to listen for my souls succession but it isn’t easy. This summer was to be about reflection for me so I will let these remaining weeks play out, and listen closely to the many voices crowding my cranium.

Is that a running mustache?

Running_Moustache