Back To Square 1

Dear Child(ren),

 

I’ve done you a great disservice lately.

 

I’ve spoken about a great many of my beliefs and even tried to imbue with life lessons but that wasn’t the point of why I started this blog. On top of that, I’ve been writing these at the pace of a snail.

 

Why I started this blog wasn’t just so that I could teach you a whole bunch of things as they become relevant in my life or to inspire you to be the kind of person I want you to be. The point of this blog was to be vulnerable and to let you see that I’m not only far from perfect but that I’m actually kind of messed up. I want to show you that when you’re going through something that you don’t think anybody else can possibly understand, you might see that I’ve been there too.

 

Instead I’ve talked about some things that I do value greatly or parts of my life that make me happy but I haven’t talked about what ails me. I haven’t let you see the hurting part of me. Sure I’ve talked about my depression and anxiety but I’ve talked about it in a way that makes it seem like I’m overcoming it or that I’m strong for battling it. Yes, I want you to have strength, but when you find that strength fleeting I don’t want you to believe that you’re weaker than I am because I had strength all of the time. Some days I am painfully weak and there is absolutely nothing anyone can do to fix me on those days. On those days I want to climb into bed and just stare there all day. These days are less since I’ve started repairing the damage but they haven’t gone away.

 

In saying all of this, I don’t want it to send like I am unhappy with my life right now. There are tough aspects to my days but that isn’t the majority of the time. I do still suffer from depression and anxiety and that may never fully go away. Most days are better but some days are just hard. Money stresses me out and any amount of debt gives me the heebie-jeebies and because of that feeling of anxiety I then feel a tremendous amount of guilt for making your mom stress out about money when I know it’s a sensitive spot for her too. I often don’t feel good about my body even though, especially lately, I’ve been getting much stronger. I eat terribly most of the time and can’t really expect to have much muscular definition if I don’t work on it and a lot of days I’m fine, but some days I just am not happy.

 

I want to stop there for a minute because I want to be clear; your mom and I will always preach body positivity to you (especially your mom) because the love you have for yourself or how beautiful you think you are does not depend on the shape or size of your body. I am human though and I will get caught up in thinking that I need to have a flatter stomach or bigger arms or be ashamed of my tiny calves. You’ll feel like this too, I am sure. That’s okay. It is okay to have bad days where you don’t feel beautiful because every single person has days like this. The important thing is that those days never last and that, overall, you believe with full confidence that you are in fact beautiful no matter what.
None of these are the vulnerability that I specifically wanted to delve into though. I’ll try to talk more often about the hard days and the bad feelings from now on so that I can get back to the point of this blog.

 

Specifically today I want to talk about something I talk on and off about with your mom but not really with anybody else; my abilities as a writer.

 

I guess the most important part to start with here is the fact that I am actually NOT a writer. I’ve never published anything and, outside of this blog, I have no collection of works. I want to be a writer though. I want to be an author. I want to be able to spend my days as a storyteller and let my imagination soar. But I’m not an author and that dream is something I just don’t believe in.

 

Lately I’ve been talking a lot more about writing a novel. I’ve been watching videos on how to get a literary agent and how to get published, I’ve been reading a lot more articles on the subject as well, I’ve been trying to spend more of my time writing when I can to try and make it a habit. Despite all of this and despite how much of a dream it is of mine to see my books in a store, I don’t believe in myself at all.

 

I feel like I’m not terrible at stringing together coherent sentences and even using bigger words accurately here and there. I try to tell myself that I know my writing ability is at least better than average but, at the end of the day, I don’t believe it. I want to be published but I don’t believe I will be.

 

I don’t even think I’ll have the commitment to finish writing a full manuscript.

 

I have gone through this process about a thousand times where I tell myself that this is the time I write a novel. I try and try to convince myself that I can in fact do this and that I will, I try to believe it so much that I do things like start a twitter account up or start a blog (I’m sure I’ve got a couple of those out there somewhere still) but it always ends the same way – dissipating into nothingness.

 

The only thing that I’ve never really tried is being brutally honest with myself about everything. No, I am not a terrible writer but I believe that I am. No, it isn’t impossible for me to be published but I believe it is. No, this time isn’t guaranteed to end the same way as every other time but I believe it will and I feel like I’m only treading water until then.

 

I want to be a Dad that you can be proud of and that means accomplishing the things I set out to do, and I want to believe that that will be enough motivation but it isn’t. I don’t know what it will take to finally break through that barrier in my own self-esteem to finally make this happen and I don’t know if it ever will. All I know is that I am struggling right now with every aspect of this.

I read what I wrote and I’m disappointed. I feel like I have lost every ounce of imagination and creativity that I ever had before in coming up with just the basic plotline for a novel. I don’t feel inspired and I don’t feel motivated.

 

The one thing that I can say honestly that I don’t know if I’ve ever said out loud is this; I am terrified of finally finishing something, working intensively to make it better and better, only to hand it in and have it rejected. I want to believe I will take that with a grain of salt and that I will listen to the criticism and I will work on everything and, in time, I will improve but I have no faith in myself that this will happen. I believe that even if I finish something it won’t be good enough to be published. I won’t be an author and I won’t make you or Mom or anyone else proud of me.

 

This all probably stems from feeling like a disappointment as a teenager/young adult but it doesn’t matter where it started.

 

Despite all of this fear and despite the complete lack of faith I have in my abilities, I won’t stop trying. Maybe that can be the lesson for you to take away here. I’m not always going to be someone to look up to because I’m human and I am plagued with faults that sometimes consume me but I will always try to find the strength and try to believe that I can overcome and that good things will come because otherwise I am hopeless and that is not how I want to spend my entire life.

 

Love you always,

 

Dad

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