In my life, I’ve had to navigate a sea of changes. Change, it seems, has been the only constant element in my life. Call it fate, call it fortune, I’ve spent my entire adult life navigating ‘big’ changes of location, occupation and human relation.
The more changes I’ve worked through, the more I came to realize how similar they all were – as well as how seemingly easy it is to work through challenges and obstacles when you realize that the unknown eventually becomes known, familiar and even boring.
I remember my first trip on an airplane, as well as international flight. At the time, it seemed like a great amount of fear/difficulty to navigate. Eventually, I got used to even these large trips and found myself getting more familiar with airports (even international) and all of the twists and turns that come along with taking a trip. I will <em>never </em>travel through DEN again…
Through all of the flights, late nights and life transitions I’ve lived through, none of these changes has been more significant than becoming a Father.
Being a parent requires you to constantly be on your toes, as well as keep eyes open in the back of your head. For most people, it’s difficult enough to care for themselves; even these days, many people find themselves living with their parents, despite being in their 40’s.
I think this is a systemic problem in our generation; it’s been far too easy to have ‘failure to launch’ and instead spend your time, money and life energy on things that never give anything back to you; the professional partier, for example, continues to dance, drink and smoke their way through life without ever stopping to realize that one day it will catch up to them.
I found myself caught in that dance for a few years of my life, before eventually realizing that the party always ended, the fun never lasted, and all of the people who I found immersed in that scene were on a fast track to a road that led nowhere – or dead. At the end of that road, I found myself in a new adventure – one that was life-giving, full of real fun, and the best investment of my time, life, and energy I ever could have asked for; being a Dad.
During the years I lived in San Francisco, I met a few parents who clung to their existence in the party scene, despite being parents. They’d tell me about their usage of MDMA, while leaving their children behind for weeks at a time in order to go to burning man. These days, I realize these people are losers – and the highest class of loser I’ve ever come in contact with. They’re losers because they’re losing out on the one thing they can never get back; time with their children – and they’re exchanging it for a dance floor, or a white powder.
Nothing is better than sobriety, and no drug or substance is worth the disconnect/distance that it creates between parent and child.
These days, I’ve found new adventures as a Dad. Walks in the park, adventures at the pool and parent/child gymnastics classes have given me far more enjoyment, laughter and fun than any party I’ve ever been to. I look forward to reading books with Atlas far more than watching a DJ press play, and I know that every ounce of time I spend with him is creating something far stronger than any substance ever could hope to be; a relationship between Father and Son.
That relationship is worth everything.