A couple of days ago I wrote about how I was dealing with issue of validation- where I my self worth or my sense of purpose. I wrote about how I was dependent on the girls for validation they having been my major source over the last almost two decades. After some reflection, I realized that thought that burst forth from the womb of my subconscious into my conscious mind and finally through my keyboard was a bit premature. I’ve been thinking about it since then and it’s developed more fully.
One could look at that entry I made and think the problem is that no one and nothing else has been providing me what I need- as if the world were letting me down and only Kayla and Shayna were able to come through. And if others had been better, I would have gotten what I needed from them. That would be incorrect. At exactly 05:50 AM (that’s the way it reads on my clock app on my iPhone), what I was trying to express came to me more fully formed. I don’t know why 05:50 AM. That’s the time these things decide to come bursting forth. That’s when I realized what I had been trying to express before.
All my life, I’ve heard about how we should some purpose. All my adult life, I’ve heard that when you’re doing what you’re really meant to be doing it won’t feel like work. The word I hear used now is “flow”. If you’re in the flow, that’s when things are easy. Things just come to you. Time stands still. It’s effortless. I never found that. As a son, a brother, a friend, an uncle, a sales rep, a business owner, it’s all been a struggle. I have never felt I was the best I could or should be. I’ve never felt fully competent at any of those things. When I tried to play an instrument, the piano first and the guitar later, I could kind of get it, with hard work, but it didn’t come to me naturally. I own my own business and it’s provided a good living. It’ll get Kayla through college. It’s put a roof over our heads. It should provide for us into our retirement years. But, it’s nothing stellar. My sales career was just so-so. Everything I have done I feel that someone else could have done as well or better. Even as a husband, the biggest commitment of my life, second only to being a father, I’ve tried my best, but my best just isn’t that great. Ty’s been a soulmate to me, providing me with just what I need. She tells me she loves me. She gives me the support I need. She’s put up with me for nearly 30 years, and I often wonder why. But, I don’t always gives her what she needs in return. Every once in a while I will get it right and she will say You do love me.“ That provides affirmation that I do get it right sometimes, but I know I often don’t. She could have done better than me.
One thing I feel like I’m "in the flow” when I’m doing is writing, communicating, trying to reach out to others to make them the best they can be. But, with that I’ve reached few and I write about subjects that don’t interest many. I don’t make a living at it and my audience is small. I haven’t made that big a splash.
The one great success of my life has been being a father. I think I was a great father. I wasn’t perfect, of course. But, from the moment we strapped Kayla into that car seat that November day in 1996, I knew what my purpose in life was. I was in the flow. Everything came naturally with the girls and I felt fully competent when it came to being their Dad. For 19 years even when I questioned my competence in all other areas and knew the world could do just fine without me, I knew that was one area where I was doing what I was meant to do. And I knew I was doing it like no one else on the planet could. Being their Dad was something I was uniquely qualified for and a joy to be doing.
So, that’s what I think was trying to be born from my head the other day. It’s not that the world hasn’t given me what I need, my family, my friends, Ty all of those people who have been there for me. I haven’t been able to give to the world what I think it needs with the exception of the role of being Dad to Kayla and Shayna. If that is the only purpose for which I was born, it’s enough. I am happy with what I was able to do. But it’s over when it comes to Shayna and it’s drawing to an end when it comes to Kayla. So, what is my purpose now? And that is what makes these tough days to face.