Looking back on one’s life isn’t always pleasant or fun. I think though, it’s how we process and decide what we want to do with the events that have shaped us that make us a better person. I share pieces of my life because honestly I can’t hide my past any easier than I can grow taller (except for boots of course.) I have begun telling you about what I have learned and the process of having Xander (TMI Tuesday). As long as I feel I am helping someone and people truly want to hear my story I will go on.
Being afraid before one’s child is born is normal. I realize now that my fear wasn’t always so normal. I think I could be obsessive and worry myself into a frenzy where I would often find myself throwing up, just from stress. I was so afraid of things that had not happened and might never occur.
As a social worker I would often hear mothers talk about father’s lack of involvement. I recalled listening to children tell me that their parents didn’t understand. I even thought about schools reminding me that children were often difficult because of their parents. The fears, while irrational, had been burned into my mind long ago.
The day I graduated from high school was a day of excitement and trepidation. I was excited because I started the journey as a young man. I was filled with dread because my future was unknown. When I walked across the stage to receive my diploma I was struck with awe at the thoughts of the unknown though. My thoughts were all on things that could come to pass since I would not be lucky enough to leave home to go to college.
The fear I felt did not leave me anytime soon either. Later that night, after graduation,I casually chatted with some friends (more like acquaintances for I really didn’t let people know Me.) and spoke of the future. We talked about how we would all remain friends and see each other real soon. We spoke as young men and women speak of our hope and of dreams. I was so good at faking the truth by this point it was easy for me to just say what people expected me to say. I was so good at making up excuses that no one noticed as I politely declined going to any of the popular parties to enjoy solitude.
I did meet up with one friend and we started by discussing about how we were going to conquer the world. We had a bottle of vodka and one of whiskey and we drank the night away staring at the stars and the moon in the sky. The more we drank the more mellow our talk became. I started talking about fear and about how I felt so alone in the world. I spoke about feeling alone most of my life and that I was always afraid of things that might happen. I think, as the bottles slowly emptied, it was the first time I ever acknowledged aloud that I was alone and on my own.
Those events now help me to understand that fear is something we all face. I was afraid of the not knowing and the fear of not understanding normalcy. I was afraid of never being heard. I think, most of all, I feared myself and what I would see if I ever stopped long enough to examine inside myself.
Fears are not often ration based. They are based on what we know and the world around us. It is very easy for us to stay in distress and much harder for us to stay in hope. Right before Xander’s birth the irrationality of my fears had found me once again. I wasn’t afraid for the conventional reasons but I was afraid for the “might be’s”. I was anxious over the thought of not being enough, not being heard and even loneliness.
I have shared this much of my life today and its here where I choose to stop for now. Luckily though, on my journey thus far, I have realized I truly am enough as long as I continue to try.