The more I am willing to let go

Lately I have been thinking about how many possibilities there are to do things in different ways. It bothers me to admit that I have been fooled by believing that systems that are in place are permanent. Once I can consider that the impermanence in life can extend beyond my own mortality I begin to realize that anything can end.

Institutions can end. My concepts of cultural norms can end. What I do on a regular basis is just a creation of actions that I have superimposed over the alternative of inaction.

Every assumption about how things work is just one of many assumptions.

Everything is possible.

2 thoughts on “The more I am willing to let go

  1. I won’t ask if you have any children since the internet is the internet. I will volunteer that I have a child, and that child is, in the most literal sense, my reason to live. Both as a source of beauty and love, and also an immeasurable responsibility. It should be alarming how frequently my self-pep-talks revolve around the idea that I have to keep it together only until the child no longer needs me. I steadfastly believe that were I unburdened with the responsibility of caring for the child, I would reject much of our society and experiment with alternative lifestyles. That sounds like a euphemism for homosexuality, but what I meant was more akin to bohemianism.

    What really bugs me is that my self-sacrifice for the child is something I do for the child’s benefit, so they are not burdened with the stigma of having some kind of weird dad. So the object is to conform to social norms and provide a childhood with the minimal social friction. But if I detest our social norms, and am merely “faking it”, am I doing a disservice to the child? Who bears the responsibility for making the decisions that mold the worldviews of the next generation? I hate the idea of acting a part for the child to witness, while silently repudiating the few truths which are precious to me but socially unacceptable. But I also hate the thought of inflicting an atypical existence on a child who will face enough cruelty and ugliness as it is. Which is the path of love?

    1. Those are some heavy questions. I’m no expert on kids. And I feel a bit awkward giving advise. But maybe you need some so I’ll do my best, good or bad. Take it or leave it. First thing that comes to mind is this, I think your child will always need you, unless you end up being an unrepentant A-hole. So far, that doesn’t seem like you.

      You mentioned ‘conforming to social norms’ and avoiding being ‘atypical’. For the sake of my writing, I’m going to mix those up a bit, and focus on ‘typical’ as meaning conforming to social norms. And from here, without knowing you, knowing your struggles and your child’s life, I would say you might be heading toward an unhappy place later on.

      I do have kids. And I do make mistakes. And yes, their existence is a continuous subconscious pep-talk for me. If you can find my twitter account and go to the beginning of that tweet history, you might even find a few jokes that my kids have come up with. Their wonder and joy at life is exhilarating and up-lifting, because I choose to feel that way.

      I know exactly what you mean about how having kids changes who you are, changes what you might be doing. And I agree with you in that, how you behave has an impact on their growth. I would say that being ‘fake’ is a horrible mistake. Honesty is the best gift you can give to your child, because there is no perfect or typical father, no perfect or typical life. There’s what is on TV, and then there is you. We will all have to deal with stigma and friction at some point in our life, and learning how to handle that as a child is of top importance.

      My kids are growing and so far they still both still think I am Okay. My life is not typical. I am not typical. I do not want my kids to live as ‘typical’, and I find that they are happy with our family, and they are realizing that their ‘typical’ friends are not really that happy. I want my kids to be happy with themselves. I want them in touch with who they are and to celebrate that, and to laugh.

      IMO, we have to teach our kids how to love living. That can be tough when without them we might be living a different life. I hear you, wondering where you might be without a kid. I know that without mine I would probably be a very big mess.

      Having kids has actually helped me make the most of life. The question for me now is, can I help my kids make the most of life too? Sometimes I do that alright. Sometimes not. Sometimes I get uptight and stressed out. We have a relationship where they feel safe letting me know when I’m being a jerk. And I try to laugh at my mistakes, and I try to make myself a better person. And that’s also the best I can do.

      One day my kids said they wanted to be just like me. I told them “No. Be better than me.” It’s an admission to them that I am not perfect, I am not typical, and that’s Okay because I am doing the best I can do, today.

      Big or small, you have a family. And it sounds like having one is good for you, even if you might have ended up somewhere else without one. I don’t know your life. But me? I am trying to be me, and not to be typical, because the way I read what you wrote made it sound like you were unhappy being a little bit fake. Maybe I read that wrong.

      No one really is typical, anyway. You won’t be doing your child any favors by being anything other than you. I feel bad for telling you to stop doing what you are doing, because right now that is who you are. And I’m not judging you, and it is always difficult to change. So, there’s that too.

      Do what you love to do, and share it with your child. One day she or he will grow up and be in a relationship with someone else. The question I ask myself is this, Am I preparing my kids with communication skills needed to make their future relationships safe and productive? If you can answer that with a ‘Probably’, then you are doing a great job.

      I don’t know if that helps. It seems we have a lot in common. And really I’m making life-rules up as I experience things. What are your thoughts on child rearing? How old is yours?

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