It has been some time since my last post. Indeed, it has been some time since any post was offered from the Bad Karma Ink site. That is no fault of anyone or anything except the normal everyday rigors of reality. The real world, the one beyond the website, full of real life things such as jobs, bills and family life is to blame for my absence. An absence I mean to rectify.
Normally, I would be speaking in a musical sense here. After all, my blog is entitled Harmonic Vicissitude and was based on the idea of musical variations. However, harmonic vicissitude can also be a term for finding balance through changing phases in life and it is this definition that I am working with today. Also, Bad Karma Ink celebrates the art of story telling. So, rather than talk about music, allow me to tell you a story. It is just as good of a way to get back into the swing of things as any.
And we will start with a question.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
The answer for me always changed the older I became.
The first answer, the oldest one that I can remember for that particular question, is probably one that most boys give. I wanted to be just like my father. I wanted to be strong like him. I wanted to be able to do the same things he could do, be that fixing cars or building or whatever. I looked up to him as a role model….not just because he was my father, but because he was larger than life. He fought fires and melted steel. He would smell of sweat, grease and hard work. His fingernails would always have a dark ring of grime that the soap would never quite clean up. He was hard when he had to be and loving always. I knew this. Even at a young age, I knew this. I may not have understood completely at the time, but I believe that I still knew. It made perfect sense. I wanted the same qualities that I saw in my father.
Of course, things change. Things always change. As I grew, so did my wishes. In middle school, I wanted to write comics. My friend Mark Taylor was a terrific artist and it seemed a perfect fit. In high school, I wanted to be in a band. I couldn’t play guitar and didn’t know how to play the drums, but it didn’t matter. I was a pretty decent singer, so I figured I could pull it off. I played trombone, but that wouldn’t fly so well in a rock band. I, however, could play piano a bit, and with a MIDI keyboard I knew I could create music that I wanted, even with the little piano skill I had. I was always told I had musical talents, and so I thought that would see me through. In college, I discovered I had a knack for writing, and so my interests shifted towards that.
However, one thing that I didn’t have was a terribly long attention span. It is apparent now, as I looked back, but then, I never thought of it as such. I always blamed outside sources. “Real life got in the way” is what I would say, just as I did in the beginning of this post, but in actuality it was simply a matter of losing interest. I always did what I felt was the ‘responsible’ thing to do, putting aside my interests to do what was expected of me. I sacrificed playing up to my strengths, using the creativity that was a part of me, to do what I had to do. I would indulge a little when I had time to do what I wanted, such as write for this blog, but when it came down to freeing up time to do what was deemed necessary, the ‘hobbies’ went…including writing for myself.
Then, I had my son. And, at first, it was a similar issue. I did what I had to and cut out what I could so I could take care of my family. But, then I realized something.
I became my father.
My childhood wish was true. All the good qualities I saw in my father have made it into my own personality. The sense of duty was there. The strength, as well, though it was not the physical side that I saw so easily when I was young. No, the strength of character was there, the internal determination that was always there. The desire to do what is right was there. The love that I have for my family…I understood now exactly how similar I was to my father, and I was grateful for the lesson.
It made me realize that I am still growing up, and that I can still be anything I want to be.
So, now, when I grow up, I want to be a storyteller. I want to write. I want to explore the creativity that is within me. I want be silly. I want to dress up in matching costumes with my son for Halloween or for any occasion. I want to sing. I want to create music. I want to draw. I want to build sand castles with working drawbridges and moats. I want to make my mark in this world.
But, most of all, I want to be the best father I can possibly be for Donovan. I want him to be whatever he wants to be and help him do whatever he wants to do. Regardless of whatever else I do, I know that my greatest challenge and my greatest joy will be him.
Thank you for letting me indulge in this little side trip. I promise that I will write more, and that future offerings will be a bit more light-hearted.
See ya around, Internet.