Four months. Four months ago was the last time I posted anything. For months I had plenty of things to talk about but I could never get them out of my head and on here.
But I’m back at it, and since August here there’s been a few things I’ve realized I want to change. First, 2017 was really tough. For the world, not just me. It felt so intensely negative the entire year that towards the end of it there, I shut out most of the outside world and just internalized all the bad stuff happening, thinking it’d go away if I ignored it. Didn’t really work.
Next, I decided that I want to use this outlet for more than just parenting topics. One of the self-imposed restrictions that stopped me from posting more was that I couldn’t always shape what I wanted to talk about to how it ties to Parenthood. I like to do and be a little bit of everything, so trying to narrow the focus of this blog had the best intentions. But as life imitates art, I saw that I was becoming so one dimensional in my real life as a parent, that I started forgetting how to be a husband, friend, son, brother, artist, employee, and so on. I think that providing a wider scope of topics on here will also give me back the diversity in my life I’ve lacked. Plus, I’ll be able to share more.
So the remainder of this post is going to be a bit scattered. I have a lot of get out and want to just exhale everything dancing in my head.
In line with opening up the content a bit more, I am also going to start adding more travel-specific posts, as well as including more photo galleries of those travels. I am deciding whether or not to make a fully dedicated page just for travels, or have it stored on a separate page of Something Grander. I think it’ll be a good opportunity to share my experiences of traveling all over the country and sometimes the world, and if anyone follows me on Instagram, you’ll see my family does a good bit of traveling. I’d like a more organized forum to document those experiences.
I am also planning to incorporate music a lot more into my posts. Playing music, discovering music, and creating music is such an instrumental ::eye roll:: part of my life, that it seems almost disingenuous that I haven’t brought it up much over the past year. A couple ideas I had were doing nostalgic reviews of albums that shaped my life and specific memories that tie to them, as well as providing commentary on certain songs that mean a lot to me.
Finally, I am making a specific Instagram account just for Something Grander so that I can separate personal photos and topics from things I feel comfortable sharing with the whole world. If you happen to follow my Instagram account, look out for that.
So let’s get it started:
Until reflecting on 2017 and setting my intentions for 2018, I didn’t realize how fear drives a lot of my life. I guess it always has, but it jumped out as a big theme for the past year. Some of it is easy to explain. I just became a father last January and everything is scary. You worry about hurting the life you just created, and you want to instinctually protect them from all ills of the world. But fear trickled into my career and into my creative outlets.
I’ll save the specifics for my wife/volunteer therapist, but what I’ve realized is that I am more scared of rejection or loss of income than happy about how I live each of my limited days on earth. I worry about starting a project, whether it’s a blog post, song lyrics, a chapter in a book, or a set of pushups, so I just sit on my phone and check Instagram or NPR.org, which in turn stresses me out. It’s amazing how much time I can waste on my phone.
I fear the inevitability of having to choose family over long hours at the office, so I spend hours worrying about what I am doing with my life, when I should be focusing on being the baddest mother forker in the office. Fear is such a god damn distraction. And it took a lot out of me the past six months. My boss was incredibly helpful in trying to help me navigate it all, and now that I’ve had time to distance myself from the fear, I’m in such a good place. I have meaningful things to do and I’m taking on a lot of things I never thought I was capable of doing. It’s great feeling.
Balancing work and the home life is still tough. I know I’m still in the honeymoon phase of my three week vacation, and having my wife still on her sabbatical certainly makes it easy to feel less overwhelmed, but the overarching theme: choose happiness over fear — will shape what comes ahead. I don’t want to live each day and be stressed out over not doing the things I want to do because I am afraid I don’t have enough time, or that choosing art over an income is going to destroy my livelihood. I can create and work. I can be father and artist, husband and friend.
Something Grander came from lyrics I wrote about trying to get pregnant. Each delayed period, upset stomach, or headache my wife got was a cue that this. was. it. She was pregnant, right!? Most of the time the answer was no, she was not pregnant. Until she was. The fear that we weren’t going to be able to have a child was weighing on both of us after months of that little pregnancy test’s missing plus sign. It wasn’t until my wife and I agreed to relax, have fun with the process, and focus on being happy that it finally happened.
That’s what this year and this creative outlet are going to be for me. I will choose happiness and embracing the things that could lead to happiness over avoiding heartache and fear of loss. Live more fully. Live more freely.