I don’t watch the relatively recent string of comedy/dramas about young parents. Not that I think they’re bad, (truth be told, I haven’t seen more than the commercials) it’s just that I don’t want them.
I feel that a show like that has no purpose. Parents know how tough being a new parent is and people who aren’t parents don’t care. I think the only reason someone would watch a show like that is for validation (a normal desire); seeking affirmation for the hardships they’re undergoing and a soothing voice to express their frustrations with humorous scenarios and slightly outlandish premises.
I know how tough it is being a new parent. I know, and I have a damn good baby. I have been fortunate enough to have a perfectly healthy baby girl who smiles and waves when I come home, and giggles when I tickle her. But still, I know.
I also know how having a child changed your life in ways you wouldn’t expect. Your life gains a seriousness and purpose you’d previously been uninterested in. Actions have consequences and your life is now guiding that of another.
Beginning a new project in a time as tumoltous as this is difficult, and maybe a little foolish. I do not, however regret it.
I began writing last year largely as a reaction to growing unsatisfaction with my job at that time. A quarter life crisis (maybe too strong a term) caused me to look for a way to live off of something I enjoyed, not just was decent at. I dove in, sending a few query letters to magazines and reading up about different ways to be a successful writer. I soon received a positive response from a regional magazine, and am happy to say that it has led to an article soon to be published (I’ll link to it when it is).
Then my writing needed to take a pause. There simply wasn’t room for it in the life of this young father. Perhaps, if I had started writing sooner I would’ve been able to support my small family with it, or at least had better habits in place. But as it was, I was forced to set it aside.
It made me feel fickle, and a bit weak to stop. It was embarrassing to start something so public only to seemingly end so soon afterward. A few folks asked when I would post again, or why I stopped. I didn’t have a clear answer.
I’m writing again, though. I’m still working a full time job, but a change of job positions now lets me write my own schedule, allowing my wife and I to get routine in our lives. Things are smoothing out.
I don’t regret starting writing when I did because it was the only time I would, or could, start something like this. I don’t regret taking a break because people made me feel that my writing was something worth missing (some of it, anyway). I do not doubt that I will take missteps as I try to use my creativity for work. I have more projects rolling around in my head and many, most even, will be fruitless. That’s learning, I suppose.
I thank you for taking the time to read this. Thanks to those of you who read my old posts, and thanks to those of you who asked when there would be more. And thank you for supporting me as I try to find my voice.
I’d like to end with the parable of the twins. Twins are separated at birth. One is taken to Mexico and he’s named Juan, the other is taken to Iraq and he’s named Amal. The biological parents decide they want to arrange a meeting for these two twins some years later, so they invite both of the twins to meet them in France. The plane with Juan arrives and there is much hugging. However, when the plan with Amal lands, he isn’t on it.
Distressed, everyon begins speculating on what happened to Amal. The father quietly ponders this for a moment, then says, “Now, now. If you’ve sen Juan, you’ve seen Amal.”