I want you to close your eyes. Visualize this past year. Think about it and the year to come. What do you see? I can tell you the only two things I see. The words drone back and forth in my mind:
Hopes and fears. Hopes and fears. Hopes and fears.
My mother used to tell me that if you are scared of something, you should say it three times fast and it would go away. It worked for the bogey man in my closet. It sometimes worked for the thunder near the house when I grew up. Unfortunately, the hopes and fears are still there.
I don’t know what kind of person I am turning into lately. I’m not saying that I am living out some sort of multiple personality/Sally Field daytime special kind of life. It’s like jumping into hot and cold water simultaneously in my mind. I’m swimming through emotional baggage with the weight of my own hopes and fears like an albatross around my neck.
current status: in a sarlacc pit but emotionally
— Emo Kylo Ren (@KyloR3n) December 25, 2015
Emo Kylo Ren would be proud. All angst aside, I have noticed some red flags popping up in the last few weeks. I want to blame the end of the year for my heightened sense of self. In the immortal words of Jackie Chan: Who am I?
Maybe I am just becoming a “dad.” Whatever that means. I’m not sure yet. I still have a month to figure that out. When does becoming a “dad” become just dad?
There are some things currently going on in my life that support this hypothesis. I have certainly stopped shopping for or wearing clothes for fashion and have since discarded all those that do not suit me for comfort. That may be attributed also to my ever-expanding gut, courtesy of Fritos, Angela’s holiday desserts, and my daily need to consume cheap beer.
More feels abound. I don’t know if I am becoming one of those people who discovers The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds in his thirties and completely falls in love with it. Is that dad-like, because that is definitely happening at the moment. What does 1960s psychedelic emo pop have to do with my life? This isn’t the Smiths, after all. At least I no longer think that Minus the Bear is writing songs about my wanton love life anymore. Thank God I grew out of that in my twenties.
It’s been a hell of a year. I worked my ass off and got myself figuratively kicked in the teeth because of it several times. I grew as a person while my significant other grows another person inside of her. I found out my credit score qualifies me for a house I can never begin to afford. I also discovered that I can make potstickers from scratch.
Despite all of the rad shit that happened this year, I still have those creeping hopes and fears.
Every time I think that I am trying, I feel like my actual actions warrant quoting marks. I am “trying” to do good and prepare for the coming of Zelda in February. I am “trying” to be accommodating to Angela’s needs as she barrels her way through he last trimester. I am “trying” to remain calm and keep my own emotions in check. I am sure that many people have felt the same way. It doesn’t necessarily seem uncommon. It’s real talk…the realest talk.
Hopes and fears. Hopes and fears. If I had to have a visual representation of what I feel on a daily basis, it would be this:
Some days I want to fantasize about XL dad jeans and fanny packs and Griswold family vacations to Wally World. Other days I think about living out a film noir lifestyle alone in a seedy hotel room in a dark part of town, slowly drinking myself to death as I write the great American novel.
Fears are irrational most of the time. Then why do I always feel the pull to have something to drink when the stress builds up like a bad case of acid reflux? They are just hopes and fears, right? Everyone is different. Every experience is different. I can’t do it all. How the hell did my dad do it?
It doesn’t matter. All that matters anymore is Zelda. The homemade potstickers don’t even matter anymore. Zelda is more important than potstickers. That’s how much she means to me now and forever.
It’s a new year tomorrow: the most important year of my life.
Peace to the new year.