Those Damn Teenage Years

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In a recent conversation with my soon to be fourteen year old son, I was reminded of my youth, the choices I was forced to make, and how rough it really is being that age. I like to think I’m taking a different approach to parenting than the approach my parents took with me, I was raised in a wrath of God house by two very devout Catholics with closet human tendencies. Of course, my wife and my style differs from many parents as I’m told. I also get told I’m doing it wrong, the parents are the boss. Before you assume way to much here, I’m not the “friend” parent type. I am the type of parent who has instilled justifiable fear into his children, after all they live in my house, sleep in my house, and scary shit happens when you least expect it. Anyway, I’ve tried very hard to not raise quitters in a society where quitting has become the norm. I believe in self esteem because without it you have little control of your inward or outward emotions. But, we all get to the point where we start asking when is enough going to be enough, when will the madness end, and why can’t this be easier.

We all have given up at some point. All of us at a certain point have stopped believing that we’ll be able to make it. Some of us have done it often, some just very few times, but all of us know how it feels.The  sad fact is that most of us give up far too soon.My son explained to me that he was thinking the other day, why does he actually give up? What are his most common reasons and are there any ways to get around those reasons for giving up?

He thinks discouragement is the biggest reason for quitting and failure. No matter what you have decided to do, as soon as you share it with people there will be at least few who will tell you that YOU Can’t Do it and come up with different reasons about why it can’t be done. At that point you may decide to give up the idea even before giving it a try.  Instead of thinking about giving up think about how are you going to prove all those people wrong.  In fact proving those who doubt me wrong has been pretty good motivation for me so far, I have spent a lifetime trying to stay on top of my game. As well, if you don’t believe in yourself you will always be tempted to give up because you won’t believe in your success. The self-doubt will be keeping you from pushing forward.

I somehow thought that I was not strong enough to make my dreams come true, but then there was a shift in mindset which sort of set me free. And it was one simple realization. The realization that none of the people who have succeeded are better than me. They worked harder, they were persistent and they believed in their dreams, but they were not actually better, just approached life differently, as most of us do. These days there are so many distractions… Social media, TV series, and different smart phone notifications not letting you focus on the important things. If you don’t keep focus on your goal you will end up with insufficient results and that will discourage you even further. But, as I discussed with my son, social media didn’t exist when I was growing up, none of this shit did. My social media was friends and family. My internet was called “the outdoors”, I earned my allowance by being a part of the family unit team. Unlike today, parents give their children money to just leave them alone. As it is, in our house we are pretty tight, we do allot together on a very regular basis. On top of it all we have dinner together, every night, without fail. Also, no television is on, no cell phones are allowed at the table, and we talk or play games while we eat, there is fun and laughter, and it is also a time to gather to discuss more serious matters, if any.

That reminds me of yet another reason we, as humans, give up, we give up when we don’t get the immediate results. We all want things to happen fast and it is hard to realize that there are things that actually takes time. One can not have instant on and instant off like the flick of a light switch each and every time. Some things, to include pets and people, are more challenging, they take more time, things like trust and value in a person have to be developed and earned, which takes time. There is no such thing as overnight success so we have to keep in mind that it takes time and to be prepared not to give up.

When I am starting something new I am on fire. I am full of enthusiasm and I am motivated. But with the time things may start cooling off and at some point the self-motivation may not be enough to keep me moving. That is when I may think about giving up, that is when I need to go back to beginning and try to recall the big why. Why did I start that project in first place and what was initially motivating me? That brings me back on track most of the time. But still we need motivation, we still need the allure that there is a prize waiting for us at the end. No matter what kind of life you had, you are used to your own personal comfort zone and that brings you great comfort. Now when you have initiated changes you entered the stage of uncertainty and struggle, which by no means is comfortable. What makes me not giving up in those cases is the thought that once I get where I wanna be my new comfort zone will be a much better one. But, what I’ve learned over the years cannot be taught, it has to be experienced. This is my son’s struggle know, the learning curve, stepping out of the comfort zone, finding new experiences doing new things or with new people. Plus, he is at the beautiful age where he has really realized he really likes boobs. One more thing we have in common.

Anything worth achieving is hard. Yes the easiest option is to just give up, but then, will it be easy living with the regret that you gave up midway? On the other hand I would not say that giving up is something terrible and wrong. Sometimes you may end up having too many things on your plate and that may make you overwhelmed. Sometimes you may need to give up certain things because they may not be a priority at that point. I find myself looking at the details in my own life on a regular basis, there is never room for bullshit, it is always the first into the fuckbucket. What is important that you don’t give up your dreams and the things you want really bad. Don’t give up your passion and never give up on life. I understand living with a person like me is challenging, being a sarcastic jackass is a fine art and we all don’t appreciate fine art. We all have given up at some point. All of us at a certain point have stopped believing that we’ll be able to make it. Some of us have done it often, some just very few times, but all of us know how it feels. The  sad fact is that most of us give up far too soon.

Where does all this leave the conversation I was having with my son? Well, he was never actually clear as to what he was thinking about quitting. And, I’m not altogether sure we were even talking about the same thing. Later, while talking with my wife I was informed that a girl he knew in school, friends but not inner circle friends, had committed suicide last week. There was no clear reason why, she left no note, gave the parents no inkling that she was distressed, same with her two sisters, teachers, and friends. Except for one person, who came forward to “confess” to her parents that he knew why. You see, they were boyfriend and girlfriend. She wanted an exclusive relationship (at 14) and he wanted to play the field. She took it had, it killed her self esteem and self worth, and according to him, as she told him, she didn’t feel she was worth the effort of having his love if he was not willing to commit to her. Granted, this is the opinion of a 14 year old boy, and this story was also posted up on Facebook, so I don’t really know if it actually ever happened. But, after going back to my son to talk, he said that I did answer his question of “why people quit” without even knowing that was what I was doing. We talked more, we talked about the cruelty of emotions, especially in a teenager. But suicide is not an easy subject, simply because there isn’t an actual answer to give. The only person who knows is dead.

I don’t know if this makes me angry or sad. I do know that I have been in my sons shoes before, knowing a person who has had her self esteem crushed on a daily basis for “fun” by others. But, that is another topic altogether, since bullying seems to have become so evermore popular these days, or its just more in the public eye these days. As a parent I try to teach my children to hope for the best and prepare for the worst because the two survive together hand in hand. One may think they are just words, but others take those words to heart. As uncomfortable as I was talking with my son about suicide and how I personally believe it should never be the answer for anyone, I was also proud of my son for wanting to sit and talk to me about life, emotions, feelings, relationships, and family with me. It takes courage to begin a conversation with your father when you don’t know what the outcome will be. Both of us feeling a little bummed, we invited the rest of the family to go out for ice cream. Ice cream? Yes, the one thing on the planet stronger than any drug, stronger than and alcohol, stronger than any words, stronger than any bond, it is a time of peace for a troubled mind or a troubled soul. Its a time to take a break from the crap life offers and just enjoy a bite of ice cream.

Yes, I know, ice cream doesn’t solve all problems, but it does give the opportunity to step away from them, not to quit them, but to take a break from them. Everyone needs a break, we all take breaks or celebrate in our own ways. In the end I learned from my son that I should keep my past close so it can be accessed and shared. I never knew my life, in general, would be an education tool for the youth in my family. But then again, we do learn most of what we know from our parents and family. Having children has been the best challenge I never quit. Try something new, get in your child’s head today, give them a nice tight hug, a big smile, and a peck on the cheek. When they ask why just tell them it is because you were thinking about them. It scares the crap out of them. I know from experience that life isn’t easy. It wasn’t designed to be easy. We don’t evolve within ourselves if we are not constantly challenged. Don’t let life discourage you, leave that to the people around you, you know, the people who don’t want you to succeed because they don’t care about succeeding. Until we “meet” again, remember to eat it everyday!

Now A Small Group Of Teachers Hate Me

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Over this past weekend I’m checking my e-mail, one subject line stood out above the rest because the line is usually empty so I get surprises, but this one read “Great Pictures Of Us Enclosed”. After weeding through 56 others which were mostly spam, there were some others that were to go to The Magic Weekend postings, so I had to read those first. So, when I opened the e-mail I started by opening the attachment. Above is the beautiful picture that opened up. This e-mail was sent from, what I will assume to be, personal e-mail address. The e-mailer claims to be a 3rd grade teacher and is writing her e-mail with other teachers from the same local Houston elementary school. She explains that she accidentally stumbled across my shitty blog because she checked out my “About” section on Pinterest. She states that I re-pinned 3 of her pictures and pinned them into my “Texas” board. She likes to look at who is pinning her pins to see if they may have anything of interest to her. I generally do the same thing, I think that is how we all do it, but I won’t assume to know that as fact, just personal experience. She explained that out of my close to 9,000 pins that she found only 7 she would consider re-pinning and 3 of them came from her board originally. She chose not to re-pin any because she didn’t want me to back track to her boards any longer. She considered everything else to be pure garbage. The second way they made it here was because I liked a blog post on a blog her good friend writes. She wasn’t specific on which blog it was but did ask why I would only “Like” an essay post about the declining role of strippers in lives of most adult males living in Houston Texas. She asked why I didn’t have a comment since I write about strippers as if I was an expert. She also stated she believes it was to mock the post, not taking the statistical information seriously. She went on to say that if I had any balls that I would have left a comment. Really, balls? I need balls to leave a comment? Very interesting. Anyway, she tracked back and landed on my blog as well. Apparently they had a small consult and realized, with a small group of teacher friends that they didn’t like me, my blog, anything I post, or anything I supposedly stand for.

They would like to know why I try to use current events to promote my silly little blog since all of the information I post is slanted and disinformation which misleads readers into thinking I actually have a clue about what I’m writing. At every turn I seem to take the opportunity to be dishonest, disgusting, and deceitful to everyone who makes the stupid choice to visit my blog. They think that I give Houston, Texas, and the United States a black eye because I claim to be from them and that I’m proud of them. Wait, a black eye? I wonder if they don’t realize that I have a very small percentage of regular or even part-time readers. If I wasn’t on WordPress, Google+, Facebook, Pinterest, and Blogcatalog there wouldn’t be any promoting and nobody would even know I exist as far as having a blog. I try to get my posts out to be read, that much is true. I don’t try very hard though and that is probably why my numbers are low, unless we count the spammers, then I am very popular. She wants to know the “purpose” of my blog because she can’t figure any of it out. Exactly, I have a disorganized blog for a reason and that reason is because I arrange things how I see fit because it suits me perfectly. Purpose? There isn’t one other than using my blog as a platform to talk about this and that, a place for me to place what I find interesting. I do one thing on purpose here, call it my shits and giggles purpose if nothing else. I write in a fashion that gives the grammar Nazi wannabe school teachers something to grade besides schoolwork. I do not spell check or grammar check my posts since I write as if I were talking to someone. Plus, this way is fun because there are so many people out there who can’t wait to point out the mistakes. Does it make me a bad person because I enjoy screwing with someone’s OCD? Maybe it does and maybe it doesn’t, y’all decide for me.

I would like to talk a bit about this handwritten note. Who in the hell writes a note out by hand and then takes a picture to attach to an e-mail? Let’s explore my first impressions and what it says to me. First, it means that she doesn’t know how to do that on a computer. Second, she was too lazy to do it on the computer. But, probably she was looking for the impact a handwritten note delivers. A handwritten note says “I took the time to write this note”. Looking at the actual message I would like to remind y’all that the word “hate” is a real strong word with some real definite meaning attached. When someone hates someone/something it usually means it is really personal. Is it personal? Do I offend them that much? Hate, really? Should I just assume that the entire world hates me? Impossible, but a nice thought. I never knew I was known so widely. Almost sounds like a compliment instead of the way she intended it to be insulting. If she would have read around a bit she could have easily figured out that I really don’t care if people love or hate me since that isn’t why I’m here. I’m not here to feed my own ego, I’m here to talk, sometimes seriously and sometimes just for the hell of it. I think finally that the last line is my favorite part of the entire message and I will leave it alone from this point forward. At close to the end of her e-mail she instructs me to not write about any of this on my blog or I can expect more e-mails from her and others. Really? Don’t write about what I want to write about on my own blog? You can’t be serious! How can I make that choice not to write about any of this bullshit? This has been one of the more funny e-mails I have got in a long, long time. The best one to date since moving here to WordPress, hands down, she has no competition. Hell, she didn’t just verbally attack my blog but she verbally attacks me as well. Well, you daffy girls, as you can see, I dedicated a few paragraphs to your silliness and bullshit. I don’t find it a waste of time because I have a feeling at least a few other people in the world will be laughing their asses off as well. It’s because of people just like you who give the grand definition of what a Fucktard really means that I get up every morning motivated to talk about the stupid people I encounter almost every day. Don’t be mad at me because I disobeyed the teacher, be mad at me because I tell the truth. Please do write me again, I enjoy people like you writing me, it puts a smile on my face for the entire day. I can’t thank y’all enough for taking the time to consult one another and send me such a great e-mail and handwritten message. Until next time bitches. For everyone else, remember to eat it everyday!