Work is going ok. I don’t get out of bed doing cartwheels to go do Policy Analyst stuff for the government—but it offers a decent salary and benefits. I’ve finally transformed into a full blown responsible adult—paying the bills, wearing khakis, sending reports to my boss and in certain ways putting some of my real passions on the back-burner to provide for my family. Am I resentful in any way, shape or form for making sacrifices? No. My parents raised me to put family first, work hard and do what is necessary to earn my keep.
My father has gotten up at 4am, and still does, for the last 41 years to head into Philly to work at the Philadelphia Electric Company to feed me and my sisters. I wasn’t raised a complainer—and I’m not going to start now.
Does that mean I can’t still be a dreamer? No. And, I’ve dreamt more in the last two years of sobriety than any other time since becoming a dad. I think, in a way, my excessive alcohol consumption was a result of ignorantly accepting that “this is it.” I’m a dad with a job—my role in life is to work, pay bills and shuffle Lila around to sports and other activities. I didn’t realize, at the time, there is so much more life to be lived—I just now have to work harder to achieve my dreams, and help my baby girl achieve hers too. I was selfishly turning the blessing of fatherhood into a burden.
In college, I dreamt of being a writer. Not just any sort of writer—but a poet. Not the pussy beret wearing type of poet—but the quiet, all the girls would say, “I can’t believe you’re a writer!” type of poet. Yeah, ok, in college my constant journaling did result in good conversations with pretty girls—but I promise you, writing has been so much more to me than just picking up girls.
I wrote in middle-school to deal with the wide-array of emotions that accompany adolescence. I wrote in high-school to attempt to understand the many feelings I had for the opposite sex. I wrote in college to cope with family issues—like my older sisters addiction to heroin and convicted felons. I have always written because my journal listens—it’s a safe place to express my feelings. I continue to write so Lila has a record of who her father actually was once I move on to the next life.
With a clear mind I continue to dream because dreams should never fade. Dreams should never be drowned in alcohol and clouded by drugs. Our unique dreams make us who we are.
Am I a Policy Analyst for the federal government? No, I am a mother fucking poet.