I look at my daughter, and the first thought that comes to mind is:
“I’d do anything for my baby. I’d do anything to protect her and to ensure she succeeds in life.”
I mean, fuck man, she is the reason I love at all. She is the reason I glanced in the mirror just over 2.5 years ago and decided that it was time to love myself. When all the cards fell and the dust settled—that kid was standing there, looking at me with those big and beautiful, half Filipino eyes. Do you know what I saw?
I saw someone who genuinely believes in me. I saw someone who expected me to know what to do next…who trusted that I knew what to do next. I felt someone walk over and grip my pointer finger, and say “daddy, can we go outside and play?”
I never felt so damn hard in my life. It brings a tear to my eye just thinking about how that little girl grasped my finger and somehow injected life into my body and hope into my veins.
“Yeah baby, we can go out and play.”
I went from an alcoholic, drinking 10 beers and a bottle of wine per day, to reading books in Lila’s classroom once a month for the past two years. To becoming an expert at braiding hair and a teacher of many activities like ice-skating, swimming and doing flips on the trampoline.
I always made sure Lila was taken care of and loved, even as an active drunk—but I took that shit to a whole new level mother fucker.
When you spend so much time and so many resources on buying and consuming alcohol—you are literally ridding your body and mind of positive energy. It takes a little while, but when you stop drinking you start to feel and experience (it really is quite the experience) all of that positive energy rushing back into your mind and body. It’s hard to describe—but I legitimately have a full agenda created each weekend Lila is over…I mean I jam pack the weekend with activities. In the past, I just wanted to chill inside, wait until the noon hour—then, crack some beers and do things inside. Maybe take a nap or some shit. Now, I’m up by 6am cooking Ly and Lila breakfast, bopping around and actually looking forward to experiencing new things. It’s AMAZING! I look forward to the future because I have so many new things I want to do, and places I want to go. I want Lila and Ly there by my side, and that positive energy I mentioned earlier, is coursing through my body right now as I write J
When the booze exits your system, along with all of the poison that came with it—I promise you, it is replaced with positivity, a sense of purpose and responsibility. It just takes time.
I wake up at 6:00am each day and earlier on the days when I drive Lila to school. I have an overwhelming sense of purpose and responsibility—I know what I have to do, and know what I can’t do.
No more are the days of sleeping until 9:00am on a workday. Shit, I can’t believe I did that for so long.
Lila and I went to a Father/Daughter Dance last weekend. It was such a fun time. We danced, I met some dads and Lila got the chance to play with her classmates. Before the dance, I took her shoe shopping. She picked out a pair of “pretty shoes” and a pair of running shoes. Honestly, Lila isn’t a girly girl—but she did enjoy trying on the various shoes.
I think it’s important, especially now that I’m in a relationship, for Lila and I to carve out time for just her and me. It has taken time for Lila to warm-up to Ly—as kids get older, they need more time to feel comfortable around new people.
With that said, I am happy to say that Lila, Ly and I have been doing very well. Though it has taken some time for Lila to warm up—as a family, we definitely hit some mile-stones this weekend. Lila is having a great time with Ly—and they are doing things together, as opposed to Lila always wanting me around. Do I feel like chopped liver? Sort of—but that’s ok.
It makes me very happy to see those two building on their relationship—and it’s nice to have another woman around the house, because frankly, I just don’t get it sometimes.
I trust Ly as a role model in Lila’s life. She is a successful, mature and very intelligent woman—all of the things I want Lila to grow up to be. I tend to expect the unexpected in life—so I’m going to enjoy the moments, and always remain cautiously optimistic about the future.
I am trying my best to be a good partner. Relationships are hard—and Ly and I have had some honest discussions. I feel comfortable telling Ly things that I may not have told other partners, due to a fear of being punched in the face or screamed at. Ly is just always calm, cool and collected…which I really like.
All in All
Life is good. I mean, there are days where I wonder “why am I sitting at a desk 9 hours a day?” Then, I look at our car, our apartment, our health insurance cards, all of the fun things we get to do—and it reminds me that I work hard, though sometimes painfully, to ensure that we have all of the things we need in life. I appreciate my job, and the fact that it pays well enough that my daughter and I don’t want for anything. Well, maybe we want to go on more vacations—but hey, who doesn’t? You know what I mean.
I suppose it’s about perspective. Often times’ people complain about things, like work, and neglect to look at the alternative. Or people aimlessly complain without actively making an attempt to change their situation. At some point, you become the main source of your agony. Either you decide to change the aspects of your life that cause so much frustration—or shut up and learn to appreciate what you have. We are a species that always wants more—but I’m trying to live happily knowing that we have everything we need. If I constantly want more, then I’ll never truly be happy.
Be well and happy my friends.