You’ve got to start somewhere kids.
Letters and Memoirs #1
You’ve got to start somewhere, sometime, somehow. Just start. Kids, just fucking start.
So this message is to all my kids; Ethan, Mallory . . . but today in particular, this one’s for Christopher. I’m a day late posting this. I wrote this on Tuesday July 4 2017. Happy 4th of July to our U.S. family. We just had Canada’s 150 birthday on July 1st. Happy 150 Canada! I love this country! Alright deep breath here we go….
At some point in you’re life you’ve got to put up or shut up. At some point you have to start showing up for your life. For me, today is that day. Today I start showing up for work. The work is my life. I start doing what I’m suppose to be doing. Writing. Yeah there’s other things I’ve got to do, but right now though, it’s writing, it’s doing the work.
I’m the asshole parent that says “do as I say, not as I do.” Well today that stops. Today I start doing the work, my work. I’m 42 and I’ve treated myself like an asshole. Yeah I’m mad at myself. No more tears, just get to work asshole. Yes I am swearing at myself. One of the voices in my head says it’s ok, I’m going to listen to this one. This one sounds like a hard case. I need it.
It’s been 20 years since I last consistently wrote anything. There’s a million reasons why and a million more excuses. More excuses than good reasons. I am/was scared, I am/was lazy. And yeah I’m using present and past tense to describe myself. But when I really think about it I’m not disciplined anymore. I use to be. I’ve got hundreds of files of notes and half finished work from 20–25 years ago. A few really good pieces too. Writing isn’t hard but it does take effort and 99.9% of the time I think most people take the easy way in their life. I did. See past tense . . . we’re getting somewhere.
I love(d) the easier way. It’s a fucking chocolate covered crack pipe. It’s the shit! The easy way is a seductive drug pushing pimp standing on the corner of “Couch Potato Street and I Don’t Give a Fuck Lane”. The easier way is why we are broke right now and your mom and I are in credit counselling. The easier way is a death trap.
Kids. Just don’t. It isn’t easy. At the beginning yes, but not in the long run. Walk the other way, please. I love you guys, go the other way. Believe me. Actually don’t walk, run. Run! RUN!
The hard way is hard at first, but it’s better in the end. There’s more payoff for the work, for the effort. More satisfaction when you look back and you think— yeah you fucker — Yeah! I did that! And yes you can be swearing at yourself or someone else who said “naw you can’t do that!” Fuck them, just do it. Do it for yourself. Believe in yourself. You can. Bury “can’t and no” in the fucking ground. Bury that negative shit 6 feet under. Negative people, get away from them and the drama.
Discipline and consistency. It makes hard become easy over time. That’s one secret for you, here I’ll shout it for you, LIFE SECRET #1 IS DISCIPLINE AND CONSISTENCY!!!
Life Secret # 896, swearing is real. You’re just going to have to learn to use it appropriately and in moderation. That last comment was an aside — google that — if your not sure what an aside is. Lol, sometimes moderation is fucking over rated. Oh and by the way, I don’t know yet what # the swearing rule is yet.
Back to the work:
The ear buds are in and Rage Against the Machine is my personal symphony. It’s Rage, can you guess my mood? The asshole has to stop. He has to get his shit together.
Confession: today is day 3 of my 8 day vacation. I haven’t done shit for 3 days. Pure video game time. It was brain dead bliss. Today was nearly 12 hours straight of The Witcher 3. Vids. It’s my crack. I had to put down the crack pipe, put down the controller. Such a waist of time.
Don’t get me started on time. That’s another talk for another day. I fucking hate time. Too much and not enough. Just have patience. Play the long game, I’ll explain that one later on. Remember that one. It’s important. Play the long game in your life. Go listen to @garyvee if you don’t believe dad.
Promises were made to your mom, that we both would be productive today. She has pages and pages for her upcoming website figured out already from a 3 hour work session earlier today. She put the work in. Put in the effort, got a result, something to show for it. There’s something there on her blank page, it’s not blank anymore. Until now I’ve had shit.
It’s 930pm (second glance after editing it’s 1030pm, wait 1130pm) at night and I’m just starting. Ah but that’s familiar, I always used to like writing at night or early morning when no one is around. No distractions. At least that’s what I told myself.
Christopher, you were just in the room here a few minutes ago, hovering around your mom and me. Annoying as hell kid, I’ve got to tell you. (Wow still can’t believe you’re 13. Another aside!) I didn’t start writing this until you left. I didn’t want you looking over my shoulder asking questions when you saw your name. I texted your mom (3 feet away from me) while you were standing there and said that your “hovering was distracting.” She understood. “Gotcha!” she said. Truth is I wasn’t ready for you to read this yet.
Distracting. It’s true, you were and you can be, I love you. Love all 3 of you But you all can be a pain in the ass sometimes. Kids have this sixth sense when mom and dad are doing something important, or need to talk, or want to be alone or intimate . . . how the fuck do you kids know to show up at that exact moment? I bet you every kid, in every culture in the world is the same.
So were you distracting me Christopher? Sure. Hahaha well kids that’s bullshit. You hovering around us and me not be able to zero in and focus on this, its an excuse. I can do it. I know I can.
Let’s be honest here. That would mean that the past 20 years of my life have been one long distraction keeping me from writing. From what I’m suppose to be doing, from being me, ahh and there it is, from being me.
Crucial, that line.
Look at this page, I got here didn’t I? Asshole, stop it! You can do this. You’re better than this. Remember that kids. You can always get better.
Show up. Do the work. Discipline and consistency. Hard gets easy over time. Play the long game. Have patience. But you’ve got to show up.
Distraction, yeah it’s bullshit and the asshole has to stop. It was a choice. The last 20 years. A choice. Always has been and always will be.
Remember that one too, it’s always your choice, it’s always up to you. Yes, no. In, out. On, off. Easy, hard. Sorry I know it sucks, but its always up to you. You have to show up to your life. For your life. It’s yours. Not mine. Not your moms. Yours!
Mom and dad won’t be here forever to make it easy for you. So listen up now. Listen up while I’ve got something to say. I promise you this is isn’t all bullshit. Just keep reading this, then next letter and then the next. It will all make sense. Hahaha one day, you’ll say oh yeah he told me “there’d be days like this!” I’m writing for me, but the content, the brutal truth, the fucking story is for you.
Going geek on you here: Yoda said it. Do or do not there is no try.
Choose yes or choose no. Choose easy or choose hard. Here’s another secret. Hard becomes easy and stays there, easy just gets harder and harder — because it usually takes you farther away from where you want to be. Yeah that’s a metaphor — google it if you don’t know what a metaphor means.
So what am I doing here? Good question. I’m not quite sure to be honest. All I know is I’m writing and that’s what I’m suppose to be doing. I’m doing this for me and this time around…because this isn’t the first time I’ve tried a reboot over the years. I’m also doing this for you guys. This time I’ve got something to say.
So I’m going to do the three things I know how to do. Be a husband, a father and be a writer, a story teller. I’m telling my story and to quote Sinatra, “I did it my way.”
Those 3 things. That’s all I’ve ever wanted. It feels weird admitting that to myself. It’s even weirder telling you. As much as you guys know me from living with me day in and out. You really don’t know anything about me. You have no idea who I really am.
Hahaha — yeah you know that laugh — the dinner table laugh, the laugh right before I start singing one of my silly songs in public. The kind of ridiculous song that makes fun of life, pokes the dragon in the eye, flicks the sleeping bear in the nuts. Yeah, flick flick flick right in that Grizzly Bear’s ball sack. I love a grumpy bear. Life is hibernating until you wake it up.
You’re going to find out who I am and its going to be a wild ride.
Your mom’s working on her own projects too. Were doing websites as part of our projects. Mine is called lettersandmemoirs.com. It’s for me and for you. It’s going to be my personal space to communicate with you and yes I’m sharing it with everyone else. It wont be up for a few weeks yet. Working on it. Need to earn some more money first. Remember, the easy way — remember we’re broke right now. Remember the asshole has to stop. Don’t treat yourself like an asshole. Take care of yourselves.
Basically I’m going to write you guys my thoughts, my concerns, my rants, my moments of WTF are the three of you thinking? It will have my own unique brand of advice. Yes those horrible cringe worthy moments you guys freak out about around the dinner table when I start to go off on something.
Sorry kids, yes I’m going to put stuff on YouTube and other social media that you may find embarrassing. In my best gangsta voice (which is so middle class suburban its scary) “That’s how I roll sucka’s!”
And yes I will cross every single line I come across. You know I will poke fun at absolutely everything. If someone doesn’t like it. I really don’t fucking care. This is no holds barred, soul bared advice. This is “I personally fucked up” 101 — you don’t have to pay for this course, dad already has.
So getting back to the beginning of all this. Why is this letter for Christopher?
Remember your uncle Eric called today to offer you the job to walk his dog, Marley. Remember how he was offering you $15 for a 30 minute walk.
Do the math kid. That’s $30 an hour.
If this was a full time job, 40 hours a week. That’s $1200 a week. $62,400 a year. How many video games would that buy you? How many trips to the bulk food store to get candies or to the 7/11 for a slushy?
BOOM! Your mind just exploded!
That’s more than your mom and I make an hour.
Yeah, our 13 year old son can make more than we do an hour.
This is called an opportunity! Start to recognize these!
That’s big dude!
Mom and I know you’re scared. We know you’re anxiety is starting to spin. “Oh fuck it’s Uncle Eric’s dog. What if I screw up?” Don’t worry, we’ll help you. We also know you’re lazy, that you always want mom to bail you out or do it for you. Sorry kiddo. Not this time. This one’s on you.
You’ve got to start somewhere, sometime, somehow. Just start.
Say yes. Take the hard way. Say yes. Take the hard way. Say yes. Take the hard way.
Say yes or some one else will. And then you’ve missed it. Missed that opportunity. Missed 20 years.