This is what I do. I write. I take myself apart and bit by bit, I put myself into words.
It is who I am.
Along the way I might have lost myself. Or, maybe, I found mysef. I won’t pretend that there is some omnipotence in myself. I am but man. I bleed. I cry. I try.
When I first started out, as a lone lost boy, traversing this world for travelers to connect with, I looked to find peers. I found them. The problems began when I tried to befriend those lost souls.
Maybe there is a negative reaction that comes to finding your people. You seem destined to always be their magnetic pull while simultaneously being polar opposites.
I was a leader, in all aspects of the word. Yet, I held on to this belief that I was not. This might be hard for some to understand. See, I didnt want to lead. In fact, All I wanted was to blend in to the crowd. I wanted to be, in less certain terms, “one of the guys”.
So, how did that work out?
Well, me ostracized from a group I built. People rooting for my failure. Even me utterly losing my identity.
I don’t blame anyone. And why should I? People didn’t take stock in something for nothing. I allowed them to build me up. Mainly, because for the first time in my life I wasn’t a fuck up. Also because, In not being a fuck up, I didn’t let anyone down.
It felt good not to let anyone down. Damn good, actually.
There I was, awkwardly accepting compliments.
“Wise beyond your years”
Last night, I drank until I puked.
“You’re a good parent”
Tell that to my hangover.
I started to buy into these beliefs of me. I was the perfect parent. Robocop of parenting.
Y’all don’t touch those sundaes until your vegetables are gone.
Yesterday, I screamed at my child. I can’t tell you how many times I have asked him to not pinch his brother.
Yesterday, I screamed at the mother of my children. I can’t tell you how many times I have asked her to pick up their juice cups after them.
Yesterday, I threw something. I can’t tell you how many times I have tripped over that damned toy.
Yesterday, I hid. I can’t tell you how tired I am of holding an upset child.
I can’t begin to express how much I don’t have my shit together. I rage. I cry. I try to survive.
But, for all my shortcomings, I write. I take and measure myself. Inch by inch. And everytime I come back stronger. I come back and meet my shortcomings with patience. I search for a better me. Not because of you. Because, maybe, in the midnight hour I decide to do this again tomorrow.
My kids need me. All of me. Even the me that gets too angry. They need to see the fault in the stars so they can correct themselves someday. They need to see fault and they need to see reparations.
I want them to see me at my worst and see my constant effort to try and fix my worst. Because if they don’t see me working for better, how else will they know to better themselves?
My apologies go hand in hand with my transgressions. My progress is coupled with the errors in my ways.
Or else, they may never be sure of how to fix themselves when they too feel broken.
Briton Underwood, better known as Punk Rock Papa, is a parent above all else. When he gets sick of being at their beck and call, he likes to escape to his page or site. He writes about any and everything he wants, but mainly about his twin boys or his newest addition- another boy. He also would like the world to know he has a beautiful wife, because the couch isn’t that comfy.