Many Hats

I have many hats. When my son is born, he will have mini hats. I am perfecting my dad jokes.

But being a dad is a new hat I will wear in a few months. I envy the guys I see that are able to still be themselves after they have kids — the guys that can wear the dad hat, but also run their businesses and keep some semblance of style.

That is what I want to be. I want to be the guy that plays with his kid, but then turns around and builds his dream career. I want to do both of those things, and take my wife out and be social with our friends, but still have time to train for races. I still want to travel, take my dog for a run on a nice day, but still find time to watch the Lions play on Sundays.

I have many hats, but I want to learn how to wear them all. I want to be a better writer, but figure out how to have an income that will allow me to wear more hats years from now. I want to do meaningful things and inspire those closest to me.

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I know to get to that place, I need to sacrifice in the present. My biggest problem is that I don’t know what sacrifices I need to make. If you ask my wife, she will tell you that I am really good at taking that first step, but the second and third step are the ones I struggle with most. I recognize that I need to be better about following through on things I start, but my biggest fear is that I put my energy into the wrong things.

For instance, I think it would be really smart to get into real estate. I see my brother-in-law crushing it, and another friend who just took classes and sold his first house — and he has nothing but exciting and positive things to say about it.

The fear(s):

  • What if this is a dead end?
  • What happens when I spend money on taking the classes, or invest my time in learning how to flip a house and never find the financial backer?
  • Would I have time to do this with a new baby?
  • Would I have time to do this while still keeping my writing jobs and projects that give me both short term financial flexibility and possibly a long-term source of income?
  • Does my race training and fitness take a backseat to learning as much as I can about real estate?

I could honestly go on and on, but I think you get the point. And that was just one example of one hat that I would want to wear. I could repeat that series of questions about everything.

As I am writing this, I think that this must be how someone who has anxiety feels. While I have no idea what those struggles would be like, I can imagine there is always a reason they feel the way they do. There is always an excuse for their behavior and no matter how crazy, they can justify why something is the way it is in their world. I know the reasons I can’t commit to wearing every hat I want to wear aren’t always correct, but it’s a block I have in my head that is hard to deal with.

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But there is a silver lining, and I think being a dad will really help me. I know that no matter what fears or struggles or impossible road lies ahead in terms of being a father, I will figure out a way to adjust and overcome. You just figure it out, right? I think if I can just convince myself to take the same approach with all the other hats I want to wear, I’ll be able to move on the dreams I have and get to the places I want to be.

I also think being married to the person that I’m married to helps because she is the queen at moving on what she wants. She also pushes me to do the same thing, which helps me a ton.

So I have many hats, and there are many more I hope to wear. I do have fears about getting to where I want to be, but I don’t doubt that I will figure out how to get there.

 

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Dropping action bombs on my writers block

Do you know those people who won’t do anything until it’s been critiqued, analyzed, thought through and figured out twice over, broken down into bite sized pieces and baked up again in a giant idea-casserole?

Hint: who has two thumbs resting on the space bar right now? ME!

My sixth grade band never launched to super stardom because we couldn’t decide the right name that was equally catchy and applicable to a worldwide audience. In fact, we never learned instruments because we ALSO couldn’t settle on who the lead singer should be, or which one of three non-drummers had to play base (they thought I was going to play base? get real Jordan and James).

The point is, I am one of those people that is too afraid to start anything because I always fear the road ahead. I fear wasting time because it’s not done right. I fear that I will get bored and give up, or that I am not good enough for whatever it is that I want to accomplish.

Luckily, I have the greatest wife in the world (you should see her marital trophy case — impressive hardware people). She is the polar opposite of me in this regard and, sometimes to a fault (love you, b) will dive into something head first on a passing whim. Sometimes it drives me crazy, but I love it because 9 times out of 10, she accomplishes whatever it was she wanted to do.

Side note for fun, notable 1/10 failures of hers include:

  • cauliflower-crust pizza
  • indoor plants
  • Running career

I should stop now while I’m not too far behind.

What I’ve learned from her, though, is that in order to accomplish anything, you have to start something. Before I met her, I didn’t have ambition to write anything. I figured I never had a job as a writer so who would hire me? Why would anyone want to read what I had to say? But since she taught me to just start (I think it actually started with this blog), I have written for online publishing companies, a respected fantasy football site, numerous websites, and it’s even led me to what I hope will be more lucrative opportunities in the future.

So, circling the wagon back to now. Sometimes I notice I haven’t written for awhile on this blog, and I try to force myself to come up with something really clever because, well, I’m just certain that everyone remembers the last time I posted and they’re all patiently waiting for something grand from me now. Of course, this isn’t the case.

So, what I want to say in all of this is to just get out and start doing, whatever that means to you. If you aren’t happy with your job, start doing something along the lines of what it is you like doing (assuming you like more than eating, drinking, smoking pot, etc.). It’s more important to get on the path rather than trying to define the path. Once you’re moving, it’s a lot easier to determine the right direction to go.