I had a really good talk with a close friend of mine tonight and he opened up some old wounds from my past and now it is all I can think about. I look back on my history, from the age of three and my first memories to the last thirty plus years and how my life has always managed to not live up to my potential. The fact is, I never really knew what my potential was, and to be honest, I don’t know even today, at 53 (54 on Sunday) that I know what exactly my potential is. There have been times where I thought I knew where I was going to excel, but life got in the way. Perfect examples were culinary chef, computer programmer, professional golfer (shut up), making a ton of money in the car business, and most recent, perfect husband and father. In regards to the latter two, I crashed and burned more than any single human could ever fail. I am NOT a good father, as my son can attest, and as both of my ex-wives can testify, I am not a great husband, in fact I am terrible at relationships on a wide scale to the point where I am practically toxic. I made the decision after my last divorce that relationships are not for me and I am secure at being a bachelor the rest of my life so as not to hurt another woman that I care about. Harsh words, I know, but trust me, I am happier this way and the potential women that could have been in my life are better off for it.
I digress… back on subject, what am I doing? I have my feet in a few different pools… I work for a good company, I love what I do, and the people I work with are great people. I am respected, I am liked and I can truly say the one part of my life that is stable and in a good place is my professional life. My boss respects and likes me, (the feeling is mutual) same with the CEO and those in charge of the company. I am considered a resource, maybe not an expert, but I know enough to be a go-to person for clarity and logical reason. I have earned the respect of my peers and I suppose that is all I can ask for, because I really enjoy what I do, and that makes up for all of the insecurity the rest of my life is at this point in time. Insecurity, where do I begin… first, I am overweight, a dead horse I continue to beat into the ground, I am lazy, refuse to work out or exercise, I eat bad food, I make bad personal choices and do not listen to the advice of those that love and care for me, to include my mother and Shauna, my most recent ex-wife, whom I adore and love with all of my heart to this day (and always will) . I am currently on 8 different prescription medications because of the bad choices I have made over the last 30 years, due to obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, colitis, and most recently, diabetes… despite all of these health problems I continue to eat what I want, I live a stagnant and inactive lifestyle, probably drink more than I should, and despite knowing what I can do to make changes, continue to live this destructive life to the point where I finally have concerns about my mortality.
Before anyone calls the intervention police, know this… I am relatively happy. I look at these bad habits as part of life, and find ways to remove myself from the negative and look at the positive. I have a lot of people in my life that care about me, and for that I am blessed, bringing me back to the conversation I had earlier tonight with this good friend. He is able to place and put things into perspective regarding what I am doing with my life and what I need to reflect on and focus on moving forward. You see, all of my issues revolve around one specific thing that has molded me into the person I am today. The one aspect I can look at and understand why I am the person I am today is due to the male role models in my life over the last 50 years.
My father was a bastard, and though I try to remember the good things, I realize all he ever did was berate me and tell me I would never amount to anything , that I was a failure, a disappointment to him and that he didn’t respect me. I have a physical disability that I was born with and it seemed to me that he was disappointed in me because of this disability so he took it out on me by berating me and telling me that I was no good. He was like that up until the day he died. I had not spoken to him in years, no communication, no letters, no phone calls, and I heard of his death from my mom via phone call in November of 1996. His death brought out a lot of anger in me because of how bad our relationship was, and because we never reconciled those issues, thus causing an empty feeling in my heart and soul because I never got the chance to express how I felt. Despite all of this, I love him, and I know he loved me, but we were never really able to tell each other how we felt, and that is one of the things I regret most in my life.
My mother remarried in 1986 when I was 19 years old and the man she married has treated her like a queen for 34 years. He places her first over everything and cherishes her more than he does his own life. Despite all of that, he has treated me the same way as my father, never encouraging, never positive, always a criticism of me and the person I am. I was not exactly welcoming to him when they got married, and I guess you could call it rebelling over the fact that this man was now my step father but not my actual father, so I pushed him, I did things that pissed him off, and for that he has never been kind. I guess I can’t blame him, but it is 30 plus years later and he still has moments when he decides it is pertinent to through out a criticism or a disparaging remark at me just to get under my skin. Needless to say there has not been a lot of positive interaction with him and I, but because of how he treats my mother I have some affection for him and appreciate the way he has treated her. In my own weird way I love him for that, but the comments and attitude continues and in the back of my mind it is in those moments where my self-esteem is affected and the doubt takes control.
So all of the above brings me to today… What am I doing? where do I go from here with my limited time left on this rock? My dad died at 63, and I cant help but think that is my destiny as well, dying younger than I should, with nothing to show for it, with nothing accomplished, just another no-name that died with nothing to leave behind. Just a blip on the wide expanse of history, with no one knowing I was even here, and no footprint to leave for those that are left behind. I put on a happy face for the public, but these thoughts are constantly in my mind, and I wonder what I can do to change things in the later years of my life. Will I go with a whimper or will my presence be known and remembered for all eternity. How do I go about making my mark on this world so that I am remembered and fondly remembered? Am I going to allow my insecurities and my doubts dictate the rest of my life? Am I going to continue to be cautious and not take the chances I know I should take to make a difference, to make an impact on people? Fear is a strong emotion, and I have been fearful of taking chances, to jump off of that ledge and let fate decide if I am successful or not. I have been afraid of taking chances all of my life, that doing the conservative thing is better for me, because I was raised to believe that I was incapable of excellence, and that taking chances was dangerous and it is better that I just ignore the opportunity and do the safe thing.
The change begins now… I will no longer allow my past to dictate my future… I have a lot of growing yet to do, and I will lean on those that care for me, encourage me, provide a positive impact on me to move forward and not allow the negativity to control my life. I have been through a lot, from heartache to heartbreak… from disappointment to despair… I look back and realize there are so many things I would do different, from walking away from toxic relationships, friendships, jobs, and bad decisions. I decide now to focus on the positive, to focus on being better, being the person I was meant to be. It all begins and end with the man in the mirror and the sky is the limit. I will become a sponge and soak in all of what I need to be better, to make an impact, to move forward and to eventually die knowing I made an impact. It is time for a change, and though I know it won’t happen overnight, I am committed to making that change for the better and coming out at the other side a better person and an example for those that come behind me.
thanks for reading…
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