But playing your music as loud as you want and coming home drunk aren’t real life. Real life, it turns out, is diapers and lawnmowers, decks that need painting, a wife that needs to be listened to, kids that need to be taught right from wrong, a checkbook, an oil change, a sunset behind a mountain, laughter at a kitchen table, too much wine, a chipped tooth, and a screaming child.
Men are just men, and half of them are scared and wondering if they are doing life right anyway.
Donald Miller — To Own A Dragon (pp. 43 & 93)
I’ve spent many years wondering how some men seem to have life perfectly all figured out. They have the job of their dreams, their hobbies bring them great joy, they have a gorgeous family with loving interactions full of love, laughter, and genuine connection. Coming across men like this is rare. Just as the last sentence above states, “Men are just men, and half of them are scared and wondering if they are doing life right anyway.”
I’ve always been the “other” half of men who are wondering if they are doing life right. And then, something shifted for me; I had a long conversation with a valued coworker who I admire and respect. He suggested I needed to quit putting my future on hold. He suggested I needed to figure out exactly why I was put on this earth and stop waiting. He said we all have a beginning date and ending date on our tombstones with a little tiny dash in the middle. Our whole lives are encompassed in that little dash. Whatever we do in life is quickly forgotten about after we’re dead (unless we create some masterpiece or write a book that lives on after we’re gone). He said nobody will remember who we were after a generation or two so why not discover what you’re put on this earth for and go do that.
That conversation was monumental for me. I abruptly took the next week off from work, did an enormous amount of soul-searching, then applied to graduate school for counseling. The rest is history. I’m over half-way to my degree and starting my internship in a few months.
One thing I have been learning about being a man is that life is what you make of it. Yes, there’s all the housework to keep up on, the errands to run, and the relationships to maintain; but in the deepest caverns of my soul, life is the story I choose to create that is known as “my life.” There are a million things tugging at my story wanting to be front and center, but by doggedly and unapologetically creating the life I want, I’m less apt to be swept away by an inferior story.
Have a blessed day.
Peace and Love,
PS. If you have time, give this short video a watch. Food for thought. . .