Time is a remarkable thing and the changes that come with it, both willing and unwilling, are a beauty all by themselves.
I started this blog filled with hope and aspiration, and will continue in the same vein. It began after almost a year of extreme changes and upset, a year that, if it had been up to the old me, I wouldn’t have wished for, because, in brutal honesty, it has been filled with more hurt than ever, my own and my son’s, and often times continues to be.
As a parent our own pains are a much easier burden to carry than those of our children, especially when they are still at the age where such things should not be inflicted upon them. The age where they should still retain their own innocence and carefreeness, where their only real worries and upsets should be over, as a parent would consider, frivolous matters, like not getting the computer game they wanted or being denied having ice-cream for a second time in one day.
Unfortunately, thanks to my ex and I, my boy has had to suffer a loss in this regard and the more I read about the ‘bad age’ for children to have to suffer from the fallout of parental separation and the long-term effects, increased chance of depression, anti-social behaviour, the more I realise our path together is possibly going to be faced with more downs than ups, at least in the near future.
Today I realised that even though I have taken some big steps towards a better future, in the hope of being both a good parent and an inspiration to my son, by doing rather than just saying. I also realised it’s just not enough. This blog for example is really nothing more than a glorified, slightly fleshed out, diary. I’m doing this for myself really. If it helps others, that’s more than good. But I am keenly aware that the reality is, as of now, that I have only a couple of followers. No more than the amount of friends I have. So my message and hope to inspire isn’t going that far.
I do realise the positives however. It’s helping me build the habit of daily writing. It helps to release some of the thoughts that are swirling around my head. It is a positive step in the right direction. But it is just that, a step. Not the goal.
How can I advise my boy to work hard and chase his dreams when in reality I am working in a relatively small factory bending metal to make aircraft seats. Yes, I am teaching him the importance of being diligent in the work you do regardless of how much that work is what you have truly aspired towards. The importance of time keeping and having a solid work ethic.
But as a parent you always want your children to have more. How can I encourage him to follow his heart and his dreams when I am not even doing that for myself. Not enough at any rate.
Unfortunately, the ease of accessibility and family friendly hours (I am very lucky to have a boss who has been more than flexible in regards to the hours I can work and the amount of time I have been absent since my separation. Any other job I would have been fired months ago) have made it the easiest route to a small level of financial stability. However fragile that stability currently is. So for the foreseeable future it really is a means to an end.
But the gnawing feeling has been at me today. Could I not have some greater degree of stability if I was doing work in which the rate of pay was greater and I could still retain flexibility like getting paid to write online by working from home? I guess the fear is that such an avenue takes time to build.
Freelancing is not the most stable of work unless you have a great portfolio. I do have some degree of faith in my writing abilities but aside from the couple of years I worked as a full-time freelancer for a local newspaper way back in 2007/8 I have very little evidence to show. (Hell, even that doesn’t show up in the google search engine anymore. Thankfully I have retained a little hard copy from those days)
But, as I said, time and change are a remarkably beautiful thing, and I am still moving forward, still full of hope, for me and my boy. And if this is not enough? The answer is simple and clear. Keep pushing on, keep doing more. Be the agent of change I need to be. This path to being better is mine to forge.
I may still be a crude piece of steel that needs to be worked. There is no-one to blame but myself for that. But my sense of responsibility, my belief in being able to change, to improve, will drive me on. A future is at stake here, and not just mine, and I’m going to make damn sure it burns with the brightness of an exploding sun.