I am feeling oddly introspective today.
Or I’m just odd and introspective.
Six of one…
As previously mentioned, I spent the weekend entertaining — and being entertained by — the ACN. And after she goes home, I always feel a bit bummed for a day or so because I miss the little squirt.
That is part of it.
Also, I’ve been reading about the amazing things soon to be done by the delightful Mood Indigo.
It got me to thinking about what I’m doing. What I should be doing. What I want to be doing. How that has changed over the years.
I’ll spare you the bi-annual lament about not making good use of my time, not accomplishing everything I should be accomplishing, etc. You’ve heard it before. Many of you have felt it before.
I will say that when various friends are serving as judges in courtrooms, leading political parties, and prosecuting war crimes in The Hague, while you re-write a screenplay about a big paintball battle… Well, it does lead a fella to do some thinking.
I had a plan when I was in my early 20s. I was going to move to L.A. I was going to sleep on couches, get crappy temp jobs, and write my ass off. I was going to collaborate with like-minded folks. I was going to wear shorts and flip-flops all year round. I was going to learn how to surf. I was going to learn how to play guitar. I was going to jog on the beach as the sun rose. I was going to sit on the beach as the sun set. I was going to meet a cute blonde… and watch sunsets with her. She was going to be astoundingly sweet. She was going to inspire me to be a better person. I was going to try to impress her with the things I wrote. I was (hopefully) going to help her feel more comfy in her own skin. I was going to kill spiders and reach things on the top shelf for her.
That didn’t happen. And I’m okay with it.
I still want to learn how to play guitar. I am still writing.
And I still want to meet that girl.
I’ve realized that if I had moved to L.A., I wouldn’t have had the same relationship with my family. Especially with the ACN.
If I only saw her a few times a year, would she be so excited to see me that she’d squeal for the last half hour of her drive on the way here? Would she try to jump out of her car seat when I run out to the driveway to greet her? Would she hug and kiss me when I carry her in from the car?
I could have still called her every night from L.A., as I do now, but it wouldn’t have been the same.
I would have missed way too much.
Plus, I think me being here — even two hours away — has been a help for the ACN’s parents. They work crazy shift work and sometimes they need me to ACNsit on weekends when they can’t re-arrange shifts.
In a couple of weeks, the ACN parents are going to a resort down south for a week. First time ever for them. They’ve been talking about it for a few years now. They deserve it. And I’ll be Uncle Pete’ing it right up for the week. I couldn’t have done that from L.A.
It’s funny, I don’t really think it’s a big deal to step up for family. I don’t ever consider saying “no.” I don’t expect or want any thanks. It’s just what you do.
I actually have an ex who hassled me about it. A couple of years ago, I was ACN-sitting for four or five days and thus was kind of busy. The ex would call me at 7 pm. I’d explain that the punkin would be going to bed in an hour, and asked if I could call her back then. She’d be annoyed, but agree. By the last night of the ACN visit, I was annoyed by her attitude and called her on it. She launched into a tirade about me being “practically a single father.” And that I should have “warned her in advance” because she might not have wanted to start a relationship.
And this was because she’d have to wait an hour or two to fill me in about the details of her work day.
We didn’t break up that night, but it wasn’t long after.
I realized that I wanted to be with someone who thought it was a good thing when someone helps family. Or at the very least, respects it.
The girl on the beach in L.A. would have supported it.
I still want to get one of my screenplays produced. I suspect it is for ego-driven reasons. I’m okay with that. I want to see my name in the credits.
But, I have other things that I want to accomplish. I have business ideas. I want to start two (inter-connected) charities.
And I should probably get to work and stop writing this post.