How ten years of separation made me a writer.


"Writing", 22 November 2008

“Writing”, 22 November 2008 (Photo credit: ed_needs_a_bicycle)

Feeling uncomfortable.

I’ve honestly thought about writing this post many times, but I’ve never had the courage to. I felt I would piss people off, again. I’ve come to realize that sometimes that happens.

For most of my life I did things that I thought would make my dad proud of me. I joined the military–only to be honorably discharged a week into boot camp–because I wanted him to be proud of me. I went to college for the same reason.

I played ice hockey because I wanted him to be at my games and root for me. He wasn’t at as many as I’d have liked. I did a lot of things because I wanted him to be proud of who I am.

I realized after a while that I had to find a way to express myself. A way that felt like me. The military wasn’t me, I never could have been a pro hockey player. As for college, I didn’t try hard enough because it just wasn’t me.

There were only a couple of classes in college I liked, Criminal Justice, English/creative writing and my debate class. Those that know me will understand why I liked these classes.

After all those tries I had to go back to where I belonged, writing.

I failed to think about myself.

I thought, “Am I happy with me?’

It’s a statement that never occurred to me until I started getting more into Buddhism and thinking about writing full-time.

I needed to find myself. The falling out I had with my dad made that possible. It was ten years away from him, but during that time I found who I was. I discovered that I’m a good person, something I hadn’t thought.

The discovery of Buddhism changed my life. It set other things in motion.

I learned that I was doing it wrong.

I never thought about doing things for me. I was taught that was being selfish, when in fact we are the ones we spend the most time with. We are the ones we need to feel comfortable with, we are the ones we need to love and be proud of.

I’ve since reconciled with my dad. I still care if he’s proud of me, but I think I’m different now. I no longer think about whether what I’m doing will make him proud or not. I learned that he will be proud of me or he won’t but it’s not my decision and I shouldn’t try so hard.

Being proud of who I am. Loving who I am and enjoying being with the person I am is more important than making some one proud.

I love my dad I never stopped loving him for those ten years, I just changed and became who I should have been.

Now I’m still discovering who I am, but my dad’s with me again.

I’m finally comfortable not worrying about things.

I found out that I’m a writer along the way, and a better one than I thought I’d be. I know that I’m still not where I want to be for me, but I’m getting there.

I know that my writing is getting better with each key stroke and I learned what I enjoy writing most, and the way I enjoy writing most.

If it hadn’t been for the last ten years I don’t think I would have found this wonderful person inside me. He would have been left where he was.

I love writing and I feel it makes me whole. Finding Buddhism set me on the path, but writing was my guide in my darkest hour.

It has always been there when I needed it. No complaints, no worries, nothing to talk about. The page is my comfort when nothing else will do.

p.s. The blog is moving on the first of August to www.brianbbaker.com. Next week I’m doing a few posts on what I would tell my younger self about writing. This series starts on Monday.

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