For my Little Lady

A while back I wrote a sort of Slam Poem entitled, “A Letter to my Little Man”  – A few people enjoyed it and said I should write another but this time to my future daughter. So here that is. 

You terrify me. You make your every waking second a nightmare and your every sleeping second a warm embrace in paradise. Holding you in my arms is a miracle and watching you walk and talk is a 50/50 shot between elation and immeasurable heartache. One day you won’t be this way anymore. You’ll always be mine but you’ll never be all mine again. The thought of sharing you with this word violently shakes me to the core but not because I don’t think you’re not ready for this world…no….this world isn’t ready for you. My little girl. My little lady. My daughter.

First off let’s get something straight little lady, boys are filthy war mongering savages whose only place on this earth is to ruin others with their foulness. I know. I am one. This might not make sense now, but when you’re older just know, the moment you bring a significant other into our home I will harass and embarrass to my utmost ability. I’ve earned it. You will be angry and possibly call me an “old fogey” or whatever weird slang future teens use then – but it’s happening either way. So deal with it.

This life will hurt you. This world will beat you to a pulp and then hit you once more for good measure. For every good experience you have you’ll have two bad ones and some moments will feel like a nonstop storm above your head washing your hopes and dreams away. This world prepares for failures to fail – it does not prepare for people like you. People who won’t tap out. People who won’t throw in that white towel no matter how red it is when it hits the ground. Some say life is a fight and you’re in it to win it – that’s not true. Life is a fight and you’re in it to survive. Winners leave the ring little lady. Survivors keep fighting. That’s what you will be.

On a side note: If someone ever tells you to “make them a sandwich” you are 100% allowed to sock them in the face. Hard. Like, knock them the fuck out. I will bail you out of jail no questions asked, put my arm around your shoulder, and walk you to the car with a canyon of a smile.

I call you my little lady to keep you to myself. My life will be a constant battle between letting you share your wealth with the world and holding you closer to my chest until you have to push me away yourself. I don’t want to suffocate – I’m just afraid. Afraid that if I let go you will never yoyo back. Afraid that once you taste fresh air you’ll never want to breathe the stagnation surrounding dear old dad. Afraid that I tried my very very best to raise a little girl who didn’t just take the world by storm – no, she rode that storm until it’s bitter end and then immediately looked for the next set of dark clouds to conquer, and that the last storm you’ll want to see is that one cloud hanging over me; from missing you.

Fathers are supposed to give advice I hear…so here goes. Remember that Daddy looks strong but Mom will always be stronger. Remember that counting your lucky stars is a waste of time – it’s always better to notice the space between the stars so you always have some sky to fill.  Remember that with your arms open wide you can touch the rising tide but with your eyes open wide you can see the entire ocean. Remember that for every moment of clarity will come the cynic who says it didn’t matter in the scheme of things – that every person is but a speck of dust and every moment is an even smaller speck and every word or shaky metaphor we utter is even smaller yet….but you tell them, every shaky metaphor comes from solid ground and every word comes from heated breathe and every moment comes from an endless pool of love and devotion that we have dedicated to each other and every person who claims to be a speck will spend their time in the wind while you, with your little speck arms, will always reach out to hold on, even for a tiny speck of time. And if that moment does not come, you tried, as I did to raise a daughter so generous and kind and as willing to teach as she is to learn – which is not all that matters, but it’s all that matters to me.

My greatest achievement will be laying the map of life in front of you, pointing to the edges of that map and saying “these are only suggestions and this map can always grow by your side. Go easy on them little lady – this world was never ready for you, but if we did this right, that’s the way you’ll always prefer it.”

Love and LTFT,

Your Daddy

7 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Earlier

AKA things I wish I listened to when I was younger

People always claim their lives would be better off if they were told certain things when they were younger. I’m here to tell you that is bull shit.

Maybe you don’t remember, so let me help. The holes in your face you use to listen were hurled both facts and lies since the day you were born. At some point your brain became advanced enough to understand what was being told to you. Then you did what every young person on earth does: You didn’t listen.

We knew better. We didn’t need help. We were young and for lack of a more precise term: we were stupid. Now, I say this in the past tense because I believe that you can put that time in which you were a wandering dolt in the past, but it very well might be your present and or future. I’m trying to be optimistic.

So to get to my point, here is a list of facts and lies that were told to me when I was a younger human being that I wish I had not just listened to, but really understood and took to heart.

1. Save Your God Damn Money.     

            You don’t need that candy bar or that new bike or most of the useless crap you own or want to own. I’m not saying you should keep your money in a special room for the rest of your life and only look at it with a camera; I’m just saying that most of the stuff you buy is dumb.

Every once in a while it is healthy to treat yo’ self, but you should really ask yourself “do I really need this stupid shit?” before you purchase anything. The answer most of the time is “hell no” but you tend to do it anyway. If one out of five of those times you chose not to buy something, you would be amazed at how much you save for when you want to get something way more awesome than that drink from a gas station or lip gloss if you’re lady folk.

2. Don’t Ask Why You Need to Learn Something in School

            I did this all the time, especially in math class. “Why do I need to learn long division? I have a calculator!” I thought I was so smart. The real answer to that question is, “A large portion of the population will never use long division again after us math teachers shove it down your throats, but the point of all of this education is to force you to work, even when what you’re doing doesn’t make sense.”

To that sentence I would have probably scoffed as well, but it’s so insanely important. Those of you with jobs know: Sometimes you have to do things you do not fully enjoy, but guess what – IT DOESN’T MATTER. You have bills and shit. You can’t just choose not to do something because it’s hard. Don’t wanna do it? Cool. Don’t eat, and then see how you feel. Probably hungry. Idiot.

3. Those People Don’t Matter, Don’t Care What They Think.

            As much as you want to think back on your high school experience and pretend it was exactly like Freaks and Geeks or Glee – it wasn’t.  But we all had those moments where we cared too much about what other people thought of us and let those feelings affect our daily lives. One of the greatest moments in the existence thus far was when I was in a bar a year ago and looked over the crowd to see most of my high school class and thought to myself, “I don’t give a flying turd what these people think.” It was glorious, but it would have helped a lot more if it happened 8 years sooner.

            Telling someone in high school to be themselves and that their peers don’t matter in the big picture is futile. At that age you can’t pull yourself out of that world. The only real advice you should tell someone in high school is that it’s okay to use the sentiment “fuck em” as much as possible. Deep down you will still care what others think of you but it will make you feel so much better if your first thought isn’t to conform but rather tell a group of people to fuck themselves. It feels awesome. 

4. Don’t Tell Everyone what’s on Your Mind All the Time

            You might think this new found transparency with the help of Twitter and Facebook is liberating and brings you closer to your friends and family but guess what: it doesn’t and you’re annoying. Have a little mystery! The rest of the world doesn’t want to know what you’re doing every few seconds. You’re not that interesting. Also last time I checked the average number of Facebook posts in a day does not perfectly correlate to the number of faces you romantically attack with your mouth – so stop it.           

            Use the 10 minute rule of thumb. Write a post you think is something of worth, and then leave it for 10 minutes. If in 10 minutes you still think it’s worth it, post it. Hell, this is actually advice for everyone, not just young people. Sadly most of us don’t grow out of this phase. OH and by the way…

5. That Awkward Moment When You’re Vague as Shit 

  1. Stop starting sentences with “that awkward moment.” We get it. Your life is awkward. No one cares.
  2. When you are vague on the internet or in real life all you’re doing is being an attention whore because you’re insecure. Everyone’s allowed to be insecure, but don’t let all those insecurities plague the rest of humanity. Take time out of your day to figure out what makes you insecure and then solve that problem. Your insecurities are highly unattractive – deal with your shit.

6. Put Away Your Phone

            We all live in a box now, and that box is in our pockets. If you go out with your friends, try for the love of funfetti cake (the best cake) to not look at your phone every 2 seconds. You have REAL LIFE friends who want to converse with you, so STOP REFRESHING FACEBOOK. Seriously no one has written on your wall for like a day and a half, it’s not going to happen. Get over it. The Earth has an entire spectrum of matter that your senses would be thrilled to get acquainted with, but it’s never going to happen if you all you do is play the latest Angry Birds.

7. Everything You Think Matters, Doesn’t Matter and Everything You Think Doesn’t Matter, Matters

            Yes that’s a quote from a movie, but a good portion of the population hasn’t seen it so I’m just going to go with it. Take some time to internalize your everyday life, bros and broettes. There’s a significantly good chance that most of what you try and accomplish is pointless. Do you have any older relatives you haven’t seen in a while? How hard would it be to get dinner with them on a Tuesday? Does the person or people who raised you call you every so often? Maybe try not becoming frustrated when they are trying harder than you to maintain one of the most important life shaping relationships you will ever have.

Clear every priority out of your life and start all over again. Take what you love and put it at the top. Take what you hate and figure out why you hate it in the first place. Think for a second that it might not be the Universe that hates you, but in fact it’s your fault because you spend more time letting yourself be unhappy than putting time and effort into happiness. Listen to the person that matters the most (it’s you by the way) but also realize you are wrong on a pretty constant basis, even when you’re certain you’re correct.

Maybe, for once, just listen.