You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘positive’ tag.

Hi Avery, 


 It has been a tough couple of months, yet on the surface, I have nothing to complain about, I started a new job, I’m in good health, and I have a great partner to share my life with. So I feel the need to talk to you about my recent nights of paranoia driven sleeplessness.So what is it, why can’t I relax, I have everything going for me, so why not just close my eyes and sleep in peace?


 Avery, I fear the Apocalypse.

 


For me, this word is not some excuse for a wild conspiracy theory, or some cult following of a fiction horror genre, you know, where the dead come to life and eat the living; for me the apocalypse is simply anything that kills my entire family. So anywhere between an atomic bomb, and a head on collision with a drunk driver, I lay there, wondering if something is around the corner, waiting  to rape and murder everything I love.


I’m trying to keep this feeling of dread and panic in perspective, its not like I live my life thinking about this all the time. But with the notion of your future existence, the stakes are only getting higher. So I need to find a path towards peace with this fear, in a practical way, where I can protect my family, as well as my sanity.Here are my two biggest fears: 

 Problem #1 Societal Collapse




Since the day I was born, I have been raised in an environment that solely relies on a communal-system, to provide everything we need to survive. What if that system breaks and seizes to exist? Will we just wait for death while watching our Ipad’s battery life trickle to zero-percent?



Solution: We, as a family, will go camping, backpacking, and we will also practice and prepare for outdoor survival. The outdoors is considered by many, a place for vacation or adventure, but its easy to forget that it’s the home of many living things, and it just may end up being the home for our family. We wont have Ipad’s or the Netflix Instant Queue, but we will always have each other, and if the family dog goes “missing”, don’t ask me whats in the stew. 




 Problem #2, People like to Rape each otherThe very same community that we rely on for our survival, has unfortunately created the advent of the sociopath. People, for a multitude of reasons, derived from a mixture of their environmental and mental influences, will steal, rape and murder each other. How can I protect you from these threats, while being the pacifist, bleeding heart, and anti-gun liberal that I’am?The Solution: 




Well first off, a gun is not an option, although it would be extremely helpful in the case of an apocalypse, and I feel vastly more sympathetic to those who choose to own a gun, than ever before; yet I still have one ethical issue with this choice. I fear that the simplicity of its function would cause a different kind of paranoia. I believe that if a life is to be taken, under any circumstance, I prefer it to require more effort than just pulling a trigger. I have found an alternative to this limitation? I will use a duel weapon system, where I combine pepper spray in my off-hand, and a samurai sword in my right hand. You can’t shoot what you can’t see, and there is just something frightening and classic about a samurai sword. Plus, I think there is something instinctively cautious about  anything that looks like a gigantic knife, and I also feel like there is less chance for an accidental or domestic related incident. If something dies by a sword, it was probably meant to be.



 





During these two sleepless nights, these ideas profoundly scared me, and I laid awake staring at my ceiling contemplating the frailty of life, how quickly it can all end, and everything there is to lose. Ultimately, all I can really do, is place these dark thoughts into something constructive; and embrace my role as your protector, by teaching you how to protect yourself. So sharpen your steal, pack your bags and stock up on pepper spray, the Boyle family will not be fucked with.

Advertisements

“Avery……. No!”

Sorry to yell Avery, I’m just practicing. I do hope your a good kid, or better yet, I hope I can guide you towards being a good kid, as all parents intend to do. But I’m afraid I have to tell you the truth about myself in regards to this topic, I wasn’t a good kid. I think most people go through a phase when they decide to act like an asshole and do some embarrassingly awful things. All that stuff is pretty common, and I hope to be there for you, when your social rebellion crosses the line and parental consequences need to step in.

When I was young, the word “no” was said to me many times; and mostly, I disobeyed. I never shoved my rebellion in their face, instead I hid it by a combination of stealth and luck. I created my own world and lived by my own rules, and the only rule was, don’t ever get caught.

Of these rebellious memories, my absolute favorite was sneaking out at night. I would meet two of my friends in a backyard every night for about a month straight. We wouldn’t do anything horrible, instead we embarked on random adventures into the night. With our authority figures sound asleep, we were free from the shackles of obedience. Mostly, we would just hop fences and explore a strangers property; sometimes we would purposefully get chased by an occasional harmless dog. At our worst we would get creative with lawn ornaments, and rearrange them onto the next door neighbors yard, and see if they would be relocated the next night. Unfortunately, like all good things, they come to an end; our innocent gang of three expanded into a savage pack of nine. Our innocent adventures escalated with mob mentality and became property destroying chaos. Lawn ornaments were smashed or stolen, front doors would be soaked in the urine of uncivil youth. It wasn’t long before our fantasy world crashed to reality when a cop finally spotted us. It was my first true adult experience, the sensation of running for a true purpose, no gym teacher holding a stop-watch, no collie harmlessly nipping at our heels, this was the real world, and consequence was pursuing me on foot. The group split up and sprinted for freedom. I got home safely, and instantly made an unspoken decision, to not sneak out ever again.

Although I got out clean, I still had no respect for consequences. My parents thought I was a good kid, and so did the rest of the civil world. Yet I still had a palpable desire to go against the grain at every chance. This confident disregard held true, especially with my confidence as a swimmer. Water was my new fantasy world without rules, especially while fully submerged, I felt like nobody could tell me what to do, If I could just stay under water. I explored this fantasy with arrogance and total disregard to all safety. I would dive into the shallowest pools, head first, without a second thought. I would tackle the tallest and sketchiest rope swings in any lake, without ever spotting my landing. Just like everything else, luck carried me through these adventures unscathed for many years. Then one random summer weekday, I had the house to myself, and I decided to swim alone. I had been swimming in the same pool for many years, and I had dove cleanly into it hundreds of times, and it became a routine behavior. On this day, I dove in, and misjudged my angle. I smashed into the bottom of the pool head first; my neck crumpled and crunch into my shoulders as my vision distorted with a flash of white light. I was frozen in a moment of shock, yet I remained conscious, and pulled myself out of the pool. I violently shook in fear, and I kept thinking that any second I was about to become a paraplegic. As I began to calm down, I started to realize that in this exact situation, if one element of this moment had varied just the tiniest bit, I could have drowned to death. The very same Mother that gave birth to me, would have came home from work to find her first-born child floating dead in the pool. I thought long and hard about this moment, Avery, and I loathed my recklessness. I still think of this moment, every time I swim to this day, even though I still feel the temptation to challenge the authority of “life”, I always jump in feet first.

It’s a very frightening idea, teaching a person the difference between wrong and right, and to be honest, were still just as confused as you. But I promise to try my best, and I can at least hope that you take after your mother on this subject, cause I probably should be dead.

Hey Avery,

I been thinking about you lately.

I think my blog has neglected a voice that you will naturally grow to love. You will come to know her as Mom. I remember when I met her, I firmly believed I wouldn’t ever have a child. I even hypothesized my own vasectomy and a future of being the guy who turns to his pets and calls them family. I know, it was a hard sell, and I often wondered if your Mother would be another girl I push away or get pushed away from. I was an idealist, and I think that my social rebellion was most of my appeal. Aesthetically I’m harmless, I never dress flashy, I have no tattoos, and I can socially present myself in a friendly way, but beneath that average guy routine, was a proudly conflicted person who marveled in his rejection of family convention. Some of it is my dedication to an idea of youthful arrogance, and some of it was the emotional baggage of growing up in a broken home.

Avery, let me set the record straight, I ended that paragraph sounding like a victim; let me clarify, I was not a victim. I was loved, cared for, and I had plenty of fun-filled adventures. So when I speak of things that weren’t pretty, I prefer to think of them as my rite-of-passage into being an adult. This way I can focus on building a future that has a better version of me in it. Together, your Mother and I plan to grow in new directions and finally leave our childhood behind us. We may have been dragging our feet until now, but have no fear, you are already the center of everything we do.

What I have learned over time is that the compromises we make as adults, become necessities of personal growth. I can at least proudly say that I have made my own path, and I’m finally ready to share it with you.

I will admit, it saddens me to see my youth in the rear-view mirror, thankfully I can look forward to witnessing your own.

Love,
Dad

Hi Avery,

I recently read the famous novella by Ernest Hemingway “The Old Man and the Sea”, it is an honest examination of the meaning of life. That being the struggle against death. This ride your heart beat is taking you on, is leading to eventual defeat, that nobody can win.

Your mind is fishing for life and its caught your body. A vehicle that starts out as a beacon of freedom, resilience, growth, and a feeling of limitless capabilities, will only last as long as it takes you to figure how to use it, by that time, the peak of its performance will be looking at you in the rear view mirror, with an unavoidable collision in front of you.


This is what I will look like to you

Just the other day, I was walking across a street and my foot tripped on a pot-hole. I was enjoying my music, and a beautiful Chicago morning then, bang!

                                        

That was an unjust quick version of the story, to really appreciate the significance of this blunder, I will break it down for you play by play. First, a single foot clips the edge of a pothole. My mind enters a slow motion panic, I can feel my senses heighten, my heart rate increase and my brain sub-consciously screams “Red-alert, were going down, prepare for impact!”.
                                                     
Second, I struggle to not fall. My momentum carries me through three long steps acting as a fleeting  attempt to prevent the crash. This effort has only increased my velocity, and will result in further damage.

Third, I crash. The impact was powerful, I  had enough velocity to carry my momentum into an over-the-shoulder tuck and roll. It was not a moment of graceful gymnastics, it was a crushing display of physics, where soft-tissue weight and bone density is multiplied by gravity and says hello to a surface of asphalt.

Finally, the aftermath. I get up quick, too quick. I do not check for injuries, instead I continue walking in the exact path I had been hurled off of. Except, I was not the same person as I was before impact. My extremities twitched uncontrollably and felt unnaturally light. I could feel my nerve endings scan for pain, a pain that adrenaline would be hiding. My heart worked double time, and my brain felt disconnected from all things non-survival related. A new destination was safety and rest for my aging body to reconnect itself with the comfort of survival.

Were trapped Avery, we depend on a vessel that exists in a world of rules. These rules will catch up to you, and you will lose. I knew that day, I was closer to death, than I was to life. The mathematics of average life expectancy are severely irrelevant,  I felt my body truly struggle with the fear of death. It was simple and primal, but it scared me, and launched me into a deeper understanding of the reality of demise. This is a warning, because this moment arrived quickly for me, as I clung to an idea of youth, but it is officially just that, an idea. The end is always near, and every molecule of our body feels it, but every part of society will tell you to ignore it.

Like all parents, I hope I die first.

Hi Avery, it’s your father, again…

I feel like I need to examine the direction of my creative aspirations, is my talent just a deluded figment of my imagination, or am I exploring something real? How do I know that I’m on the path towards achieving a sense of creative self-importance? Its important to me, to feel like I’m good at this, and sometimes I feel a realistic possibility that I lack a worthwhile voice.

Some of my ideals of what is and is not worthwhile, were recently challenged in a manor that I had not expected. I had this feeling that my selfishness could be poisoning my motives to write, and I began to ask myself, is this a sincere attempt to create art, or is this just the window dressing of an insecure ego?

For much of my life, I have experienced these discoveries of “truth” from the perspective of a consumer; watching movies, reading books and listening to the conversations of artists that I admire. On this occasion, I had experienced it from the perspective of a creator. I had to write something that was not about me. It was a speech for a friends wedding, and it felt like a new challenge, because it had to be about him, and him only.

Avery, I was afraid that my craft is only driven by ego, and I was afraid of performing without it. I accepted the challenge, and decided to ignore my concerns, and try my best.

                                     

Here is the speech I wrote for Michael and April Kledzinski’s wedding celebration:

“Mike can be a challenging person to get to know.

When you engage Him in a conversation, he will never share a thoughtless opinion

But he will only provide you with the most necessary information,

often at a pace that could be described as “calculating”.

I’m grateful to say, we quickly became friends with many shared interests.

As much as I enjoyed this friendship, I would sometimes feel like Mike was holding back on life,

I could never understand exactly why it seemed that way.

But This doubt of mine was proven wrong,

When a feisty red-head from Texas came to visit for a weekend.

I noticed a new smile, I heard a new laugh, and I saw a side of Mike that I had never seen before.

Mike was never holding back, he was looking for something worth fighting for….

Tonight, I would like to personally thank Mike and April

for reminding me that the richest path to happiness is the path you make your own,

I kindly ask everyone to raise their glasses,

In honor to Mike and April’s future, happiness, and the the trail of memories they intend to share with us all.

Life is better together, so let’s keep it that way

Cheers.”
Written by: Shawn P. Boyle  June 4th 2011

I wrote and re-wrote that short speech, all the way up to the final seconds of show-time, and when I finished my speech, I did not get much of an immediate reaction from the audience. An insecure panic sets in, and I wonder; was it too short, was my humor misunderstood, or… am I just not funny?
Thankfully my concerns were quickly squashed. Friends and family flooded me with praise, a few had even admitted to crying, so my ego bloats and I spend the rest of the night, wearing an exuberant smile of personal accomplishment.

                            

I learned a valuable lesson that day Avery, people will notice you when you care, when you try, and when you speak honestly about someone besides yourself. I don’t want you growing up being selfish, like I did, and if I’m going to have those expectations of you, I need to apply them to myself as well.

I look forward to further acts of unselfishness, and I look forward to you. I don’t know if I’m a great writer, and I don’t know if I will be a good Father, what I do know, is that I’m finally no longer afraid to try.

                            

                            Love, Dad

Next Post

Hi Avery,

I feel lonely, and I think it is an important reminder of my selfishness. Too often I fantasize romantic adventures as seen in movies. Like becoming an ancient artifact historian, wearing a brown brim hat and swinging across caves. The other version is a quiet simple life of minimalism, backpacking in the deep woods or traveling around the world collecting unique memories in placement of material goods or property.

I pretend that this blog is a symbolic flash light to guide an unborn child through their dark future. Yet all I can do is talk about myself. It’s pretty obvious that my premise is bullshit. Still, it seems like human nature begs the question, “what if”? My theory is that some of parenting draws inspiration from the selfish desire to improve upon the previous parenting. The flaw in this system, is for every one person depressed by defeat is creating a winner that will be inevitably bored with victory. How do can I equally avoid despair and boredom as a singular entity? Maybe together, through this philosophical journey, I can figure that out.


So here is my idea. First, I will embrace the first person perspective. It is selfish and vain but it is the truth. You can’t really tell someone how to fix their life, you can only lead by example and hope they fix it themselves. So I shall continue to lead you with the best of my ability, for as long as you choose to follow.
I love you,
Dad
Next Post

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 17 other followers

Archives

Advertisements