In High School I had one dream that stands out. Own a Porsche by the time I was 26. Looking back, I have no idea where this dream came from; because I was raised in Tennessee by The Greatest Generation and Boomers that never had that kind of money.
Reflecting on my late childhood, I had the shock of moving from small-town Middle Tennessee to Aurora, Colorado. Away from kin and farmland; I spent my teenage and young adult years in this concrete jungle exposed to a expansive variety of different lifestyles and income levels. All while try to holding onto childhood values of land-ownership and self-sufficiency.
It was the virtue of self-sufficiency that almost drove me to suicide. I spent years trying to avoid the help of my family. I was too determined to do it all on my own. I recall folks in my childhood complain about helping my young parents. I did not want my parents to think the same of me. Yet for years I had made all the right choices but I still kept falling short on my own.
When I was able to accomplish things; it just never felt like enough. I don’t think I truly appreciated my own achievements. My apartment wasn’t a house. My bank account didn’t have enough commas. My Spouse didn’t drive a nice enough car. I didn’t ‘work’ hard enough.
When Ruby and I brought a child into the world, my need to be responsible only naturally increased. Now I had this constant feeling that I couldn’t provide enough for my new family which just drove my level of loneliness through the roof.
Mom Came to Visit
Ya know, we used to semi-work together. It was fun randomly running into her in the halls and being able to talk about our professional world together. Since she and I had gotten time to hang out for an extended period of time; all of COVID had occurred. I moved a few times, she changed roles a few times, life drove on.
I’ve landed 800 miles from her house. 780 miles further than normal. Further isolated from family than ever my suicidal thoughts exploded. “This house isn’t nice enough. My baby doesn’t have enough toys. My debt feels uncontrollable. I can’t keep up with the yard work. My job is pointless. I am stupid. Everything I touch breaks. Everything I say is wrong. Everything I do is a waste of time. I should die.”
When Mom came to visit, I enjoyed showing her what my life had become. We finally had time to actually catch up. I learned something from her…
I am 26. I have a happy and healthy baby. I have a spouse that is loyal, faithful, and supportive. I own a home with land and trees, I have worked to create a family unit that has a mother and father both at home. I am able to support a Stay at Home Mom lifestyle. My role at work is flexible. I have a decent work life balance. My leadership shows me respect. I am not responsible for the shortcoming of others.
I’ve done the best I can do. It is okay to ask for help. I have not been irresponsible with my resources. I have shown other respect. I have applied myself mentally, physically, and emotionally. I need to accept that I can ask for help.
I’ve Made It
Mom has gone home, and I have had time to reflect on her visit. She was right, I’ve made it. I don’t want a role that would pull me from my family. I don’t need granite countertops. I don’t need all the fancy things the rich folks have. I just need to be happy.