My Stupid, Stupid Family!
Okay, first, I really don’t think my family is stupid, but hopefully, the title caught your attention and piqued your curiosity into reading this post.
This blog is more about the lack of understanding of why my family is so proud of me. Of course….they are family, so it makes sense that they would be proud of me. I would have to do something really bad or the such for them to not be proud of me, I suppose.
I guess you could say that this blog is more about how I view myself rather than how they view me…and that is where all of the confusion comes in. My idea of myself does not line up with their idea of me. To make this post slightly more spiritual, you could say for many of us believers that our own perceptions of ourselves don’t quite line up with God’s perception of us.
So, I’ll start by explaining how my family thinks about me, then I’ll break it down more. My mom constantly tells me she is proud of me…and then….breaks into tears because she is so proud. My dad on occasion tells me he is proud of me, and my older brother…well…my mom tells me that he says I am “his hero.” His two sons and daughter just love me…well…when the boys were younger at least. Nowadays, I am not sure how they feel about me….they don’t hate me at least…but they are getting into those years when family isn’t as cool as it used to be.
Now, to start with my brother and his family. My brother and I have this relationship where we don’t really tell each other that we love each other, but we try and hang out when we can. It’s kinda how the men in my family have always been. My father is the same way. We don’t often say “I love you,” and I know some of you may not get that, but it is just how we grew up. We men don’t really show that much cuddly emotion to each other in the family, especially with my brother and me.
So, my mom tells me that my brother has told her that I was his “hero” because I joined the Air Force and served our country for an enlistment and a few years ago I started pursuing my dream of writing fiction. The thing is, I never really cared about serving our country, I just got in the military for the family benefits….and…well…that didn’t work out so much because after my second deployment my wife left me. Oh well….I get medical benefits at least.
Anyway, Though I have never heard it from my brother’s mouth, I don’t think my mother would lie to me that outright, but maybe she misinterpreted what he said, and maybe he didn’t actually mean I was his hero…but let's just go with he did actually say those exact words. Now, this is confusing to me because he is the one who owns a successful business and has established a family. He is involved in his local church, volunteering regularly. His kids are great kids, and his wife has a successful career ahead of her. I just really don’t get how I am the hero when I am pretty unsuccessful so far. Oh, I feel I should mention that he has joined the National Guard and his leadership loves him. He has excelled in his career as a National Guard member….and…well…me…I was kind of a dirtbag airman. Only the military peeps will get that term…but let’s just say…I definitely was not excelling in my job as a Security Forces member in the Air Force. In truth, I consider my brother the hero of the two of us. He is the one who is serving, and successful in seemingly every aspect of his life…..not me.
My brother’s kids, I do kinda get why they like me so much…or at least used to….in their younger years I would babysit them a lot and take them to the pizza buffet and game places. They loved me for that. I have always been great with kids of all ages…though the older they get, the less of that rapport I got with the younger peeps.
Now, let’s move on to my mom and dad. As I said before, growing up, we guys didn’t say much of the cuddly loving comments, and today my dad and I don’t say “I love you” all that often, though we do more now than when I was younger. To be honest, it is still kind of weird, too. I am 40 years old, and it is still weird to tell my dad that I love him. My mom, on the other hand, I have never felt weird for saying that. She had often expressed her love verbally to us growing up, so we are used to it. I tell her “I love you” a lot more than I do my dad.
Anywhoo, to the main point. Both my parents tell me they are proud of me, my mom a lot more than my dad, but he does as well. Here’s the confusing part for me. I am 40 years old with no “real career,” living paycheck to paycheck when most men my age would have a career by now. I have none, in fact, I have been a career nomad, as I call it, jumping from job to job every few years, never putting in roots in any job that I have ever had.
That is only the first thing I am confused about. The next is that…well…as I said before…I am divorced, so that is kinda self-explanatory. Another “issue” is that I feel that my spiritual life has tanked since Bible college. Now, I know my parents wouldn’t know this part about me. I once cared a lot more about the things of God than I do now. Over the last ten years or so, I seem to have lost that passion for evangelism and ministering to people how I used to. Now I have done some ministry, still, over the years, but especially recently, I have not felt a desire for spiritual things.
I understand that it just could be that I have altered the way that I “minister” and “evangelize” these days. I don’t try to “save souls.” I just be me and occasionally help where I can. I give more than the tithe to the church, and my main focus is writing my fiction and Christian fiction in hopes that scores of people will come to know Christ through them.
Basically, short story….long..….I know that we are our own worst critics, and people most likely don’t see me in a fraction of the same light that I see myself in, and I know God sure doesn’t, but it is just my western idea of success and the western way of looking at possessions, wealth, status and success in the workforce that really distorts my self-identity, if you will.
To break it all down….and get a little real with you (which I think I may have already done in a previous post)…I definitely DO NOT view myself as successful in any way…with maybe the exception of my fiction, but that is entirely God’s fault and not mine as I know it is a gifting from Him that has made that portion of my life successful.
You see I tend to think, way more often than I know I should - and scripturally, should never think of myself - as a failure. You see I often think that I am a failure at my marriage…but…that was on her as well. I am a failure in my Christian walk as I mentioned before. I am a failure in the workforce.
But…on the bright side of all that…I know this is not true…but, sometimes, I just get in these moods and tell myself that it is, which it isn’t, but don’t we all – on occasion – do that. We start to believe a lie that we know not to be true.
Well, I have rambled on for long enough. My family is proud of me, for whatever reason, and though I don’t really believe they are stupid for it, I definitely don’t understand….but that is just because I’m too critical of myself.
Hope you all enjoyed delving into the mind of me….until next month.