Wednesday, March 2, 2011

One man's struggles

During our weekly trip to the library today I ended up chatting a bit with a dad who I had never seen there before. It didn't take him long to tell me about some of the largest struggles in his life and I got the impression that he is both lonely and desperately wanting change without really knowing how to approach either.

He had a rare day off and decided to take his eldest son, who is five years old, to the library to look at books about trucks. There was a pile of neglected books as the son spent the whole time playing in a large helicopter that our library has. I can honestly say that he sounded sad and frustrated where his life is at the present time - too much work and not enough functioning relationships. Two kids, 5 and 2, each with different mothers. A self-employed man soon approaching 30, he told me how his work keeps him in his car for the majority of his time driving to and from places to purchase high end fashion and shoes. The time requirements of this job had "ruined every relationship I've ever had". From the sound of it, the work pays well and he had been able to provide his children's moms with Juicy Couture purses and other high end items that they wanted. He alluded to many arguments during his previous relationships revolving around how much he worked. In his opinion, if he got a different job that kept him around more they'd all have to wear Walmart clothing.

"I don't wear designer clothes but I don't wear Walmart clothes, either," was my response. The way I understood it was that he believed he either has to work as hard as he does to make lots of money and have the fancy things or be broke. I strongly think there is so much room in between these, especially since that is where we live. I left feeling sad for this dad who, at 30, seems to be floundering and not sure how to stop. Revealing so much to a complete stranger within the time span of maybe 10 minutes seems to be a cry for help and a feeling of loneliness - desperate for someone to hear his struggles. Luckily at 30 there is so much life left that if he chooses, he can figure out a way to be happier and build better relationships for himself. To me it was obvious that he was concerned about his relationship with his sons and I hope he can start there.

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