it totally sucks but this time the cliche is true

6. an aspiration; goal; aim: A trip to Europe is his dream.

according to dictionary.com, a "life" dream comes defined as the above example.

i mention this because i had an interesting conversation with a friend --note: he's not a parent-- about "life" dreams and the path someone takes once they have children. basically, he told me about a high school reunion his sister went to in their hometown and the interactions she had with old friends. at the time she was about to finish her phd and held a faculty position at depaul university in chicago. no doubt a respectable position to be in life. i'm not at all slighting that in any way. i just want to get that out there. i know someone will undoubtedly think i'm an asshole by the end of this post. so she went home, went to this reunion and exchanged pleasantries. the typical "how are you ? what are you doing these days?" blah, blah boring shit none of us care about anyway so why do we even bother, conversations. getting to the point, she told them what she was doing and where she worked and apparently the small town friends pretty much disregarded this as oh nice but here are the 75 photos of my children. i'm sure there was a bit of exaggeration thrown in for emphasis on his part. but he couldn't believe how having children can trump a phd and a faculty position at depaul university.

i'm not sure that one out shines the other but when i said it's hard to understand till you have children i got the whole yeah but you can't just live through you kids- there's more to life than children response.

there are certainly things we all admit we would never do or say when we have kids and i cringe every time i say or do these things. truth is, we all do them and the stuff about how you don't understand till you have kids is so fucking true it makes me ill. having a child not only changes everything, it changes everything. i get the whole notion of how we shouldn't lose sight of who we are as individuals but truth be known, once you have a child, your dreams become their dreams and all you want is to see them grow and learn and smile through accomplishment.

i have been acting for about five years. my wife and i moved out to lost angeles and then back to austin and i pursued it pretty heavily for those five years. in the middle of all this i had a child. this didn't stop me from doing what i loved. it did however magnify the fact that acting is definitely a single person's life style. and of course i knew i would be the one to break that. but once i started missing time with calli because i was rehearsing or shooting something i quickly realized i did want to be the exception to the rule any longer. so i made the decision to set acting aside and find a way to have more time with my family.

from the outside it does seem that a child drives many away from their dreams but i can assure you the parents are choosing the paths they take and as crappy as it sounds, you can not and will not understand till you have a child.

now, don't get me wrong, i'm not living some boring life now because i have a kid, i'm just choosing to pursue a different path. acting turned out not be what i am going to do with my life and that's fine. i'm perfectly okay with that. just know that i will die knowing i made that decision on my own. not because i had a kid.


Calli's Mama said...

Your post makes me feel good. If you ever quit acting, I wanted it to be on your terms..not mine or anyone else's. I'm glad to know that you feel it's the case. I'm glad to know you don't harbor any resentment for me or Calli for " pushing" or "dragging" you to that.I never would have asked you to quit and I hope that came across like it should have. Honestly, it really was fun to be along for the ride though...that's for sure!

I agree...there is so much people just don't/won't understand until they have kids of their own. It's true. The PhD at DePaul is an amazing thing...but so is our daughter. While she thought those old classmates didn't think her PhD was important, she was looking down on them with their "75 pics of their kids." It all depends on how you measure success and what is important. Don't you think?

Xbox4NappyRash said...

You know you've hit the nail on the head when you say people don't understand until they have a child.

There are things that i just don't 'get' but for some reason or another I have a feeling I eventually will.

Nice writing.