If I said that I’ve had enough controversy in the last year to last for the remainder of my life, it would be an understatement and a lie. At this point, I’ve come to accept that for whatever reason, my actions frequently generate drama at a rate that greatly surpasses the national average. I don’t see myself as a dramatic person, but my personality, values, choices, preferences, and circumstances seem to combine with one another in such a way that results in situations where emotions run high, sides are formed, and battles ensue.
This blog has been the platform for more minor battles in the past. This time, however, the myriad details of the catalogue of nonsense that my life has become are not suitable for a blog post. As much as I would love the convenience of updating everyone on all the specifics in one place, there are too many friends I prefer to hold on to, or in some cases, keep a minimum of respect intact. It’s not just about pissing people off, either, but about respecting the privacy of others. No one should have to force me to sign an NDA before being honest with me.
There’s also the problem of objectivity. It’s easy to remain fair when describing simpler situations, but as more players are added to the game, it becomes much more difficult to give appropriate consideration to all relevant perspectives. Sports fans have argued passionately for weeks over who was to blame for the outcome of a single game and yet never reach a definitive conclusion; there is no reason to believe I would have any more success in trying to analyze this debacle. The best I can do is describe a few of the precipitating factors and then provide some illumination on my current course of action.
Thirteen years is a long time to be in a town like Ithaca. I’ve wanted to get away for a long time, but my attempts have been hampered by attachment, procrastination, and misery. On the whole, I’d say it was a good thing that most of my wishes did not come true, as I had a lot to learn about life that would have taken much longer had I never made the friends that I did. In particular, the two years I spent living near downtown were nothing less than exquisite, and I racked up experiences and stories that helped greatly in accelerating the formation of my identity.
After that, however, I decided to move back in with my parents to help afford school. Well-intentioned though it may have been, this was not a wise decision. For the first six months, it was merely a frustrating circumstance. When my partner found out she was pregnant, however, this transformed into a catastrophic situation. I was already displeased at the length of my stay in Ithaca, but the toxicity of the situation cemented my resolve to get out. There are people who have said and continue to say that I am running away, that I am abandoning my child-to-be. This is false. I am doing what’s best for everyone: removing myself from a pernicious state of affairs in order to ensure that my son will have a father that will be able to share a love of life with him, rather than bitterness, despair, and rage. At no point in this sequence of events have I had the luxury of privacy, let alone control; the only variable I have power over now is myself. I am securing my son’s future by guaranteeing I will not allow circumstances to determine what kind of father I am.
The last point I’d like to make is that there has seemed to be a specific notion from many people about how best to raise a child. This notion is overwhelmingly just an exact copy of what they had growing up. A true and loving family can exist in a huge variety of configurations, but many people insist that the specific features of how they were raised are utterly essential. These values persist despite recognizing major flaws in their development, or even describing total misery throughout youth. If I want to improve on the formula that my own parents deployed, I have to be ready to try things in a different way, and willing to do whatever it takes to excise as many of my own flaws from stunting the emotional and intellectual development of my child. If you still disagree with my choices, that is fine. There is no one in the world but me who has all of the information necessary to make these choices, so I cannot blame anyone for failing to understand.
So, I currently find myself in Kansas City, Missouri. The original plan was for Durham, North Carolina, but that whole thing fell through at the last minute. I had to improvise, which meant writing many emails and making phone calls to a lot of my internet and SK friends. The last week and a half has been rather nutty; I’ve been trying to keep notes, but the pace of life is currently much greater than the speed of my writing. There’s a lot of keeping up to do.
Note: I had to disable commenting before I left Ithaca. I still haven’t found an anti-spam plugin that I’m satisfied with and moderating comments is too much to try to do from this tablet. Feel free to send comments via email or on Facebook/Google+.