By Kelsey Boudin
Writing is an interesting exercise. It can be rewarding. It can feel intellectually satisfying like reading a challenging book on an enlightening topic. It can also be maddening. It can feel stupefyingly complicated as you sit and stare at a blinking cursor and a handful of crappy words that sounded a lot better in your head than they look on your screen.
In that way, writing mirrors life and its many trials. Who hasn’t felt as if they were staring at a blank screen while contending with crises of faith, relationships, parenthood, career, finances, and more? What’s the next keystroke?
So I wanted my first blogpost here to offer some value while also introducing myself to the Manlihood Mancave.
For those of us looking to better ourselves as men and empower those around us, here it is: Our flaws are inevitable. We’re going to mess up despite our best efforts. We’re going to misjudge, misstep, misunderstand, misplace, misuse, misread, misspeak, misbehave, and mistake our paths through life.
We hope those times are few and far between. We hope the errant steps have minimal effect on those we care for most. We hope we’re man enough to admit when we’re wrong and make an immediate course correction.
Oh yeah, we also know no matter how hard we hope those hopes that we’ll rarely live up to our own expectations. We won’t learn our mistakes and shortcomings until after the fact, sometimes long after, sometimes after damage has been done.
But it’s OK. It’s part of being human. If we’re introspective and open to change, we can learn some of the greatest lessons of our lives. Sometimes it could take:
- A DWI to accept that you have a drinking problem
- Losing your job to actually stumble across the right career
- Divorce to realize your attitude was part of the problem
- The guilt of missing your kid’s school play to tell your boss you can’t work overtime
Sometimes it literally could take a death close to you for you to get a clue.
Being a father has cast a glaring spotlight on my own shortcomings. Even still, it can be difficult to make significant changes. It’s easy to rationalize or make excuses for when and why I choose pleasure over responsibility.
But there’s a flipside. In acknowledging my mistakes and vices, it’s also easier to realize and appreciate my successes. I guess, there’s a silver lining to messing up and being foolish sometimes.
Here’s to personal growth. May you find yours.