It’s been a bit since I’ve hopped on here and actually written something. Good reason for that. I started going back to school recently. It’s online courses at Full Sail, trying to get my bachelors degree.
It’s interesting, I’m liking the course but I have worries. I know I said that I’ve been worried about becoming my parents, but I didn’t think I’d find any parallels between going to school and my parents as my dad thinks college is a ridiculous waste of time. And, frankly, it’s hard to argue with a man that seems to will millions of dollars into being travelling around and knocking out odd jobs for people. (Long story I’m not getting into. Don’t worry, nothing illegal.)
But, there was a moment of my childhood that I don’t normally think of because it was moderately uneventful that I didn’t consider when signing up for online courses. And I believe that would be the years 1985-1986.
Around this time, I was a spindly little silly thing. Talking more than I needed too, running with wet noodle arms, trying to assimilate everything into my brain, and above all else, I was sort of a daddy’s boy. This made things a lot cooler around this time because if I’m recalling the time line correctly, this is when my dad started working from home a lot. He had a workstation he built in the dining room in which he’d sketch designs all over the place.
I used to love sitting in there and trying to figure them out. I couldn’t, of course, but it inspired me too. I remember drawing a crude “blueprint” of a device I could build from stuff around the house that, if built, could have shot little round projectiles. It was basically nothing more than a spring loaded toy launcher sketched at an improbably size but I was six. Back off.
But this was a big turning point in my life. I don’t think it was the catalyst, but, upon reflection, it was definitely where a lot of the foreshadowing for how things were going to be in the darker part of my childhood most call the “late 80’s”.
I remember multiple instances where I was sitting in his makeshift office, learning DOS on his computer so I could play a game he picked up at a flea market, or sketching my ridiculous blueprints of robots and armor like a weird failed forgotten brother of Tony Stark. But in some of these memories, I remember my mother as well. And not in the best way I could. I’d be doing something with my dad and she’d come in and tell me to leave. Sometimes I’d be doing something on the computer and I’d just get lifted up out of the chair and placed in the living room. I wasn’t being punished but I was being told that my dad didn’t have time for me. Which is something I remember even him being confused by.
It wasn’t until I started worrying about taking school from home that I really sat back to heavily analyze this part of my childhood. But you had a situation where my dad, who usually worked all the time at a factory, was suddenly at home constantly. But he was still “at work”. And I don’t think my mom particularly cared for it. So, in retrospect, what was a part of my childhood filled with weird sessions where play with my dad would be broken off suddenly only by weird, awkward play with a slightly angry mother, was actually, possibly, me being a pawn to punish my dad for being home but being “away”.
I can’t see that happening here. But I do feel things like it. Now, before I continue and you have any knee-jerk reactions, I’m not saying my wife is doing anything. But I definitely feel guilt. While I’m doing my homework or taking a class, I’ll hear my son in the other room and I’ll desperately want to hang out. Or, yesterday, I was taking a two hour online course, and while the course was terrific, there was this part where I heard my wife doing something in the other room, doing something, but I didn’t know what and I just got this picture of her frazzled and doing things while I sat in a comfy room and just watched something on my monitor.
It doesn’t seem fair to anyone. Especially with homework. I’m terrible at homework sometimes. It’s just something hard for me. And this particular homework assignment has consumed me a little bit (though, luckily, I’m almost done) but it feels like I’ve lived on this computer all week plugging away at it and trying to figure it out while my wife and child are a wife and child a few feet away.
I don’t know, it’s a fear. I know I need to stay in school and stick with this. I’m going to a great school with an excellent success rate and this can only serve to make life a little easier once I graduate, but…it’s hard not to quit because I know it’s taking it’s toll. I feel it. I’m actually “gone” more now than when I worked 40 hours a week at an outside office.
Ugh. I know I need to stick with it. I just feel beat and…I don’t know. I know this is just part of me trying to talk myself out of it but…fuck. School, amirite?